Change And Acceptance

Hello my dearest readers. After my last post it seems like all the little workers in my mind grabbed their coats and went on holiday. Or not even that – they walked out of the office without any notice of where they were going or when they would return. Maybe it sounds a little odd, I don’t know, but it didn’t even worry me and I followed in their footsteps out the door. If I were to sum up the past few weeks with one word I would describe it as being in limbo, and it shows all around me. Piles of clothes, mountains of dishes, dust and crumbs and Loke’s hairs everywhere. Multiply that with the mess I have previously complained about times a thousand.

I have had a few milder emotional outbursts when my lids have fluttered open to take in my surroundings, but it is like even my annoyance is in a state of limbo. All that frustration I can feel when I get nothing done goes pooff before even half its usual magnitude is reached. I still don’t know whether to call this true hibernation or depression, though. All that I feel — or don’t feel — and this lack of care for the state of this house or my daily doings could also be, if going by symptoms listed on the web, called depression. The thing is I think I consciously accepted I am depleted at the start of February, and it was after that I let go and disappeared. I keep asking myself does it really matter? Do I have to put a name on it?

chilling-with-loke

However, in the past week it has become clear that I was meant to do this. Shut down, turn off, retreat. I had too much in my mind, too many wants, wishes and ideas buzzing around together with needs and pressing necessities. A jitter so loud that I couldn’t make sense of anything at all. So after I last week made an important phone call that had been eating me up from the inside out since early January, I had a moment of clarity.

At the start of the year I received a letter to let me know it was time to begin the repayments of my student loan. I have waited for this letter ever since I finished my studies in December 2016. The way it works is that after completing your studies you get one year respite. I assume it is to give you time to find a job or to do further studies, in which case you continue on as a student and loan taker and don’t have to repay anything until you are completely finished. I knew already, deep down, I wasn’t going to university, but I think somewhere underneath it all I felt an immense obligation to make something happen that would generate an income within twelve months. That obligation was in conflict with my dreams and wishes — my heart’s desire — to build my very own business on my own terms, and I think I subconsciously stuffed the entire affair further and further away from my conscious mind.

our-snowy-maple-tree

So the first instalment was due on the 28th of February, and at the end of last week I finally picked up the phone. I don’t fully get this immense issue I have with speaking over the phone. Part of it, I think, might be that I can’t see the person I am talking to, and I hear voices better if I can see the facial movements of those I speak with. Like an anchor, to connect one to the other. Without that anchor some words become muffled and I seem to miss chunks of what people are actually saying. Simply put: I lose focus when speaking with people over the phone. And somewhere amongst it all I get nervous and start shaking, my pulse goes up and I sweat, too. It really is awful. Usually I sit with the phone so hardly pressed to my ear it’s all red by the time I am done, haha. It can help to close my eyes, to cut off any external impressions that might disrupt my attention. Or I can doodle on a piece of paper. Sometimes that helps, too, but it differs from time to time, mood to mood.

The kind lady on the phone was so very helpful, though, and she walked me through an application for extension over the web. She could watch live from her end as I filled in the details and clicked my way through. When it was done she told me that CSN’s (the name of the student loan company) handling of these applications are automatic, but she could with confidence assure me my loan will now be frozen for another year. The tears welled up in an instant and I cried. Oh, I am getting all emotional again now as I write about it, but the relief I felt in that moment crashed over me like the most divine ocean wave. I think I overwhelmed her with my profuse thank you, thank you so much I am so happy. But I really was. And after I hung up an email arrived to tell me my application had been approved and that my payments for this year have been reduced to zero. Ahhh, can you tell I am so so happy? 😀

loke-showing-his-love

So as I wrote further up, I had a moment of clarity. For the first time in weeks it was like I could see in colours again, and the world didn’t seem shrouded in a haze. I really believe I had to let go of absolutely everything and get back to basics. Imagine you have collected a pile of washing into your arms, you know the one that is so big it keeps falling apart, and you actually have to peer around the mountain you embrace to see where you are going. And suddenly you can’t remember if you have collected all the sock pairs. So instead of running around the house with that tangled ball, I had to drop and spread it out over the floor to see what I actually have to deal with. Now I may have a mess spanning wall-to-wall in our home and in my life, but at least I can walk around with a clear view of it all. This loan was one of those things hidden deep within that pile, and it had festered and spread into so many areas of my life… I can’t believe I just compared a loan to socks and used the word festering. Can’t stop laughing now. 😀

Another big change is that the days are getting longer, the sun warmer, and the birds are chirping. Yesterday I took another slow stroll with Loke down our road through the fields. At first I listened only to the creak of our foot and paw steps. Loke’s made this soft and crisp resonating sound, while my own were more like crunch-crunch, haha. But then I stopped and closed my eyes, turned my face to the sun and this amazing chirp and chatter of the birds soaked right through me. Usually Loke will start sniffing around the ground, but he remained completely still by my side and I think he, too, was listening to the wakening song of the birds.

loke-in-depth-of-evergreen

manta-the-rarely-seen-farm-cat

snow-covered-farm-buildings

frozen-magic-and-an-old-silo

winter-sunlight-on-our-timber

Right now I really hope that I am waking up for real, but at the same time I feel there is still time left to consider the lessons from the past few weeks. From the past months, really. It all began last autumn, and I can’t let go of this thought that there are stages in life, and stages within those stages. Each needs to be given its own time, and it won’t matter if I don’t accept it and keep going anyway — at some point those things I choose to work even harder to squeeze whatever I can out of (or ignore completely) will make their demands.

loke-questions-what-I-am-doing

on-a-walk-with-loke

snowy-juniper-in-sunglow

I especially think of the days I have looked out the window at the magical beauty of sunshine over glittering fields and gazed with longing at the tree line beyond. And how I barely used my camera — my amazing new camera Jay got me. Not even imagining myself there among snow-laden pines and spruces gave me the strength to get up. Still, somehow, I found ways to be at peace with it. This is where I am right now, and in all probability where I need to be. I told myself this so many times during these weeks. Told myself it will pass, just like every other time previously. What I believe and fervently hope is that giving myself an abundance of time will make all the difference; to not use up the steady-but-slow refuelling process by making myself feel guilty for all this non-productivity or inactivity. This will allow my being to truly rest. It seems like the closer to empty I have been, the harder my body and mind has worked to use the little energy in my reserves. Like an engine low on oil will eventually be wrecked, like a fuel tank sputtering when running on fumes.

magical-light-in-the-forest

And little by little I have felt that pull to get up and do things, grab my camera. A couple of days I walked around outside, if only for a short while, but I was grateful for those short little moments. I could tell myself it was enough and truly feel content. At the end of the day, a knowing I’m finding hard to explain rests within me. It may be a quiet and soft whisper, but it’s an encouragement all the same. Maybe it’s that trust that is returning — the relationship I think we need to build with the world around us, that there is meaning in events that at first make no sense to us, that frustrate us or even seem like a nuisance. The events out of our control. I think of it as sailing. I know nothing about sailing, but as far as I have understood it’s about positioning the sails to work with the winds. I imagine you have to feel those winds and know how to set the sails to be able to maneuver the boat in the direction you want to go. Those winds can’t be controlled or manufactured to suit my wants or wishes. But I can give in and work with them. To accept what I can’t do and be okay with what I can do. However little it may be. It’s enough. For now, it’s more than enough.

I’m sending you all my love, and a big, warm hug.

Posted by

I'm Lotta. I live on a farm in southwestern Finland among oats, wheat, and swaying pines. With photography and words I show the journey toward building my life-long dream of telling inspirational and unforgettable stories through images. I am so glad you are here to share this experience. <3

12 thoughts on “Change And Acceptance

  1. Hi Lotta , I am so pleased to get your update. It is good that “all your little workers” have had a break, but even better that you have allowed them to , in your mind. When you have a really busy mind , just like your body, rest is important. Love the picture of Loki next to the sock, and the one with his head cocked to one side! Really made me smile 🙂
    Hope you and your family have a good week.
    (Hello to Fernando and all your other readers) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I used to be a river guide. When I was learning the craft, a veteran guide told me her hard won knowledge for running rapids. Position/Angle/Momentum. In that order.

    Position – your boat has to be in the right place in the river. The place you determine to enter the rapid, or make the move.

    Angle – Then you adjust your angle to the current. If you just let the current take you, you lose your ability to make choices. The current decides. You have to plan ahead, angling yourself so that you will be able to make a move, when it is time.

    Momentum – Then, and only then, can you pull on the oars and use momentum. All the yanking on the oars and pulling with all your might will do nothing – if you have not dealt with Position and Angle first.

    Makes a whole lot of sense.

    Especially as women, we tend not to be able to muscle thru with the same upper body strength as men. We have to be smarter, more intuitive, more skilled. We have to read the water.

    Hugs to you, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was just so brilliant, Pamela. And so interesting to hear about your experiences. That must have been a really exciting job! I have always found it so admirable – people who brave rapids. If you don’t mind me asking, how long did you do it for and what made you want to become a river guide?

      Thank you for sharing this woman’s knowledge forward. I will save this. ❤️

      Hugs back, dear Pamela.

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      1. Lotta, I read a book called “Breaking Into the Current”. It was about women river guides in the Grand Canyon in the 70’s and 80’s, when they were trying to break into the guiding scene there. I was so inspired by the book, that I did my first trip as a passenger that summer. And then worked my way into being a guide.

        I did trips on and off for about 5 years, in the Grand Canyon and other rivers in the Southwest. I probably would still be there, but my husband and I got “real” jobs in Seattle. It is true that my current job is more real in all the accepted ways…salary, consistency, security. But it is not real in any of the ways that are actually “real”. If you know what I mean.

        I’m getting too old now to consider going back to guiding full time. But I dream of being able to do it again, at least part time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I read a few reviews on this book and with what you also told me it really does sound so inspiring! Your story is just as inspiring, Pamela. To read something that touches us so deeply, to be moved in such ways that we just go after it — I’m so happy you shared it with me. Thank you! 😀 ❤ I think I do understand what you mean. These "real" jobs aren't real in the ways that count if they don't inspire us or move us, in the ways which leave us passing the threshold to our homes with maybe a physical tiredness but a full and happy heart. I used to walk around with my belly tied in knots because I silenced the voice inside me that is supposed to guide me, and just so that I could go on doing what I perceived was expected of me. What I felt everyone else were doing, because that is just how it is supposed to be. And of course I must admit it saddens me to hear you feel you are getting too old to return to something which I am getting the sense you loved so much. But at the same time I understand so very well how it isn't easy, and I can only imagine it feels further away for each year passing. I may not know you well, but as a fellow human being and woman, I really do believe it's all there within you. Whenever you are ready you will find what you need to go after your dreams. And I don't truly don't believe in that there is ever such a thing as being too late, or being too old. For as long as we draw breath it isn't over. ❤

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  3. hello lotta, what good to know about you again, I understand that feeling you describe, as well as those moments of inactivity, I hope that everything will progress in due time. that you and the family are well, a strong hug from a distance, fernando.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Fernando! It’s so good to hear from you, too! I am sorry it took me so long to give a sign of life, but I am sure as you say that everything will progress and that I will begin posting more often again. I hope all is well with you. Have a beautiful weekend. Many hugs! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is beautiful. I’m in a place in my life right now where I can really relate to what you’ve written… feeling that disconnect from everything else, with so many things I need to do yet no idea where to start. You live in such a beautiful place, I live in Sydney and it’s beautiful here too, but I dream of seeing snow!! Also, our cats look like twins.
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Omara! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, it warms to hear you can relate but of course I’m sorry to hear you are struggling with these things, too. I know it can be such a frustrating place to be in when everything is just a swirl around you. I hope you will find your peace to start unraveling things, even getting something small done can mean so much and help begin. ❤ It's fun to hear from someone from Australia, too, since I have lived there myself! It was a long time ago now, but I do remember it was very beautiful, even if I prefer cooler weather. I did miss the snow, though, so I can relate to dreaming of it. 🙂 And that is so funny our cats look the same! 😀 Ours is mainly a huntress and only come inside to eat, so it's very rare I even think to capture her on photo – plus she starts moving when I get down to try and take a photo. Haha

      I wish you a wonderful weekend. ❤

      Like

      1. I’m trying to start giving myself little projects to keep me occupied and focused 🙂 I’ve just finished school and I’m at a loss to what to do!! Ooh where in Australia? And my cat is completely an indoor cat.. he hates being outside hehe 😂🐱

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