Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden

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My wife recently suggested that I cut down on my activities. It was really good advice. What she was getting at is that I do a lot of things, activities we’ll call them, though many of these activities are self-imposed “things to do”. I agree, I have a lot on my plate. Many of these “things to do” do not need to get done, or certainly not right now, today.

I’ve decided to prioritize just a few things, and be sure to rock these things.

The title of this post is FOCUS. Both because I am narrowing my FOCUS to just three things: work, play & PN. But also because the name of the PN team I’m in is called team FOCUS. It all fits in nicely.


Thus far I’ve posted three PN posts under that PN tab up top, (one, two and three – if you’re interested). I’m really enjoying the program. If you’ve read the posts you’ll recal that we focus on three things in PN (that’s where I got the magic number three from – no historical mythological connections here). The three PN things we FOCUS on are: lesson, habit & workout.


I’m extrapolating this tactic to the other areas of my life. Hopefully to find some personal balance and success in my endeavors. What this means for the blog: in the coming months I will be posting less. I post about 7 posts per month, but for at least the next three months I’ll be posting fewer than that. I certainly enjoy writing and posting, so occasionally writing a blog post will fall under the category of “fun”. But I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to post a particular post at a particular time.

See you in the fall! When I’ll be sure to tell you all about how much I’ve rocked my work, play & PN over the summer.



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24. save money

Number 24 on my 25 before 25 list is to save money. As you may remember, last January I talked about saving money. I had realized that a lot of people I know had included saving money on their list of resolutions, so I took some helpful hints that intelligent people have shared with me and posted them here.

Now let’s see how good I am at following my own advice. If you recall the three tips, boiled down, are:

  1. Cut up all your credit cards.
  2. Minimize shopping.
  3. Create a budget and stick to it.


If we take a look at the first one, cut up all your credit cards, since January 2013 I have actually done the opposite. Before 2013 I did not have a credit card. My excuse is that I am trying to build credit. My past experiences with credit cards have taught me to be careful with them, so I try to keep this in mind. It’s one of those reward credit cards that I also try to justify having seeing as it is a great rewards card. We’ll see if I keep the card throughout 2014.

Moving on to number two, minimize shopping. This one I have been more or less successful with. More successful with when I have less money, and less successful with when I have more money. If I want to reach my savings goals by the time I turn 25 I will have to focus on saving more when I have more money, rather than spending more.

Number three, create a budget, I have done since I wrote the first post. Sticking to it is a different story. I have stuck to my budget for the past 5 months though, so at least I’m moving in the right direction.

money money money

In the coming months I’m going to refocus on my own advice. Follow it a little more. Let’s see how that goes. I wish I disliked spending money in the way that Ishmael dislikes spending money. Things would be easier then.

“The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us.”               – Herman Mellvile

As long as we put child birth aside, I wish I agreed more with him. It’s probably a good idea to model one’s choices after Ishmael’s opinions, right?


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2013 – looking back

At the end of each year I like to take a moment to reflect on a year gone. Okay, no, that was a bold faced lie, sounded good though, right?

This year at least I would like to take a look at last year’s New Year’s resolutions which read as follows:

  1. Paint a painting.
  2. Find a lasagna recipe Evelina enjoys as much as I do.
  3. Make homemade macaroni and cheese.
  4. Bake a rulltårta.
  5. Watch more movies.


It seems the only resolution I have successfully been able to follow is number five. To be fair I have also completed 3 & 4, but really just in the past few days as a last ditch attempt to be successful with my resolutions. Yes, I deem 3/5 successful. Passing grade people!

In regards to the first two. I’m pretty okay with their lack of completion, as they are both well on their way. For my birthday Evelina got me two canvases and some paints. I have already planned out what I am going to paint and how I’m going to paint it. Half way there. As for number 2…Evelina has exasperatingly explained that she does not like lasagna. She will not like lasagna. As she does not like cheese, which is a main ingredient in lasagna. Little does she know I plan on adding these two uncompleted resolutions to my new resolution list (coming 2014) and I have a little something up my sleeve. Cue evil laugh.

found here

found here

I don’t want to dwell on the things I haven’t accomplished, but rather take a look at the things I have.

  1. Well on my way on learning Swedish
  2. Read Wuthering Heights
  3. Went to Mexico
  4. Read a book a month (despite some delays in posting about it – coming soon)
  5. Own the complete 10 seasons of Friends


And those are just the things off of my 25 before 25 list. I’ve even:

  1. Planned a Lucia celebration
  2. Celebrated my Dad’s birthday with him
  3. Attended my brother’s high school graduation
  4. Listened to my calendar when it told me to eat chocolate for breakfast
  5. Learned even more about Sweden


I’d say this has been a successful year.