All right, it’s June! It has officially been over a year since I started my current job and moved back to Norway. I still feel a bit clueless at what I am doing, but I think the pieces are finally starting to fall into place. Fingers crossed.
This month saw a massive spike in our “misc” spending as we
wasted invested over $600 on our relationship. That was a few weeks before we decided to just throw caution to the wind and just go ahead and get married next month. It’ll be a crazy ride, and our net worth won’t see much of an increase, but it’ll be worth it for sure.
Being in Svalbard has its interesting realities.
Like, say, the wifi crapping out and staying out in both the student houses and the university over a long, public holiday weekend. Let’s just say the computer labs have been unusually crowded over the last few days, as they have good old fashioned ethernet connection.
But that is not what I am going to focus on for this post.
On the contrary, it is something that has been on my mind for the past couple of weeks, namely the fact that no one is going to fix everything for you.
But more than that, the realisation that when we brush aside an issue, big or small, with “someone else is going to deal with it”, we need to realise that those “someone else” might not even exist. The only way something will get done for sure, is by us taking the time to sit down and do it ourselves.
This goes for blogging, this goes for environmental issues, it goes for financial literacy, politics, work – it goes for just about anything!
I’ll be honest, when people complimented my autism post with things like “this must have been so difficult for you to write!”, I didn’t understand what they meant.
My autism diagnosis and online reading about it was a positive experience for me. I finally had words and a way to explain how I felt and how I saw the world. Writing about it made me feel empowered and understood – so writing a post about the good side of autism was not difficult for me.
It was the same with the anxiety one. It was relatively easy to write. I am an anxious critter – anxiety and autism usually go hand in hand, so that made sense, right? No reason to call off the sunshine picnic!
Then I started writing this post and…
I now understand why people find it difficult to write about their mental health.
This piece of crap had me in tatters. I had to look at parts of myself that I have taught myself to subconsciously and consciously avoid. It made me feel like a wounded animal, and like a wounded animal – I wanted to cover up the painful parts and hide them from the world.
So enjoy this messy trip down I-don’t-even-know-where as I angst out about an impending event. In many ways quite possibly the worst imaginable event in any person’s life if they struggle with self-erasure.
If you are into things like house hacking and alternative living arrangements, there is a fair chance you might have heard about the tiny house movement. There is a whole little sub-group devoted to tiny house living online, and the pictures of their homes are to die for!
At least I think so.
But then again, maybe it’s easy to make your home look rad when you have photography skills like these and video crews like these. If you are Norwegian, there is also an excellent introductory article right here.
I will be honest with you, I just keep coveting tiny houses. Whenever a post about them turns up in my feed somewhere, I am inclined to give it a click – especially if there are pictures! I even went so far as to download a free tiny house building plan at one point.
It’s still there, sitting in one of my many folders.
But coveting and idyllic pictures aside. What are the nitty gritty details about tiny house living? Obviously we can’t answer all the questions we have with regards to tiny living without actually living in one. But we can do some due diligence and try to figure out if we could make it work for us.
Wow, I cannot believe it has been a year already.
This time last year, I was packing up my last remnants of London life and preparing to fly back to Norway where I had a four year contract lined up – the safest I had been financially since I was a student receiving scholarships (which is the safest financially I had ever been as an adult).
This month had its ups and downs. I did not manage to reach my goal of 50 % to savings/investments, but instead spent quite a bit on groceries. I am currently living in Svalbard for a course, and planning for food I will manage to eat up within a seven week period is challenging. Plus there is field work, where you really should have energy dense and often expensive emergency foods like chocolate, nuts and dried fruits.
It’s just me up here, so of course I am indulging in comfort foods because I miss Mr. E. and evening couch potato snuggling. It has also been amazing, with hiking, polar fox sightings and many new friendships and relations.
I’ve come to a conclusion, you all. It’s a really shocking one:
I can’t do everything.
Even in this day and age where “everyone” can do what they set out to do, there are still only so many hours in a day.
This realisation emerged as I read Tanja’s post about staying engaged at work to get through the saving years, and then further solidified when I read a rant about people not being willing to put in the hard work and the long hours to get the results they said they wanted.
Can we, just for a moment, take a step back and stop romanticising burning the candle from both ends and working yourself to the point of a mental and physical breakdown?
Good, moving on.
I’ve been in Longyearbyen for a few days now, and it is an interesting city from almost any standpoint (at least my staindpoints). The thing that struck me the most after taking a short stroll through the city, is that parts of the community here could be used as a “stencil” for an idealised version of how universal basic income (UBI) might work.
I’ve previously written another post about UBI, and you can find it here:
To understand why, you need to understand where Longyearbyen and Svalbard started.
In the beginning, the primary settlements in Svalbard were mining communities. Svalbard has rich coal reserves, and the first settlements were hardworking people from different countries.
Over the years though, the primary “industry” has changed from mining to research, education in an Arctic setting and tourism. There is still mining activity, but nowhere near as much any more.
I am afraid I can only muster a short post today. I just arrived in Svalbard today to spend the next seven weeks attending an intensive course about organic pollutants. I have peeked at the schedule, and it will be taking no prisoners.
So instead, I will implore you to head over to my friend Femme’s excellent blog where I recently wrote my first ever guest post! Femme approached me after the quite popular Autism and Personal Finances post I wrote a few weeks back, and very kindly asked me if I wanted to write a post for her autism awareness month feature.
Initially, I didn’t quite know what to write, having written the autism post I had set out to write, but one of Femme’s suggestions about autism and disableism set me off, and off I went.
It is perhaps a little more raw and dark compared to some of the posts on this blog. I try my best to write in a lighthearted and cheerful tone, but some truths cannot be taken too lightly, or they will not come across as they should.
So please, head on over and read the post I wrote about my meeting with disableism and work. And while you’re there, please make sure you read some of her other amazing posts as well!