How are you structuring your day? Jumping from one task to another? Constant interruptions and constantly checking your e-mails or Facebook? Recently, I discovered the magic hours. I thought I was efficient, but magic has just happened!
My Inspirational Morning
The first change I did was stopping to check e-mails as soon I woke up! For some reason, I felt that I had to be on top of my workday from 6 am. Do you? Now, I’m trying to enjoy the morning hours. Listen to some good music, an inspirational video or maybe read a few pages in a book!
The Magic Hours That Will Boost Your Productivity!
Mr Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist and bestselling author, is the man behind the magic. He has shared six secrets to managing your time. His research shows that you are at your most productive are a couple of hours after you wake up.
My Tuesday Magic!
Very often, my days are packed with meetings. I mean packed! From 8am-17pm+! Today was different. My first meeting was at noon. Yeah! With the magic hours in mind, I made the most out my morning!
I dropped the boys off at kindergarten before 9 am. Then I had some incredible productive hours from 9am-12pm. This was GTD philosophy in action. GTD? – Get Things Done!
I checked my e-mails, then I shut down Outlook. Then, I was on fire! For three hours, I felt like producing a week of work! A day rhythm to copy! But this is not easy. I’m not completely in charge of my calendar.
Still, I can always do something. I will make an effort! Twice a week, I will try to make space in my calendar to make the most out the magic hours before noon.
And this afternoon, I did finalized my workday in an unusual way! Check out my Snapchat – username ceciliaflatum – to know the secret out what I did! 😉 Do it now! In a few hours, my snap story will be gone!
Have terrific week!
PS – Who to follow Snapchat business – add ceciliaflatum
Social media has created a jungle for the business world, both established companies and upcoming entrepreneurs. Some master it perfectly! For many it’s a struggle, and they get lost! Let’s talk about Snapchat!
For months, I planned to start sharing blog snapchats, but I didn’t dare to do it! This week, I did!
5 Business Snapchat Experts That Inspires Me!
I didn’t get Snapchat in a more professional way, until I saw United Influencers CEO Thomas Moen‘s snaps. He gives great marketing and social media tips! In addition, he shares stories from his journeys and interacts with his followers. Username tornsuits
Second, I like to watch the Classy career girl snapchats. Anna Runyan is sharing good vibes and advice about loving your work and loving your life. A true inspiration! Username classycareer
Third, I have tell you about John Lee Dumas! This is mr Entrepreneur on fire on Snapchat. He looks you straight into your eyes and shares motivational thoughts every day. Join his fire nation! A must follow for any entrepreneur! Username johnleedumas
Fourth, IG – Motivation_Mondays shares nothing but a black screen and inspirational quotes! Username mikeyfromthe6
Finally. Recently, I discovered investor and entrepreneur Tai Lopez on Snapchat. He is famous for 67 steps. I don’t know how many SC followers he has, but with 505.000 followers on Instragram, I guess he got a few on Snapchat, as well. Tai shares coaching advice and a lot from his life. Username tailopez
My Snapchat Concept
First, I decided to not take it so seriously! Be creative and play with it! Maybe, I make some silly snaps. Who cares?!
Second, I make a snap story about a topic, that inspires me that day! I share a business tip or a behind the scenes view. Like the other day, when I joined the TEDx coaching session. Normally, it’s quite short, 4-5 snaps.
Third, I watch other snappers to learn more about how I can use filters and others effects in a cool way!
Finally, most important! I have fun! 😀
This weekend, I kissed a duck on snapchat! I shared my secret tip about going Duck Style! It’s been on for 24 hours and now it’s all gone. I will share it again on my blog this week.
For more, add ceciliaflatum!
And please share below, if you have any Snapchat favorites!!!
What’s the very first thing you do in the morning? Snooze? Check e-mails? Check Facebook? Take a shower? Check Facebook, again? Your morning habits affect your whole day, for better or worse!
By coincidence, I was inspired to change my morning routine. I watched a Facebook live, by Gry Sinding, where she talked about why she read 30 minutes every morning. I read an article in the newspaper, where five leaders shared their morning routine. I’m reading the book, I’ll tell you my secret, by the eccentric billionaire Petter Stordalen, where he shares his morning routine. Different stories, different routines, but they inspired me to think about my own morning routine.
Are You, Like Me, Addicted To Check E-mails?
A poll done by emarketer, shows that almost everyone checks messages as a part of their morning routine. Nearly 50 % of the respondents had checked Facebook. I fit perfectly in to these findings. Sleeping with my iPhone on my nightstand, I have been checking different social medias and doing some e-mails, even before getting out of bed. What an inspiring way to wake up my creative brain cells? Not!
Time For A Change!
I decided to try something new. Many advised me to have the same morning routine, every day. Sorry, I can’t do it! The reason is my two beautiful toddlers. Every second day, we have a fixed morning routine together.
So I decided to change my morning routine, the other every second day, when their father take them down for breakfast and getting them ready for kindergarten. I decided to make some small changes, that I could stick to.
10 Minutes of Mind Blowing Inspiration!
This is what I have been doing. I give myself a ten minutes of motivation and inspiration, before getting out of bed.
I find a short motivational video on YouTube. Below I share one, that I listened to the other day.
I use the TED app and find a TED talk about an interesting topic. It can be leadership or something completely different.
I read a book for ten minutes. For a long time, I’ve used the Storyteller app, but I have started reading again. As I wrote above, I’m now reading the fascinating story about mr Stordalen has been running his business. It’s perfect for a short morning inspiration. Short chapters with inspirational stories.
After a shower, I go downstairs and join my family for breakfast. Already at this stage, I can feel my brain being more active and enthusiastic!
Previously, when I read e-mails, I started thinking about all kind of details and things I had to do. A real creativity killer!
The brain absorbs my morning inspiration like a sponge! When I leave our house, I feel lighter and more energetic for a great day at work.
Finally, on the bus I do my first quick e-mail session!
Try it out and share your experience!
Have a great day!
PS – Stay tuned for my next blog post. I will share the secrets about the magic hours! Register your e-mail below!
Last Tuesday, I was sitting alone in my office at home. I felt worried and indisposed. I tried to focus on work, but I couldn’t concentrate. I felt a undefined pain in my stomach. I was only thinking about the most important in my life.
How were they doing? Where they having a good time? Did they think about me? Did they miss me? I was, for sure, missing them. My feelings were out of control! It felt like I was experiencing a break-up!
I wasn’t recovering from a break-up! I was twin mom, recovering from a kindergarten start-up!
Our new life!
Vacation has coming to an end. We’re thrown into a completely new daily routine. The boys have started kindergarten. And they absolutely love it! They have many new friends and learn so much new. Every day must feel like an adventure!
Still, I feel anxious and afraid. These questions are circling around in my head:
Will I become the career mother, who never picks up her boys at kindergarten, after work or if they get sick?
Will I become the career mother, who doesn’t have time to take the boys to birthday parties or attend happenings at the kindergarten?
Will I become the career mother, who serve bought cakes at the boys’ birthday party? 😉
Winnie the Pooh and I said: Both!
Last October, I returned to work after being home with my twin boys for one year. I had a battle inside me, which I’ve been fighting ever since. The battle between motherhood and career. I decided to choose both.
Overall, I feel that I’ve been doing okay the last 10 months. It has been a weekly and daily juggle. But Alexander and I have managed to plan and adjust to the best for the boys and our work. I have prioritized and made some sacrifices. There have been many long working nights. And there have been many times were I have left work early and said:
I have today´s most important meeting coming up. The meeting with my boys!
Yet, two important factors was:
A double cash benefit for parents with small children
A private nanny
First Week! I’ve Failed, Big Time!
We have done like most other parents. Drop-off and pick-ups are shared and planned. I even bought a huge magnet week calendar to make sure we both keep control of family activities.
So, how did I do the first week? Well, not very good!
Wednesday was my first pick-up day. My work day was super busy, and at noon I had to call Alex. – Help, can you pick up the boys?
Thursday! Yes, this was my second pick-up day. Shit! I had forgotten about a meeting! I had to call Alex, again. – Help, can you pick up the boys?
Friday! I promised to both drop-off and pick-up the boys. If I was to the drop-off, I had to do at 7.30 am and Alex could do it at 9 am, so he did it! And finally, at 3.15 pm, I picked up my precious boys!
How Can I Improve?
This weekend, I’ve been thinking about, how I can improve our family schedule.
This is what I have done.
I have scheduled my drop-offs and pick-ups, blocking my Outlook calendar. (Still, this only means I have control of internal meeting bookings)
I have started preparing more the evening before. I’m “leaning” our morning routine!
I have started to ask colleagues, about how they make their daily routine work
But I really feel that this will be my biggest challenge! How to make my schedule fit!? What do I, when unplanned incidents occur.
Many have advised us to get an au pair. Still, we hesitate. We want to raise our boys ourselves, even though we’ve busy lives.
This Sunday had to come! The last day of a great vacation! I have enjoyed every minute of this Sunday. But Monday is coming my way at full speed! Fortunately, I’ve already been home a week. How about you? Do you have an open suitcase in the hallway, knowing it will stay there for at least a week.
There’s no way back! Duty calls!
Whether you like it or not! Life is forced back to your every day rhythm. You must:
Go to bed earlier and set the alarm!
Drink less wine in the evening!
Get up early in morning (Hey! One of the advantages of having toddlers. I’ve been up before 7 am every day this summer) 😉
This is how I plan to survive my first week at work!
5 Actions To Survive The First Week At Work
1) A transition day or two! If possible, use the first day(s) as a transition period. Not everybody are back from vacation. It might be a possibility to take some shorter days. For me, and most other leaders, this means working a normal eight hours days.
2) No or few meetings! Having few meetings the first day give you time to get an overview and plan your work for the coming weeks! If you didn’t sort out your e-mails before your vacation, do it now!
3) Make a plan! Take a step back, review, prioritize, set some goals and make a plan for the autumn. I often use mind mapping, when I do this. Check my popular mind mapping blog post!
4) Don’t surf the internet or watch the Olympics! It’s easy to drift off and surf the internet for hours. Maybe you are curious on how it goes in Rio! Stop it. Do your work. Go home and watch the olympics from your couch!
5) Prolong the summer feeling! For us in Oslo, this is not so easy. Lately, it’s been raining like crazy! But if it’s sunny, where you are! Go for an afternoon swim in the sea, take a boat trip or go on a hike this weekend!
If you’re not planning for an autumn vacation, you’ve 4,5 months of work before your Christmas holiday. Make sure you get a good start!
I wish you a great Monday!
PS – Please register below for e-mails updates, when I post. I only post two times a week and will not spam you!
Finally, it’s a fact! We’ll see skateboarding in the Olympic Summer Games! This week, the IOC announced that five new sports will be a part of the program in Tokyo 2020. Strong voices, like legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, have pushed for it. Others have worked fiercely against it!
Once again, long-term trusted relations are the most important to gain political power. Once again, independent sports have been forced into traditional organizational structures. Once again, I claim, that agreements have made behind closed doors.
I smell trouble! Congratulations to the IOC! Skateboarders, you have my condolences!
I have followed this process for years. My interest and insight into international action sports politics come from more than a decade of political work within snowboarding, both on a national and international level.
Together with many other snowboarders, I have invested many hours to ensure international independence for snowboarding. A practically hopeless fight against two strong and related organizations, the IOC and the International Ski Federation (FIS).
The IOC – On A Mission To Connect With The Urban Youth
It has long been clear that the IOC must make the Olympic Games more attractive to the younger audience. A Bloomberg view article reported that London 2012 had a prime-time median age in the 50s. This must change, if not the interest and market value of the Olympic Games will decrease.
Urban sports, with a more youthful spirit, to attract younger audiences have been needed. In Beijing 2008 and London 2012, BMX was on the summer program. At the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014, freeski (several diciplines) and slopestyle for snowboard was on the program. Big air is on its way to Pyeongchang 2018.
In the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in China, skateboard was presented as a showcased sport, paving the way for Tokyo 2020.
Now we know, in four years, we’ll see both skateboard, surfing, sports climbing, baseball/softball, karate and surfing. Well done, IOC!
A 92 Year Old Governs And Owns Skateboarding!
Before London 2012, IOC looked into how skateboarding could be introduced. The answer was that the International Cycling Union should govern skateboarding. A skateboard goes on wheels.. Right? Do you follow? Me, neither..
Three international federations have been fighting to become the governing body for skateboarding. The International Skateboard Federation, the World Skateboard Federation and the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS). After a fierce a battle, the IOC found a more acceptable way.
FIRS, a federation with all the criteria and relations in place, won the battle. An easy and safe option for the IOC.
In the world of sports, old structures are paving the way. New progressive sports, longing the Olympic gold, are forced into ancient structures.
Civil War I – The International One!
Instead of uniting all international skateboard federations (I have counted six) under one umbrella, trying to become the new recognized international federation, they started fighting each other. And it’s still going on. Two days ago, it was known that one skateboard association is actually suing its skateboard “rival”.
The winner of the Olympic battle was announced earlier this year. FIRS was the winner. It started to boil under the skateboard. Then a smart move was made to silence the revolt.
A FIRS commission was proposed to oversee the skateboarding competition at 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It’s headed by Gary Ream, the CEO of the International Skateboard Federation. In addition, FIRS, World Skateboard Federation and an athlete representative are represented in the commission.
This might feel great! But really, what power does this commission really have? A comparison to snowboard would that, World Snowboard Tour president Reto Lamm should be heading the FIS snowboard committee.
Skateboarding is, for now, leading a commission on the operational floor. But we all know that the real power is on the political level.
If skateboarders really want to regain the control our their sport, they must get skateboarders into the FIRS executive board and FIRS congress.
Civil War II – The National One!
The international cards have been dealt. FIRS is in charge. The next battle will be on the national level. All nations have a different organizational structure for sports and different levels of democracy.
What happens on the national level is just as important for a sport. I will explain this, by using an example from snowboarding.
In Norway, snowboarding is organized with its own federation with its own board with a direct line to the national sports federation. Lucky us! We are sidelined with the ski federation and get the financial support directly, both to national teams, national cup and grass root activities.
When the IOC gave the rights to snowboarding to the FIS in the late 90s, the national ski federations established their own snowboard organizations. Snowboard committees within the ski federations emerged. Many, who are still primarily focusing on the national teams and the Olympics. And they get all the governmental fundings.
The existing independent snowboard associations were pushed out into the cold. These snowboard associations often take care of the grass root, groom and rookie level. This is great! There is only a huge problem. They rarely get any governmental funding.
Some countries have only one snowboarding body within a ski federation, who deals with all levels of the sport. One good example is Switzerland, where it’s working fine.
In order to participate in the Olympic Summer Games, every nations must get their act together and include skateboard into the organized sport.
And again, every nation is different. In Norway, the National Organization for Skateboarding has been around for almost 40 years. They are independent and not, today, a member of the Norwegian Sports Federation. In order to be a part of Tokyo 2020, they must somehow become a member.
This week, the Norwegian national snowboard president stretched out a hand to the skateboarders, suggesting to establish a national board sports association. The idea is to create a new platform against the more traditional sports. One model of many.
Now, it really starts getting complicated. FIRS, the international governing body for skateboarding, already have a member federation in most countries. In Norway, it’s the Norwegian Skating Association. I don’t believe that the skateboarders want to be organized with speed skating, figure skating and roller skating. Or will FIRS allow membership from two national federations? If so, it would be a first timer.
I know, this is complicated! And this has been the reality for snowboarding since the 90s.
I really hope the national sports federations and national olympic committees work for one national skateboard association! Respect the existing skateboard association, before the existing national member of FIRS starts establishing a new one!
The Olympics Will Change Skateboard Forever!
Until now, commercial events like the X Games and the Street League Skateboarding have been the most important and pinnacle events. A mecca for skateboarders, sponsors and the TV producers. But I guess, that the nations with national teams have not been present. 😉
This will change. To be an olympian is a childhood dream for so many. Over the next four, eight, twelve years, I believe that young skateboarders (and at least their parents, their sponsors, national olympic committees and national coaches (yes, it will become more structured)) will dream about and chase the Olympic skateboarding podium.
National teams, development plans, drug testing and daily work-outs at national olympic training facilities will be a fact for professional skateboarders. Just like it has become a daily life for professional snowboarders.
I guess that, this is painful to read, for a true skateboarding heart!
Will Tokyo 2020 Be A Success?
This depends on who you ask. The most important is that most of the best skateboarders participate, that the venue is good and that the judging is fair.
After Sochi 2014, many snowboarders were shaking their heads because of the slopestyle judging, the halfpipe conditions and the fact that snowboard still governed by the FIS. But if I asked any IOC member, they were super proud about the success they had achieved together with the organizers in Sochi and the FIS.
The Olympics is about sports, but it a lot about money. A lot of money. The IOC channels a substantial part back to the nations and the sports. The nations get their share via the national olympic committee. The sports get a share via their international sports federations.
This is why the political power in the international federation is so important.
So, yes I believe skateboarding in Tokyo 2020 will be a success. We’ll see most of the best skateboarders there. Some might boycott. Others might not be able to participate because of the national quotas.
As long as Tokyo 2020 hires the best venue builders and experienced judgers they will be fine.
The skateboarders who enters the podium will be superheroes!
The recruitment to skateboarding will thrive. The same will the skateboarding industry. But you must be in the political driving seat of your sport to get the long term benefits of the Olympic Games!
My Best Advice To The Skateboarding Community!
Okay, FIRS has it. Not much to do about it.
My biggest fear is that skateboarding will end up in a mess of conflicts like snowboarding. Several ongoing world tours and world championships, different judging systems, national independent federations without governmental support, events that cannot survive the four year olympic cycle, a confused audience and loss of sponsors. A terrible reality for the snowboarders today!
I don’t believe the Olympics will contribute to the creative development of skateboarding. It will make a hardcore sport. An acrobatic and structured sport! Look how halfpipe has changed on the last decade.
To the skateboarders! Don’t lose your creativity nor your values. True skateboarding will continue to develop, every day in the streets. Keep on skateboarding! Be creative! Stick to your values!
But you will need a professional political structure, in order not to get robbed, like snowboarding has been.
To you guys at the tops! Lean in and learn the game of sports politics, stick together and claim your political rights, on the international and national level! Skateboarders, the industry and nations must stand together!
International sports is all about money and power.
Money and power, that should be channeled back to the true grassroot of skateboarding!
The future is uncertain! But your choices and commitment of today define the future!
Cecilia – going sideways, always!
Cecilia Flatum was the president of the Norwegian Snowboard Association 2009-2015 (a board member/ vice chairman 2003-2007), and the Vice president of World Snowboard Federation (2012-2016)
What would you do, if your boss told you, that you could take an unlimited time off? Pack your bags. Hasta la vista, see you in three months?
To my surprise, I discovered that several companies have very liberal vacation policies.
The Most Important Is To Get Work Done
Many companies are already flexible on the working hours and from where you work. Why control number of days you take time to travel or relax? The most important is that the job gets done, not the number of hours you work!
If you want to work smarter, check out my series of “Get Work Done” blog posts!
5 days or 5 weeks
There are big differences between countries, when it comes to how many days of paid vacation, a full-time employee is entitled to. According to wikipedia, China has only five days. In Norway, we have five weeks! In the US, many doesn’t have a paid vacation. No wonder, the country is often called the “no vacation nation”.
3 Companies With Flexible Vacation Policies!
Twitter has a non-accrual vacation time policy. To Fortune.com, Brian “Skip” Schipper, Vice President of Human Resources says: It’s a policy adopted in the spirit of trust and empowerment.
Virgin let all salaried staff to take time off, when they want, as long as they want. You don’t even have to ask or keep track of days. I’m not surprised! CEO Richard Branson is a pioneer in many fields, also in this area!
General Electric empowers employees to take the time they need, when they need it. Susan Peters, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at GE recently shared a LinkedIn post about it.
Why Is Unlimited Vacation Good?
Empower your employees to take responsibility
Treat employees as individuals
Give flexibility, you can take a longer vacation some years and shorter other years
Easier to maintain a work-life balance
A recruitment carrot and to retain staff
Why Might Unlimited Vacation Be A Challenge?
If you are a workaholic, you might not take any time off at all. In the long run, this is not good for you (or your family)
You might be affected by the number of vacation days that your boss or colleagues take. Eventually a company culture evolves, and it might not fit your lifestyle
Unlimited vacation sounds great, but make sure you read all the legal stuff written in small letters
For the company, it can be difficult to verify that the work actually gets done according to the expected standards
Cecilia 🙂 – with 1 week of vacation to go
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I’m one week into a two weeks camping trip! For the time being, our home is rolling on four wheels! After our trip to Greece, we wanted to try something new. No plans, be mobile and drive according to the weather forecast.
A wet and windy dream, but a very different reality! The picture below is my snap from the departure day! Haha!
My Wet And Windy Camping Dream
Going on a mobile home trip might sounds like a great idea. Everybody applauded the idea, when I told friends about it.
This was my dream:
Drive and check-out different beaches
Park overnight at a beach
Watch the sunset, while having a family and friends BBQ
Read a book before bedtime
Do yoga in the sunrise
Cruising on my sailboard, while the boys were playing in the sand
The True Story About Windsurf Camping!
Hey, wake-up! Often vacations doesn’t turn out like planned. Camping is not the romantic, family dream, I believed in. My expectations were too high and we didn’t do enough research.
There are many things you can’t control. One of them is the weather! Truth is, there is no wind in Scandinavia right now. Ooops, what to do? We do our best to get that energy out! Stand-up paddle, punning, yoga, gym and play with the toddler boys!
We have visited many beautiful beaches. The is only a big problem! It isn’t allowed to park overnight. So far, we have ended up staying at huge, annoying and overcrowded camping sites, on streets or in harbors. I don’t mean to sound mean and posh, but we really don’t like being stuffed in with 100s of caravans far away from the sea. At one of the sites, our neighbor had spend every summer there since 1977! We paid for two nights, and stayed one night. Then we escaped!
Pandora’s Exploding Box & Tortellini Between My Toes!
The car is nice and fairly spacious, with a lot of smart storage rooms. Being a management consultant, I actually made a plan on how to keep our things in a smart and lean order. My calculations went wrong! I didn’t estimate the uncertain variables, like bumps on the road, sudden weather changes, sand and food on the floor.
Whenever, I open a cupboard, things are flying out. Actually, it just started to rain! The rain coats are below the surf boards and the bed. Alex…help! You must come and lift the bed! I clean the floor every day, but ouch, I just step into some sand covered tortellini.
I can hardly move around in the car, because it’s filled with windsurf and SUP gear. Not to forget two car child seats. In addition, we took a trip to Ullared, Scandinavia’s largest warehouse. After the visit, there is a racing car, a viking ship and toy lawn mover inside our mobile home. Plastic is fantastic..!
A Family With Cabin Fever!
Camping is all about staying outside the mobile home. But when we park at a guest harbor or in a street, with water or fast cars on all sides, there is no option. We cannot have the two toddlers running around. Too many hours we have been stuck in the mobile home. Oh yes…with all the surf boards, the cars seats, the sand and the plastic-fantastic toys!
What’s THAT Smell!
Doing the daily sanitary work is no problem. The real problem was that even if we emptied the latrine daily, there was still a horrible septic smell in the car. No cleaning or air freshener could kill it. Then we discovered a smelly pond under the car. There had to be a second tank, which the rental company hadn’t told us about. And yes! After checking around and under the car, we found a huge overfilled tank with spill water. We manage the empty it! One problem solved!
No Sunset Nor Sunrise!
So far, I haven’t seen the sunset. Every evening around 8-9 pm we were trying to get the two twin toddlers to sleep. They think the mobile home is great fun, day and night! They spin around in their elevated bed above the driver seat. When one is sleeping, the other wakes him up.
Eight hours later, I don’t see the sunrise, either. I’m in a coma. I wake up every time a train passes behind the mobile home or when I have to get up and calm down one of the little ones.
I Was Naive!
My Swedish mother said to me – But Cecilia! What did you expect? You are in Bohuslän and Halland, Sweden. It’s always very crowded in July!
Maybe my dream would have been possible on a windy day in October, but never in July!
One more week!
Okay, I admit it! I had a glorified view on the camping life in a mobile home. But I will keep on going for one more week!
I just checked windguru! Wind is on its way to Hvaler, and so are we!
Today started off like July 22, five years ago. On vacation abroad! A sunny, beautiful day. Yet, I can still remember every detail of July 22, 2011. The day took a dramatic turn around noon. A BOMB had gone off in Oslo! The worst hadn’t started yet! A crazy gun man had a second mission! My quiet and safe country, where not even the police carry a gun, was under threat.
All Norwegians have a special relationship to July 22. For my generation, the date brings out stronger emotions than dates in the remembrance of World War II. Five years ago, terror hit Norway. During three horrible hours, 77 people, mostly teenagers, were taken away from us!
77 people were killed by one man. Hundreds of next of kin were thrown into an endless grief. My thoughts today go to the sisters, brothers, parents, grand parents and friends of the victims and those who survived the attacks!
I was, in a hotel room in Muscat, Oman, watching the sad news on every international news channel. All I wanted, was to get home as fast as possible. I didn’t personally know any of the victims, but like the rest of Norway I grieved.
A week ago, text messages between brave teenagers, hiding from the gun man, and desperate parents were published in a Norwegian newspaper. I couldn’t stop crying, when I read the strong messages. Some parents got replies. Others didn’t.
It has been said. Time heals all wounds. I’m not sure. No one should experience losing a child. Both a life and a future are lost.
The Norwegians answered with love and roses
The days and weeks after July 22, Oslo was covered in red roses. The Norwegians held hands and answered terror with love, not hate. The whole world found this extra ordinary. Still, I ask if we have done the same if the terrorist had been from a different country and religion. We will never find out!
The years after 2011, we experienced conflicts. Where should memorials be established? Should the bomb car be a part of an exhibitions? For how many years should the day have public commemorations in Norway’s many municipalities? We learned that people grieve differently. Many relatives and volunteer rescuers are still struggling to live a normal life. I read that 51 % of the parents are still not working like before July 22, 2011.
Recently, we have had other devastating terror attacks. It has been less than a week since Nice was covered in blood. Some relatives and survivors from Norway work as volunteers to help families, who experience the same. I admire their courage!
We cannot carry the grief for others, but we can all do something. Please, show that you care, remember the victims with dignity and make sure that new generations learn about this day.
What can we, you and I do?
Show that we care, and respect different ways of processing grief. Often, we don’t know what to say. This is okay. Maybe, you don’t have to say anything. A warm, heartly hug or a hand to hold can be a good start.
Take a “time-out” every July 22, and respectfully remember those who lost their lives. Share your experience and thoughts from this day.
Visit a memorial site, like the Ring at Utoeya island. I will take my boys there, when they get older.
Terrorism is an attack on our democratic values and symbols.Don’t let terror control your actions or travel destinations. If you do, the terrorists have won!
Show respect and help out, when other nations experience terror!
Finally, I send my warmest love and thoughts to relatives and friends of victims of July 22 and other terror attacks! Every terror attack is a black day in our history! Share some love, spread some sunshine!
Greece has been a blast. I truly love water sport vacations! This is not a beauty blog, but today I want to share a skin care advice :).
In case you wonder, this is not product placement or a sponsored post. Just me, sharing my experience, after a decade on the board on the water.
Protect Yourself From The Sun!
The sun has a strong effect, when you have fun in the water. Even if it’s clouded, you should take precautions and use a high sun protection factor (SPF).
When I go on windsurf / SUP vacations, I prefer to go somewhere where a wetsuit is not needed. Hey, I live in Norway!! We are wrapped up in thick clothes most of the year. When the sun is shining and the water is warm, a bikini is the only suitable clothing!
I have tested many different sunscreens for water sports, but I always come back to some favorites.
Riemann P20 for body and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour® Cream for face and lips!
Why is Riemann P20 my no. 1 choice for body?
It’s super easy to apply and not greasy. It’s not white, so I don’t get white spots all over your bikini. It absorbs quickly, and my skin feels smooth. It doesn’t contain perfume or parabens.
Finally, the most important, the sun screen is incredible water resistant, even after hours of water sports! I only use SPF 30 and 50.
Why is Elizabeth Arden no. 1 choice for face and lips?
I always wear a very high SPF on my face and lips, in order to reduce skin cell damage. Staying long days in water, sun and wind is not exactly a beauty recipe for my face. I have tried water proof and water resistant products. The result has been that my face gets very irritated, since the skin cannot breath.
The Eight Hour® Cream series is an award winning series, and also my number one choice.
The Eight Hour® Cream Sun Defense for Face SPF 50 is very light and oil free. It’s PABA-free and a good hydration for my face. But it’s not water resistant, so I reapply often!
The stick for lips and other exposed areas (nose etc) is water-resistant and perspiration-resistant. Easy to apply and non-sticky. The stick is wide and economical in use. No color, so put it on your husband as well! 🙂
My sunscreen routine
I always buy my favorites before we leave. Just remember this, if you buy them at the airport! Even if the shopping bag is sealed, it might be taken away from you in transit in the US. I have tried it and had to give up $250 of sunscreen.
The first thing I do in the morning is to apply sunscreen. Then I know, that it has absorbed properly before I put on clothes. I don’t get a lot of sand in the sunscreen, as I would if I did it on the beach.
I always use 50 on the chest, the shoulders, top of my head, feet and hands.
I re-apply face and lips often
I re-apply the whole body before lunch.
Happy surfing and tanning!
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