short notes

short notes … #02-1
about my stepson…

Johnny Larsen is Gunlaug's son from her former marriage. He was 25 years old when I entered his mother's life.
He is a great guy that laughs and makes jokes easily when he is in the right mood, but unfor­tunately he is mentally handi­cap­ped as the result of brain-damage at birth, and can not really take care of himself.

Johnny was, for obvious reasons, very closely attached to his mom. For many years he had only her, and Gunlaug knew how to handle him in all situations – also when his brain damage caused him to have severe epileptic seisures.

Me coming into their life was something Johnny did not entirely understand to begin with, but he was kind of OK with having me around, seeing that his mother clearly was happy having me there. Although he over time may have felt that I sort of “stole” his mother away from him, at times when it was just him and me there were never any real problems.
Yes, Johnny could, and still can, get pretty mad at me at times for no apparent reason, but so what. We all may need to blow off some steam at times, and Johnny understands his own situation well enough to want to rebel.
Me (in his mind) being the outsider who came from nowhere and got too much of his mom's attention, makes me the perfect target for Johnny's helpless anger when things are not as he would like them to be. I understand him, and it is OK.

For years Johnny lived with his mother and me, and every week-day he left to tend work that suited his handicap. Slowly but steadily he showed signs to become more inde­pen­dent, and finally he was provided with a home of his own in a community – with care­takers.
For many years after getting his own home he over­nighted with us once a week, and stayed for a little longer at special occasions.

In later years he only visits us now and then – when he feels like it, and we visit him from time to time – he lives only five minutes drive from us.

Above on right you see Johnny's house, one of the first built in the community he lives in. The community is quite large, housing people with all kinds of special needs. Johnny's house is in a quiet corner close to the assistants' quarter, as that's how he likes it.
On the left Johnny and Gunlaug look at, and talk about, old and new photos we brought along on a tablet.
Both these later photos were taken in early November 1014, when Johnny invited us to have coffee and cake at his place.

Johnny is well taken care of, and as far as Gunlaug and I can see he lives as rich a life as anyone in his situation possibly can. His job literally means everything to him, and he is good at it.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 28.oct.2014
last rev: 11.nov.2014

short notes … #02-2
sharing ordinary stories…

Sharing just about everything about ones lives across the internet, seems to be the norm for many these days. Depending on what people share, that is either OK, or not. Some­times what gets shared is rather stupid, and some­times it is question­able – don't people want at least some privacy?
Some stuff should be kept off public channels no matter what, as it is not only potent­ially damaging for those who put it up there, but also for others.

Whatever I share by releasing it on my web-sites, social sites, or any other way imagin­able in today's digit­al­ized world, is thoroughly checked for correct­ness, and equally thoroughly checked against my own privacy rules. If in doubt I do not share, it is as simple as that.

We live quite ordinary lives in every respect, and as such there is “nothing much to write home about”. Gunlaug and I do however have friends around the world that we most of the time only have contact with via the internet these days, and what little our local friends and neighbors are given insight into can also be safely shared across the web.

Whatever anyone may think about the stories I share in public, I think everyone knows that it will always be only very small and well-selected parts of the real stories that are being shared. Real stories are too long and detailed to be shared in full, and privacy does matter.

So, I hope you take my stories for what they are: tiny glimpses of reality, that are put together and tweaked to become both share­able and reasonable accurate.

…and that's all.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 29.oct.2014
last rev: 30.oct.2014

short notes … #02-3
words worth sharing in a relationship…

We men often have problems expressing our true selves in a relationship. This may be because we men falsely expect our partners to somehow know how we feel, without us having to put it in so many words. Well, there's definitely a time for silence, but over the long haul too much silence on our part tends to cause damage.

Many men have actually told me that they never talked with their partners about their feelings or personal matters, as they expected their partners to sense their stand on all of that and act accordingly … ???
Do you still wonder where the words “my wife doesn't understand me” comes from?

Women may act in similar ways, by letting some “traditionally accepted” reactions hide what they really feel – especially when they're hurt. Sometimes the cues women provide work on men, but more often then not they do not work as intended. Don't women know that men must be told in pretty clear language to get anything?

Silence, and/or the inability to enter constructive dialogs when appropriate, can kill relationships. I know that, and all who over the years have shared their experiences from problematic or broken relationships with me, have confirmed it, whether they wanted to or not.

A sense of pride, combined with unwillingness to show what one fears may be perceived as weaknesses, is in my opinion the main cause so many relation­ships derail and ultimately break. “If only we had talked” is the most used refrain, uttered when it's too late to regret that they didn't.

silence is not always golden…

I am not psychic, and have never imagined my wife Gunlaug to be one of those rare mind-reading wonders either. Having the ability to read body-language is great, but it will only take us so far in understanding underlying causes. We have to talk…

Despite the fact that I have always been pretty reserved – introverted if you like, I have learned the hard way to open up and engage in dialog when necessary.
All along I have en­cour­aged Gunlaug to do the same, recog­nizing the dangers of staying silent and pretend all is good until it's to late to fix.

The first time I invited Gunlaug to a serious discussion – a couple of months after we met, she just stared at me in total disbelief. That a man actually wanted to talk about potentially problematic and personal matters, instead of just stay quiet and hope any awkward issues would simply go away, came as a huge surprise to her.
She told me that she had no experience in handling personal and relationship related issues through dialog – hadn't been any real dialog in her previous marriage as I understood it. And, because of this, in certain situations she tended to close up and become more silent than I have ever been.

Well, I have been confronted with “thundering silence” before, and nothing good has ever come out of such an approach to commu­ni­cation in a relationship.
Not easy to know what to do when this happens, but if there's a will there's a way … patience, patience…

I quietly insisted, and luckily Gunlaug warmed up to having con­struc­tive discus­sions with me, despite not know­ing exactly how to go about it and what it might lead to.
It worked to our advantage in all ways imaginable – cleared uncer­tainties out of the way, and let us focus on our romance.
Important to get ones priorities right…

Over the years Gunlaug has become rather good at opening up to me when something hasn't been or felt right, or she wanted something to change, and I think I too have improved in that area. With both being willing to talk things through, finding ways to solve potent­ially pro­blem­atic issues, before they grow out of proportion, has become a lot easier.

Clearly, neither of us are angels – at least not all the time, so having the usual “explosions” to blow off steam and frustration, before entering any form for meaningful dialog, certainly has not been uncommon over the years. Both Gunlaug and I have more than once needed extended time to sort things out and let reality sink in, in order to be able to see, and aim for, the right solutions for the two of us.

The main thing is that we have come to agreement and found solutions to our problems, in time, and every time so far. And even more important is it that we both, as individuals, have gained from the various solutions we have come up with. To top it up we have also both done our best to live up to our agreements, thus for the most part avoided ending up back where the problems started.

reality check…

Most personal problems Gunlaug and I have run into over the years, have simply “disappeared into thin air” as a result of constructive dialogs – they were not much more than the results of our individual imaginations. Other, more real issues, have lead to real improvements in practical life and in our relationship once they were sorted out, but that wasn't easy to see when we were in the midst of them.
In a sense Gunlaug and I have had very few real problems in our relationship, probably fewer than most couples experience in theirs. Besides, we have probably gained more from handling these problems the way we have, than we would have from not having them in the first place.
The thing is though, that almost every individual, real or imagined, problem of ours, could potentially have broken our relation­ship apart if left unat­tend­ed. Thus, they were definitely all worth the time and effort we have put into solving them.

No question about it: having constructive dialogs at all crossroads, is what have lead to the rather com­fort­able life and peace of mind, based on mutual under­stand­ing, trust, and lots of love, Gunlaug and I share now – after having been married for 18 years.

We most certainly have learned that “it is good to talk”, and hopefully those constructive dialogs will help us get by equally well in the future.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 13.nov.2014
last rev: 16.nov.2014

short notes … #02-4
from one heart to another…

In real relationships, not just problems should be brought up and talked about. All the positive things should also be put into words.
Good things can, and in my opinion should, be lifted to the surface and aired as often as possible. No special context or “convenient timing” is necessary for expressing and strength­ening mutual love and affection.

I am glad to say that Gunlaug over the years has heard many positively charged comments from me. These have for the most part been uttered totally out of context, and often in the strangest of situations. It just felt right to say them there and then.
My wife's reactions have shown that I have at least gotten that part about right. I have received enough positive comments in return not to complain…

What I actually say to Gunlaug in Norwegian, is unimportant and may not come out right in English if directly translated. Thus, I have borrowed some regular quotes that are “close enough for comfort”, to use as examples.

Below I have expanded on these borrowed quotes with some of my own thoughts, that I, depending on the moment, may or may not say to my wife.

“You are the reason my life feels so perfect.”
… and no matter how I look at it, that's the undisputable truth.

“You are the one thing I am most thankful for having in my life.”
… and I have a lot to compare you with … if I ever wanted to.

“I want to spend the rest of my life trying to make you happy.”
… and, when my day comes, I want to leave this world still trying.

“I cannot imagine my life without you in it.”
… oh well, I can imagine it, but I prefer not to let my mind go that route since doing so makes me feel really, really, depressed. I know what a treasure I have at my side, and nothing life has sent my way so far measures up.

“Will You marry me?”
… I don't know how many times I have asked my wife that question over the years, but I do know I will do so again. That I don't have to present that question to her anymore – she responded to it the way I wanted the first time I asked, doesn't matter.

“I am proud of You.”
… which is something I really should say more often, as she deserves it.

“You are my best friend.”
… and that she really is.

In real life I see no point in stopping here, but those who haven't gotten it by now won't be any wiser if served more quotes.

Main thing is that I know of no restrictions to what positive comments I can let my wife hear, as long as she is happy with it. Of course: if Gunlaug isn't happy with one of my comments she'll sure let me know – one way or another…

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 13.nov.2014
last rev: 13.nov.2014

short notes … #02-5
reflections on life…

Thinking before talking and/or acting, makes sense in all walks of life. Even more so within a relationship.
I prefer to go through available options before there's a real need to choose, as being prepared is useful not only for scouts.

“The greatest gift you can give someone is the space to be him or her self, without the threat of you leaving.”
… I can not see why anyone would want the one closest to them to “fake anything”, and relation­ships based on threats in any form are by definition broken. Individual freedom is a basic human right, and relation­ships should be based on mutual love and trust.

The right compromise is usually better than any individually tailored solution. “We Both Win” results always trump those “I Win, You Lose” results many aim for in relationships.
… in my experience, if there's a will, it is hardly ever too late to talk things over and find improved solutions. Get off those high horses and meet in peace on common ground – preferably with no mediators, and then take the time and effort it takes, without counting hours and days, and even years.

“Getting it over with”, is a bad excuse for trying to find answers fast.
… even in today's busy world, where all should have been done yesterday, ones life rarely ever depends on finding answers quickly. Whenever possible, one should take time to study the subject, problem or whatever properly, before concluding.
If someone wants, or sometimes even demands, quick answers from me, it is always going to be a form of “no”.

Never expect anyone else to carry your burden for you, even if you share it with them for parts of the way.
… life causes all individuals to have some form of burden – collection of incidents and experiences, that at times can be very hard to carry. Sharing our burden with others for a while, may be of immense help to us. But, making others perma­nently carry our burden in addition to their own, is neither right nor good for anyone in the company.

I like to reflect on life now and then, as, when it comes to it there isn't much else worth bothering reflecting on. And, writing down some thoughts of mine and some of others, to see how it comes out when inter-mixed, is something I find kind of interesting.

The entire process of coming up with, and then release, thoughts and ideas on the internet – like I do now, may only be a rather unimportant pass-time activity for this semi-retired technocrat. Of this I am not entirely sure, as time passes by no matter what we use it for, and there are worse things one can do than spend time on thinking and writing.

In times when I can not do much else – for health-reasons mostly, I do find an active pass-time activity like these writings of mine, to be immensely better for my own well-being than being limited to passively receive the “entertainment” and “information” mass-media channels in general have to offer.

Leaving all that the modern world has to offer behind, and really become part of nature for a while, is otherwise my preferred pass-time activity. All days I can do that, and luckily for me on most days I can, are really the best days in my life. Recommended.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 13.nov.2014
last rev: 18.nov.2014

side notes.

short notes…

for when long articles don't make sense.

There are cases where added blocks of information may be found useful for complete­ness, but where these blocks will tend to distract from main subjects, and also add un­neces­sary file-weight if they are fully included in regular articles.

In such cases I may write short notes containing this added information, and add links to them from my regular articles. This way I am in effect making the added infor­mation available, but optional.

Short notes may consist of a single paragraph and/or a picture, up to maybe a dosen paragraphs – as much as can easily be made to fit into a single short note block, containing details about and/or expansions on a subject.
From one to as many as half a dosen such short note blocks may find their place on a single short notes page.

Each of these short note blocks is a short but complete article in itself, and is in most cases not related to anything else on that page. I sign, date and update these blocks as individual articles.

selected quotes…

I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.
— Maya Angelou You are the guiding star 
of someone's existence.
— Carrol Bryant Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies 
of their culture will never be understood, 
let alone believed, by the masses.
— Plato The more real you get
the more unreal the world gets.
— John Lennon

wise words…

Sometimes, you just need a break.
In a beautiful place. Alone.
To figure everything out. A wice physician said,
The best medicine for humans 
is “CARE and LOVE”
Someone asked. 
What if it doesn't work?
He smiled and answered
“Increase the dose” Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives
put us directly on the path
to the best things that will ever happen to us. There is always a way.

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