Am I getting old?
I was down in Stockholm yesterday (lovely trip actually but that is another story) and on two occasions I had a hard time understanding what people said.
The first was in the taxi to he airport here in Luleå. A young man (22+) was arranging some fair details over his cell phone and although I clearly heard what he was saying I had a really hard time understanding what he was saying. I was such a mix of slang in both english and Swedish and almost no sentence was complete.
The second occasion was down in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm where a young man (16+) was talking with his friends in suburb-Swedish. Now here I understood about 30% of what he said. His friends clearly understood him and they answered in plain Swedish.
In both cases it was young males that looked Swedish.
Did I talk that strange when I was younger? Did all people over 30 have such a hard time understanding me? I really hope not!
Was the difference in language this big 15 years ago? I do not think so. Is this an effect of so many new persons moving to Sweden? I read somewhere recently that 2010, 15% of Sweden’s population would immigration background (I guess that means one of generation 0, 1 or 2 would have moved to Sweden from another country). How will the situation look like in the western world in 50 years from now?
Will this lead to that countries will disappear altogether in the end? Why should that happen someone might ask. It hasn’t happened until now. The main difference between the world today and 200 years ago is that people move around much more. I guess most young people today has already been half way around the world (US, as etc.), which was not the case 50 years ago. It is much easier to move to another country today. I moved to USA in 1996 and that wasn’t very much hesitation for me. “New country, new town, I will adapt.”
I am now back in Sweden. My brain is total mush due to time zone differences and only about 1 hour worth of sleep. I hate flying back from the states 🙁
A person I recently became friends with told me: “I haven’t known you good enough to call you Peppar.” That made think, do you need to know somebody just to call them by their nickname? Is Peppar part of my old shallow attitude? Perhaps it is. I have started signing all emails and notes with Peter instead. So far nobody has commented but we’ll see if anybody notices.
On a sidenote, I have also started to write my emails more carefully. Both by limiting the amount of them but also use more words and most importantly, use more nice words. There is to much business in our high-speed society. People need to relax more. There is always time for a short break and reflection. The rest of the work day becomes much more efficient then.
What if fishes just cannot breath on land because nobody has told them otherwise? What if I would fetch me a fish, put in a tank and slowly day by day remove more and more water leaving it with no option but to start breathing normal air? If this was doable then the fish should be grateful and perhaps I could put a small leach on it and take it out for walks in the park. BUT, what if I then took it to the see and it would fall in? Would it remember how to breath under water or would it drown? Well think about it. Most people just take so much for granted. Questioning everything is part of being a researcher (which I guess I am).
The story above is actually “borrowed” from a Swedish children’s book but it got me thinking and I wanted to share it with you.
Now, in my new life I have started to take everything much softer. What is there really to be upset about? Nothing gets done quicker. This also includes more trusting people. They are not out there to hurt you/me and everybody is doing their best. Is that naive to think like that?
I have earlier in my life been rather hurt which has put me on guard against people, especially authority people. My last boss hurt me rather bad and took all lust for my work out of me, which lead to me walking into the famous wall some time ago. He now fortunately gone and I have a much better relationship with my current boss, Jerker. Jerker is actually in the same leadership development program as I am and during the last week we got to talk rather deeply (i.e. with good contact) and we both learned quite a lot about each other, which in turn will lead to a more productive and better work environment. By the way, the former boss is Bengt Lennartsson and if you want to employ him DON’T! He will destroy any working groups or departments you have.
Back to trusting people. Trust usually goes both ways, building on that eventually both parties in a dialogue will trust each other. Trust is a necessity for deeper contact. Deeper contact is a necessity for becoming a whole person. Didn’t I write this a couple of days ago already? Hmmm.
Ahh, the art of flying without getting into physical or mental pain. I have now been sitting on the plane between Stockholm and Chicago for a couple of hours. I have been feed, I have reviewed two papers for NGC’03 (4 more to go). One was very bad and the other was very good. How could that information ever interest anybody?
In 4 minutes I’ll watch the movie Two Weeks Notice with guess whom? Yes, Hugh Grant. Yes I know I promised somebody to not raise that issue again but he really is in this movie and he really is one of my all time favorite actors. Up there on the top list with John Cusak and Robin Williams. Found a funny citation in a Clancy book the other day. Robin Williams was supposed to have said the following in a scene about Adam and Eve. “Better stand back honey. I don’t know how big this thing gets.” What thing you might ask? Well, think it over 😉 Unfortunately, the current movie also stars Sandra Bullock.
The plane is an Airbus A330 (or 340 who can tell the difference?) and each seat has its own entertainement system. You have a small screen in the seat in front of you where you can select movies to watch (13 channels in total, well more than needed to cover the 9 hours flight).
The movie wasn’t that good. Not the usual overly cute ending that all other High Grant movies have. You can all skip this one without being to sad. My problem with the movie was that Sandra Bullok got too much space and Hugh Grant to little. The best part was actually the “extra” 20 seconds of footage after they kissed and made up (when Sandra is ordering chineese again). Here Hugh Grant just gets to be himself with his bad jokes. 🙂
We are now over Canada/Alaska (where does the one end and the other start?) and it is amazing how the landscape looks like all those gray movies, shot when circling the moon. Yes I am bored. I have reviewed 3 papers so far and the last was the worst. Why are there so many networking papers submitted for NGC this year? Where are all the interesting papers about real group commmunication, the human part of it all. The interesting part.
…2 hours and 21 minutes left and counting…
This is actually one of the longer trips in my life that I don’t feel lika taking. I would rather sit on a rock next to a beach in Luleå and just contemplate about the important issues in life. Anybody interested in joining me when I get back to Luleå?
I am currently wathing the movie Evelyn with Pierce Brosnan. A man that looses his job, his wife and is left alone with his 3 children he cannot afford to raise so they are taken away from him. Now he has to get his act back together to get his children back.
Woohoo, the forth paper done. It was very dry and very theoretical. It would really benefit from being connected into real world applications. Better take on the the fifth as well. We’ll get feed soon again, like stuffed pigs. I guess I have to think about my nice round figure. What? Are you saying that I don’t have a chiseled stomach? 😉 Even after all those hours at the gym and on the bike?!
We are now in Chicago playing at the Children’s Museum exhibit. A small play ground in airport theme. Tovah is really enjoying herself anyhow and I am typing away as always. 1 hour and 20 minutes to the next flight to Orlando. The home of Dizzie Void (translation from Tovah languges into English: Disney World)!
On yet another plane. I have now finished the reviewing of all six papers and I am surprised by how bad they are. People send in soo sloppy papers wasting reviewers time by forcing them to read it and then reject them! I rejected 4 out 6.
In one hour we’ll be in Orlando. 31 degrees celcius. Nice and warm 🙂 Better get my sun glasses out! I guess we will head out to a nearby grocery store, directly after getting to the hotel, mostly because we will need water.
I a moment I am leaving for the States on a business trip. I am going to the overly warm Orlando/Florida. The update frequency here might go up or it might go down. Obviously depending on my mood and other things to take care of when I am “over there”. If you are reading this and feeling sorry for me when sweating in 35 degrees heat in Florida then you can send me an SMS via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just so I don’t feel all alone in the world! I will be back home in Sweden on the afternoon of May 25 and hopefully back in action on the 26:th. I will read email from time to time and I will try to make all my peppy readers satisfied. By the way, why don’t you comment and leave a message about which type of postings you would like to see more of on this blog (like I would care anyhow, muuhahahaha, well seriously, please post comments just to show that you care about me).
Today I have exercised my right to just relax and be in the present. Instead of working all day as I usually do I have been sitting on the porch in the sun, writing, chatting, surfing, and most of all thinking. Everything not connected with any kind of payed work. If I am honest though, I feel like I have to much energy. Perhaps I should take a quick bike ride, or perhaps I am just happy. It can be very relaxing and energizing to really talk about your inner feelings, to have a really deep contact with somebody! Thank you all in group 5 of the leadership development program and especially one person. You know who you are! Thank you all!
My daughter just had here first real death experience. She was playing with an ant on the porch and the playing got a bit rough and the ant “broke”. It didn’t die though, so we had to kill it as we couldn’t repair it. This made her VERY upset and it lasted much longer than when she falls down and hurts herself. Interesting to see the difference. I guess I have to put it into perspective. The whole thing lasted about 5 minutes 🙂 Children….
What is actually important in life?
Money? We have a society (west world anyhow) that is based on consumption. We work very hard to earn more money so we either can buy more stuff or just save it in the bank for a rainy day. Is this REALLY important?
Status? Many persons, me included, want some kind of status. We want to be recognized and not be marginalized.”Do not forget me!” Or at least this is something I wanted very badly until very recently. Is this REALLY important?
Legacy? I guess many persons want to create something. To be able to look back when we are getting old and to see that I made a difference. I contributed to something. I was an important building block in society. Is this REALLY important?
Friends? To have somebody to really be able to talk with. Somebody that you can share anything with. Somebody that you can share your most inner secrets with. When you find such people, keep them. Whatever you do, do not let them slip away. Especially if you have a hard time finding them in the first place. Is this REALLY important?
Family? Being alone is never fun. A family is a must, or is it? Can one live alone and still be happy? I have my whole life had someone to life with. When I left my child home I shared an apartment with two other guys for about 5 months before I moved into my own apartment. That only lasted about 2-3 months before I moved in with my wife. So I must admit that I have never really tried out how it is to live by myself. I guess I must see myself as lucky and hope that I never get the chance to try it out. Is this REALLY important?
Children? I have one child, my soon 3 year old daughter Tovah. Getting a child really changed my life. You really feel that somebody is dependent on you and you have to be there. The other day she told me “dad, you write to much.” I.e. her notion of me working too much. I have to admit one thing, when she was born I didn’t feel like this at all and it took a couple of weeks before the dime fell down. Is this REALLY important?
Love? To have someone to love. To get a fuzzy feeling in the stomach when you see the person. Many great songs and poems have been written about love. Is this REALLY important?
My synthesis is that all boils down to getting a number of base stones for creating a fulfilling life. I guess we get some loop here as it then leads to “what is is important in a fulfilling life?”. A good start is to feel like a whole person. Being able to get good contact with other human beings and being able to share your thoughts and feelings. The reader can perhaps get a feeling of me putting a requirement on myself here (the top-dog vs. under-dog discussion again) where I HAVE to do something or the other but the really important thing is to be in the present and not look ahead all the time. It also means being able to get in contact with your anger, sorrow, sexuality and joy. There has to be a balance between these for a person to be able to feel like a whole person.
It is time for a reflection on the process here. A couple of months ago I would not been able to write this or even sort this out in my head. I guess I am improving as a human being and getting closer to becoming a whole person.
Many of the points listed above are really important, of course some of them are not important at all. Everybody has to decide for themselves what is important and what is not…