I’m in my 60s and I’m in 3 risk groups for contracting corona.

I’m a social creature, I thrive from human interactions.

Although I’m suffering from severe agoraphobia, and panic attacks I still had at least 2 meetups with friends for Fika or a nice lunch, this is out of the question these days. And for me, socially isolated by my problems makes it harder than usual for me.

Shopping for groceries demands planning

Shopping for groceries is another problem, I now go shopping very early in the morning (7 am or earlier), after the lunch rush or late at evenings. In the beginning, I had people go shopping for me but, that’s not working in the long run. I have also ordered online which works relatively well, but you have to plan ahead then.

I can’t go visit my grandchildren

I can’t go visit my grandchildren as they can give me infections, and it might just be standard cold. For me, a standard cold or flu could be devastating as I’m highly susceptible to infections due to my heart condition, and pneumonia-like the one I had last year would half my resistance to infections.

What I have done to be as safe as possible

  1. I go grocery/food shopping at times I know the stores are more empty.
  2. I’m religious in washing my hands, arms, and face, even if I have just been out on a walk or run I wash them really well
  3. I use hand alcohol on surfaces I touch while I’m out like in the library.
  4. When I met someone outside I stand further than usual away from them, 2 meter rule applies.

My lifelines

  1. Without a doubt, my connections on social networks ease a bit of the hardship, but can not replace social interaction IRL.
  2. My daily phone calls with my close friend Eric.
  3. A couple of times a week I talk to my daughter and get updates on my granddaughters. More rarely we video chat but when it happens the more precious it is.
  4. A couple of weeks I go sit on the local library (where I used to work 2013-14) I take a writing session for 2–3 hours depending on my state of mind.

What next then?

WE can all agree that life has changed and that we all have been making sacrifices, smaller or larger. Some have lost their livelihood and homes and in the aftermath, relationships have been demolished. And it will take years, or maybe even decades to rebuild it. And we have to change our behaviors to survive in the post Pandemic era. But I’m convinced we will survive as humans if just start to re-prioritize!

Farming in the aftermath?

A change I see in my self is that I would love to plant and harvest the thing I’ve grown myself. Not possible at the moment but hopefully when I move next year

Originally published on Medium

And how it can help you socially and professionally!

Growing up in a priest family with a father that was always reading books, keeping up to date newswise, and constantly learning new things. Looking back I see that my father affected me more than I knew, in fact, I didn’t realize it until he was gone. But I treasure his legacy and I know I have passed on some of to my daughters.

It all falls to four simple things you also can do to improve yourself:

  1. Always have a book at hand. Reading is proven to improve your memory and helps prevent cognitive decline among many other things.
  2. Always be curious. My father was always looking up things in encyclopedias to learn new things.
  3. Never be afraid to discuss things you are no expert on. This way your learning fast tracks in a surprising way.
  4. Be social and engage with others.

Today it’s easy to always have a book at hand, we can have it on or phones or tablets. But having an actual book in your hands means the distractions are down to more or less zero and you can focus on the story or subject. I also find that an actual book makes it easier for me to build my pictures of people and environments in the book. Plus the bonus when you have read a book is the accomplishment of it.

Curiosity is what drives us as humans, if there’s a solution to a problem we want to find it. And if we can’t with our ingenious minds figure it out, there’s always someone that has had the same problem and maybe found a solution. Today we don’t use actual encyclopedias, we have the Internet where we can find endless sources of knowledge and information. Of course, we have to be more careful and understand that some of the information can be wrong and even hurtful, but it’s still an amazing and endless source. I can’t think of a day when I’m not looking up something on the net, can you?

I have throughout my career found myself in situations where I have discussed things I have little or no knowledge on, and I know that my father did too but it didn’t stop him, or me for that matter. Why, or rather how can you do that? The important thing is listening and sucking in the information. Mirroring is another technique that is used, we all do this almost every day/time we interact with others. In short, we mimic behavior and choice of words of the other person/persons and then use it back.

Socializing is a survival skill that is in our genes. We thrive from social interactions and grow as humans from it. We learn from you age how to separate friends from strangers, but also who we want to socialize with. Hanging around people with skills and knowledge makes you smarter also, so learn from others and never be afraid to ask questions. That signals both that you are interested in and that you want to learn more.

Simple right? Or is it too complicated? If you look at yourself, I think you will find that most of these things you already do to a certain degree. And if you don’t do it, maybe you are a person that doesn’t want to learn new things or is just generally uninterested which to me is just sad.

Someone once called me a chameleon and maybe in some ways I am. Due to bullying I had to change myself many times when I was growing up, and I thank that in part, that I now can adapt to new environments and surroundings. Maybe you have experienced problems communicating or connecting to others, in that case, I hope this might help you.

Originally published on Medium

Today 12 years ago I started blogging! You can read my story here from 4 years ago. https://link.medium.com/tAilAhke93 Im thinking a lot about coming back to it, so maybe one day...
I'm surprised that I could learn so much, both about myself as well about us humans from just observing what happens in a TV series. Here are some of my gathered thoughts from my Bingewatching of seasons 1-13 of Greys Anatomy.

Lesson One

We, humans, are the worst and the best for each other, there's no question about it. Watching scenes where friends are hurt and in agony, you can feel what their friends are going through. Even if thoughts and emotions sometimes are narrated, you can see in their eyes and on their facial expressions the hardship. And even worse when they cant help their friends and heal them. It's a human way of reacting of course but still seeing this from the outside makes it more both hard and real.

Lesson Two

We cant help everyone because sometimes they don't want to be helped. If an addict doesn't want the help he/she is offered, it's no way they can get sober, well you can of course forcibly take them to center but in most cases, they get back to the habit. And this is regardless of the addiction, The other thing is people who want to commit suicide, if they're determined to end their life it's very rare people or their immediate family knows about it. Scary as that is, you can only be there for your friends and family, and listen to and see them. I'm myself a survivor of a suicided attempt, and now when almost 3,5 years has passed I know what pain I would have caused my family and friends. If you're having thoughts of suicide, contact your local help organization;

One place to start is to go to http://www.suicide.org/index.html or call your national help number!

Lesson Three

It's a scary world out there and we never know what will happen to us. BUT Let us also be realistic, fear never gets us anywhere and letting fear and anxiety get the best of us, it's as bad as the scary world. Being vigilant and knowing whats happening around us is good practice, but we cant protect ourselves and our family from bad things. However, we can help both ourselves and our family to avoid these situations and environments.

Lesson Four

Love is all we need! Honestly love is key to why we as a race is so successful, we both thrive and grow from the strength of having love in our lives. And regardless of the love; it can be a partner, a spouse, children, other family, and friends. The need for social interaction is universal and without it, we wither and fade away as the persons we are. Give a friend a hug, and it goes a long way, can mean the world to that person.

Lesson Five

Even if it's a fictional story (like books and comics) we can still get takeaways from it, and the past years I have looked at many TV series with another mindset, to learn from it and let it generate questions and thoughts to carry with me into whatever next phase I'm going to enter. I asked my father if there was something he thought I would carry with me into life, being a young adult at the time. He said two things:

  1. Life is a long lesson, never stop learning from it
  2. There's always a solution
The later one I have applied many times in life when I have hit hurdles, and surprisingly often it's so true. The first one is an applied rule for me, my urge to learn new things have been leading me to find new paths in life so many times, and still is. And I enjoy new knowledge every day, every week and I sometimes think that the day I stop learning is the day I'm laying still with my toes pointing to the sky.

Lesson Six, and a sort of conclusion

Death is, how sad we think about, still a part of life. We cannot avoid it, we will all reach that endline. We can't take anything with us besides our minds, thoughts, and feelings. No matter how rich you are, it's still the same finish line. And the only thing that might comfort us is the thought of a higher being, some call it God others call it Allah or Jehova. For me, being a son of a preacher, I pray to end up in heaven and met my parents and all the friends and family that have walked ahead of me.

So don't be afraid of death, it's a part of life.