Learning to Live in the Moment: Adjusting to My New Life in Norway
My education has taught me to always look forward, plan ahead and chase a goal. I have been chasing goals, working on projects and learning something most of my life. If it were not one exam, it would likely be another new career goal with barely any breathing room.
Moving to a new country has forced me to change all that. Now, in Norway, I don’t have a career to focus on. No exams to take straight away. This situation is highly uncomfortable for me and feels like an itch I cannot scratch. What am I supposed to do? Instead I come up with new plans and goals; some are realistic ones, while others are just daydreams.
In theory, a slower pace of life is attractive and had been a great draw for me. I did not think it would be such a challenge to slow my own pace down.
Learning to just be is difficult. To actually live in the moment, without planning for the next stage takes a certain calm that I struggle to find. I tell myself to put away the computer screens, to enjoy the free time I now have with my son, to live by my very light calendar and focus on small things: make new friends, learn and speak a new language, go for walks, and explore the city.
I know this set-up is better for me, but to appreciate the simple life is not an easy task. To be mindful about the smalls tasks in life takes thought and reflection on my part. When I don’t concentrate on these tasks, life becomes a blur. It is easy to sedate yourself with mind-numbing TV when faced with the hours of the day.
In theory, a slower pace of life is attractive and had been a great draw for me. I did not think it would be such a challenge to slow my own pace down. It might take time to adjust fully with this aspect of the move, and I can only give it the time it needs while staying patient with myself. While I am in such a place of transitions I wonder how I will feel about this pace in six months.
Will I be an expert in leading the mindful, slow-paced life? I might have to take cues from my son. Children are amazing in how they take joy in the simple things: a sandbox, a bucket of water, a cat in the neighborhood, chasing birds in the garden.
Beneath all of this, might be a sense of still feeling slightly lost. I constantly remind myself that it takes time to put down roots. Integration is a slow process and making a new city your home takes effort, patience and time.
Beneath all of this, might be a sense of still feeling slightly lost. I constantly remind myself that it takes time to put down roots. Integration is a slow process and making a new city your home takes effort, patience and time. It might be harder when you have little children to watch but this could also be your key to settling in.
It might feel like doors are closed to you now and you can’t open them because you don’t have the secret code, but with time this code might become second nature. I have friends who have been in this city longer than I have and they are at home, and this gives me some comfort.
In the meantime, it’s best to be kind to myself and enjoy the quiet life.
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Have you traveled to Norway? Email us at [email protected] to share your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you. Top photo by Unsplash.