Calm after the storm

Rania Rönntöft from Northbound Journeys

So, it’s been a while since I written anything here. The past month or so i’ve had little desire to do anything but the things on the ‘need to’ list, and at times, those things have been a struggle too. But that’s okay, that’s life.

Usually this time of year, i’m focussed on my goals for the coming year and I feel energised and ready to tackle them. This year, i’ve mainly wished for an extra month between December and January so that I have more time to prepare.

Matfors, Sweden

At the beginning of December, something happened that made feel really upset. It was stupid. Through tears, I told myself how ridiculous it was to feel so sad about such a meaningless thing. It made me feel way more worthless than it should have and actually, in a way, i’m really glad that it happened.

It made me step back and reevaluate.

Luckily, at around the same time, I went to Sweden to stay with my friend Rania, which gave me all I needed to do that.

Matfors, Sweden

Rania Rönntöft from Northbound Journeys

Matfors, Sweden

I spent a week at her home, surrounded by beautiful snowy landscapes. It was a welcome escape from my usual routine and the usual distractions. Even though I wouldn’t give it up for anything, being self-employed can be lonely.

I don’t have loads of work friends and colleagues and the ones I do have, I don’t see often. I don’t live in a city. I don’t live very near anyone who has the same work, lifestyle, interests or passions as me. My friend’s are all, for the most part, employed, working in non-digital roles and we are all quite different when it comes to our hobbies.

Rania Rönntöft from Northbound Journeys

This is why I am so grateful for the people i’ve met through blogging.

Although I had read her blogs before walking Olavsleden, I actually met Rania for the first time when me and Angeliqa wandered through Matfors and she had offered to walk with us and have us stay at her house (it was lovely to see a bit of the trail again in the snow!).

Rania does very similar work to me (she’s an amazing photographer, blogger and travel writer) and we both live a similar freelance, work from home lifestyle and share many similar interests (photography, nature, slow-living and the outdoors). Being able to spend a week working next to her, learning from each other and bouncing ideas around left me feeling incredibly inspired and gave me some much needed clarity. I’ve felt a huge shift in mindset.

Olavsleden, Matfors, Sweden

Rania Rönntöft from Northbound Journeys

When I got home, I decided to push everything unnecessary to one side and focus on enjoying the holidays and decluttering my life and my mind. The past few weeks, I’ve been turning my house upside down, clearing out anything that doesn’t bring me joy, isn’t useful, doesn’t help me achieve my goals or live my best life. Minimalism is something that has long been calling to me and I finally did something about it. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I already feel so much better. Tidy house (and tidy external hard drive!) = tidy mind.

Rania Rönntöft from Northbound Journeys

So, now that everything has calmed down, I feel ready to think about 2018.

Matfors, Sweden


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  • Very interesting post! I’ve been feeling a bit the same… I could definitely have taken an extra month between December and January! I did some decluttering too… It does really help, doesn’t it? I’m glad you feel better and more motivated, and I look forward to reading you again! I always enjoy your photos, they are very inspiring.

    • Thanks Frede! Sorry to hear you have been having similar feelings, I hope things are looking up for you also 🙂 and yes, I think i’m becoming addicted to decluttering now!

  • Oh Leanne what a lovely post, and it really made me miss you. Spending our days outside with the cameras and evenings by the fire with our computers talking about work was such a lovely change from the lonesome freelance life. I really enjoyed it and I hope we can do it again soon, and next time I hope it will be in the UK.

    I’m glad to read that you left inspired, you sure left me inspired and full of new energy too. I sadly haven’t had the time to channel that into anything yet, but now I feel I’m starting to land in the new year and it’s time to up my game a bit haha.

    It’s also very nice to read about your decluttering, isn’t it freeing? Have you seen the documentary The Minimalists yet? They also have a wonderful podcast that I can highly recommend!

    Also, all of these photos are gorgeous!!!!

    • Awwh thank you ❤️ I hope so too, you are always so welcome here!

      Same here, I need to start putting all these inspired thoughts into action too, feels good though.

      Yes it is so freeing, i’m feeling a dramatic shift in my mood and how I feel about my home. Yeah I watched it not long before I visited you and tried to make Steve watch it again with me recently. I’ve not listened to the podcast though, so I will add it to my podcast list – thanks!

      I’m glad you like them! When I got home, I was like ohhh my photos are not good. I gave it some time and looked at them again and now i’m really happy with how they turned out 😀

      • Thank you, it feels so good knowing that I am <3 We really need to plan it, I'd love to come and spend some time doing outdoor adventures & photography together with you (and Magnus?!).

        Yeah I can really recommend the podcast, and each episode kind of handles a theme of some sort – it's really nice.

        Haha I can relate to that feeling, sometimes a break from images before editing them is well needed. These are truly lovely though and I like how you captured me – I usually don't like seeing photos of myself but these are wonderful! 😀

        • Maybe in the Summer or Autumn would be a good time to explore the UK together – ROADTRIP!

          I am going to have a listen to it right now I think, with my morning cup of tea 😁

          Ahh that’s so nice to hear, the best compliment a photographer can get ❤️

  • I love your photos from Sweden.. yay for uncluttering! Hope you feel better for it! I’ve just disposed of all my dvd cases and its made so much room. Im attempting to help my parents unclutter but it feels like an impossible task. Hope to meet up soon lady, you know Im in the same lonely, self-employed boat and I don’t even need that excuse, I just love hanging out with you xxx

    • Thanks love! I do feel much better for it. That’s a really nice thing to help your parents with, it’s hard to let go of some stuff though I imagine! Awhh I love hanging out with you too! You know you are the exception to the above when it comes to differing work/interests, I wish we lived a little closer and our schedules matched up more easily ❤️ though i’d rather play then work when we are together 😄 See you very soon xxx