I’ve never understood why John Lennon would sing “another year over and a new one just begun” in a Christmas song. There’s still a week between Xmas and New Year’s and anything can happen.
For example, six years ago, Wife didn’t have any idea on Xmas Eve that a week later I’d propose to her.
Twelve years ago, we wished each other merry Xmas and a happy new year a couple of days before Xmas Eve because I spent that one in Finland, and wasn’t sure if I’d be back for her New Year’s party.
But I decided to come back because I wanted to be with her. That much I knew then, and that much I know now. Everything else has just happened.
A couple of days ago, I had a meeting, and if I say it was my first actual sit-down-let’s-talk-about-stuff meeting with a business partner this year, I’m not exaggerating one bit. I almost managed to cruise through an entire year without participating in a meeting.
But there I was sitting in one, meeting two Swedish guys, entrepreneurs, in their new, half-furnished meeting room, sipping coffee black, because they only had beer, no milk, in the fridge. And I leaned back in my chair and watched one of them give their company presentation, drawing boxes and arrows on a whiteboard.
Then it was my turn to give them the presentation of Me, Inc.
“Are you a real Finn?” the guy in front of me asked to get things going.
And I told him yes, and told him the story of my moving to Sweden. How I saw an ad in a Helsinki paper and thought I knew a little something about magazine production and writing because I had translated a hockey magazine from Norwegian into Finnish for a few years. I paused for laughter. I told them how I “somehow happened” to get the job and moved to Stockholm, and how I then “ended up” being an editor, and then met Wife.
“The usual story,” I said, and paused for laughter.
I told them how we then moved to Finland – “I moved back, she just moved”, pause for laughter – and how I “wound up” writing more and more at my new job. Even without a slide presentation, I made a smooth transition to Son’s birth, and how I then decided to go freelance.
I didn’t tell them that I actually never made a decision to go freelance, I just made a decision to do something and be at home with Wife and Son.
“And then, when it was time for Wife to return to work, we thought it was easier for me to keep doing my thing in Sweden than it was for her to do hers in Finland,” I said. I always say that, too. It’s true, but we never actually had a meeting about it.
It just sort of happened.
When I made that last pause, for laughter, I realized how many random things have happened along the way, to get me from my old Helsinki neighborhood to Sweden, to Sollentuna, Wife’s old hood, and to this office chair that Wife bought for 20 Swedish krona from her old company, to write these stories.
Sure, I’ve tried to set some things in motion, but the results haven’t always been what I expected. So I’ve made new plans, new decisions, new resolutions, and then revised them again. Other times things have just happened to me, forcing me to adjust and adapt.
“But, in short, these days, I write a lot about hockey,” I told the two guys, mentioned the hockey magazine I started and buried, but said nothing about a lot of other things I write about. Instead, I tried to backtrack a little to get in the fact that I actually have a Master’s degree in business. Somehow, that seemed important to me.
Not to them. The rest of the meeting we talked hockey. It turned out that one of the guys was a former player himself.
I didn’t know that when I, a few weeks ago, liked a link that a Wife’s friend had posted on her Facebook page, looking for Finnish writers.
And here we go again. Another New Year’s Eve with new resolutions – Wife is good at that, see here – and all kinds of new beginnings. Wipe the slate clean and start doing the things you really want to be doing – and then see where life will take you.