Sometimes you think you come up with a life-hack so brilliant that you wonder how come that the whole world is not doing the same? Like a “post-break up face to face in the swimming pool, preferably in a kayak while training Eskimo rolls“. Does that seem odd? Why? Well, if you start crying and do not want it to be visible* – you just flip your kayak! Smooth! It also comes with many desirable side-effects: underwater silence, refocusing your breathing (yoga people swear by it) and well, developing a new skill (always trendy these days). Okej, this might not be THE life-hack the entire world will adopt, but hopefully the idea at least made you laugh.
However, during my even years of living abroad, I did come up (and abandoned) a whole lot of life-hacks. Living and travelling alone means that I am often out of my comfort zone. Riding a constant roller-coaster of doubt, fear, stress and loneliness, and excitement of overcoming all of those. I do not think my life is special in any way, we all experience those. And likely, most of my life-hacks won’t work for anyone else. But I want to share one that might. A hack for believing into the better of human nature, something we can all use these days. It is listening to the Crazy Good Turns podcast, which is something I did today after taking a break in (yes orange!) cafe and devouring Swedish delicatesse of the season called Semla.
The podcast features people, and they are people like me and you, usually living their ordinary lives, but who at some point started doing something for others. The interviews feel unpretentious and genuine. I have yet to listen to an episode that made me feel bad or judgmental of the efforts of others. Which is not a luxury I award myself, with a little voice whispering to me, nagging, questioning my own ideas, service to others and efforts for better world and meaning.
But today’s episode – “All our kids” touched me even more than usual. It tells a story of a couple, opening their home to friends of their children, and other strangers, providing love, support and guidance to them. Hearing the dinner chatter on the podcast, reminded me of the many homes that have been opened to me on every continent I stepped on – from rural South Africa to developed North America. An echo of the countless conversations over cup of tea or while mushroom picking in a Swedish forest resonated through my soul. An echo of gratitude. This is the world I want to live in – with open homes and souls. And maybe I am like a David fighting a Goliath, but my freezer usually has some baked goods and my home is open for those in search of a home, be it for a half an hour.
So what is my life-hack? Repay all and a bit more of what I got and keep on finding ways to keep my orange fire burning when it get’s windy. Today, my wood was the Crazy Good Turns podcast. If I find other fuel I will share it.
*not that there is anything wrong with public crying, in some places and times I think it is actually a form of social service.