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New Super Challenge Discussion thread2014

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 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
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Solfrid Cristin
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Joined 4014 days ago

4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 Message 377 of 766
07 June 2014 at 2:23am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
You can always have an Italian weekend later in the month :) I'll do at least Spanish and
Italian, maybe also German.

That's the spirit :-)

By the way, the reason why I set the cap at 9'o clock for the next weekends, was that this weekend you could
not start until 7.30 at the very earliest (my time) and it would make sense to then cap it in the other end. Plus I
value the beauty sleep of you guys :-) I totally forgot about the different time zones. Shows you just how
awake I am...

Though I am not going to be fanatic about it. If it makes you happier to work until midnight every Sunday this
month, knock yourself out. You are doing this for yourself, not for me :-)
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 5277 days ago

9753 posts - 15778 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 Message 378 of 766
07 June 2014 at 2:39am | IP Logged 
Well, for me it's less about knocking myself out and more about not having to sacrifice the sleep between Saturday and Sunday :)

BTW, the "describe a good day" challenge is still on, and SC'ers are very welcome to participate!
1 person has voted this message useful

Solfrid Cristin
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Joined 4014 days ago

4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 Message 379 of 766
08 June 2014 at 12:12am | IP Logged 
I will not make a habit of this, but since people have wondered why I have been so absent lately, I decided to give you the background. I feel an obligation to the challenge I have started, and I really want to see everyone through it. For most of you, my personal situation will be of no interest whatsoever, so you should skip this post. It is extremely long and fairly personal.


Those of you who would like to know why I have seemingly abandoned you just a couple of weeks into the challenge may keep reading.

The reason is simply that my life, which in general is overfilled with activities, over the last few weeks have reached a state of stroke inducing stress, and in the end something had to give, and since I couldn’t really put my kids in the ice box, I had to ease down a little bit on the challenges. One of my best friends once said that if she had to live my life, she would have had a heart attack on a daily basis. Fortunately I have a really good heart, but within the last few weeks it got so bad that I was actually afraid that it might – stop.

As some of you know, I became a single mom last year, and I had to go from having a day off each week, and a very secure financial situation, into working more than full time and being afraid of losing my home. It has sorted itself out, but I have some new worries, and considerably less time to get back on my feet when I get overwhelmed. Taking over 100% of the tasks and responsibilities in a home feels daunting. Being a mom means being a nurse, a cook, a cleaner, a tutor as well as a 1000 other task, and now I got to be what feels like a full time chauffeur and head of the technical department as well.

I have wanted to shield my children from the situation, and have therefore agreed to having my ex coming here to my home every week end and once a week instead of them going to him. Great for them, not so cool for me, who never got any time off at all, and had no closure.

Now finally a few weeks ago, he found a flat of his own, and could move all his stuff out of my house, which meant I had just a few days to empty the rest of the stuff that has accumulated over the 12 years we have lived here and get it all out before workers came in to renovate two of the rooms, something which was finished just the day before I was to receive guest from the US and Spain. Innumerable trips to the dumpster, choosing and buying tiles, and paint – and when it was finished and the house looked like a war zone, and the guests were coming in the next day, the professional cleaner I had hired to clean it up cancelled on me on a few hours notice, and I had to do it myself.

At the same time my best friend’s father got diagnosed with a terminal disease, which led to a number of conflicts in her family and problems of both practical and emotional nature which I tried to help her to sort out. And no less than four of my friends asked me to help their daughters with advice and practical help within a week plus my luggage got lost in England for a week.

Having guest was nice – but to combine the needs of a 15 year old Spaniard whom you have never met before, and a 92 year old American who has gotten increasingly stubborn and deaf over the years – has been a challenge. A considerable challenge. I also was stupid enough to offer to help guiding the German and Spanish youngsters who were visiting my daughter’s school in Oslo. They needed someone who could speak English and Spanish and had some experience guiding, Since I have worked 5 years as an Oslo-guide, in Spanish and English, that pretty much had my name written all over it. On a scale from 1-10, that experience alone was a 23 on the stress barometer. In order not to make this post a full blown novel, I will not go into the details.

And all this was while I was still leading the 6 week challenge, reading and listening to Russian several hours a day.

Now normally having all this stress with the renovations, the guests, the guiding and the emotions around my ex moving out his furniture, would have been enough. But on top of that I had a confirmation coming up. In Norway a confirmation is a big production. It is like a small wedding, polished silver, ironed table cloths, formal seating arrangement with name tags, flower arrangements, special dresses, speeches, lots of home made food and home baked cakes. Some chose to do it in rented facilities, we had to do it at home. My home. And I did not have just one of these, I did for all practical purposes have three within a few weeks: my daughter’s two 18-year celebrations with 25 and 40 guests respectively, and the actual confirmation with 30 guests. Two of these events involving all my ex-inlaws.

Fortunately I have the most amazing friends in the world, so some helped my cook, some baked cakes, one came to help me set the table (which took 2 hours) one took the kids off my hands for the afternoon, one came in to help me with the cleaning, and one took me in when she saw I was so tired that I was on the border of hysteria, and put me in her sofa with a woolen blanket around me, fed me and told me to shut up and watch the Cameron Diaz comedy until I was coherent again.

And even this was not all. In this exact period, the board of my company decided that after putting everyone on edge by changing most of the systems at work, so that no one knows how to do anything anymore, it was a brilliant idea to have a reorganization and to move offices. Not once but twice. So last week I had to throw away and pack down 12 years of documents, and move to another building. Moving from one with a view over the flower market and the Cathedral of Oslo, to a shady part of town, where we look straight into the ugliest brown brick building in Oslo, and where beggars, drug addicts,urine and puke are the main elements in our environment. I could take it for myself, I am adaptable, but for the first time ever since I became a boss, I actually broke down in tears, because I had no comfort to give one of my employees who is so filled with rage and anger and bitterness right now, that he barely functions – something which of course means more work for the rest of us. I try to shield my employees from the less fortunate choices of our management, but this one was beyond my powers. And in our next move, which is scheduled for November, they want to put us into cubicles, which gives us all nightmares.

You think this was it? Oh no. We have had an uncommonly early spring this year, which means that the roses are already in bloom, and given that the roses are the backbone of my personal company, I should be out collecting them and make rose jelly. As it is I have no energy to do so, and since the roses I make jelly from are only in bloom 4-5 weeks in a year, it is not really something I can afford to postpone. I also need to take pictures, which I use for the lectures on roses and tulips I give during the year. My garden, which has previously been so beautiful that it has been featured in more than 20 magazines, and on both local and national TV, is now at the state where my neighbors complain that it is unkempt. I need an extra 24 hours a day!

I am also in perpetual frustration that in this year, where I was determined to focus on my health, and had enrolled in a rehabilitation program at the gym to go 2-3 times a week, I have barely been twice a month over the last weeks. There has been so many things in the way, that although this is actually the most important thing in my life right now, it has been impossible to go. I will have to think out some strategies as to how to change this. The last time I had to cancel, was because there was a meeting at the home owner group, where my neighbors already were annoyed that I had a poor attendance record, and just to give you a feeling of the ambiance, I can tell you that when I asked if it would be possible to repaint the white paint at the parking lot, because it was so faded that I struggled to see it, I was told to buy myself some new glasses.

And then the period ended with car trouble. I got a 150 dollars parking fine, because I came back three minutes late to the parking lot after taking my 92 year old friends to the airport. Two days later I got into a car accident – someone who was in a bit too much of a hurry, and it will now have to be repaired for 10 000 dollars. Fortunately both my daughter and I were fine, but I was pretty shook up. Being without a car for the next 10-day period will be no fun either.

You will understand why I was less than enthusiastic about taking over the reins at my team in this particular period, and all that went with it, and I am immensely happy that things sorted themselves out, so that I do not have that responsibility any more.

Ok If anyone is still with me, you now know why I have been a bit absent. My apologies. Whining over. I am praying to all powers that be, that things will calm down a bit, and that I can be more active on the forum from now on.

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 3569 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 Message 380 of 766
08 June 2014 at 5:25am | IP Logged 


All that, and you still thought up a mini challenge for the weekend?!@!!

I don't know how you do it. I would've probably put everyone - kids, Spaniards,
Americans, and the ex - in the ice box and then gone and hid under the bed.

But I'm glad to see you back on the forums!
2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4156 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 Message 381 of 766
08 June 2014 at 6:14am | IP Logged 
uummmm that is EXTREMELY NUTS!!! You've done enough for 10 people! Pur your feet up woman and
watch some more brainless comedies!
1 person has voted this message useful

Solfrid Cristin
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Joined 4014 days ago

4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 Message 382 of 766
08 June 2014 at 7:24am | IP Logged 
@kanewai: I always feel like I am working on a master's degree in chaos management, so I am used to 60
different things going on at the same time, but the last few weeks have been redicolous. Did consider the ice
box solution though :-)

@Peter Mollenburg: Thanks, I will. Last night I managed to collect some roses and make rosé jelly, and
watch a Russian film, so I felt that I had done something, and today I have a dinner party that my kids talked
me into hosting, but the rest of the time I should be able to relax.

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3916 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 Message 383 of 766
08 June 2014 at 9:13am | IP Logged 
Solfrid. I have to say I couldn't believe all the stuff you were/are going through. I feel bad because there really isn't anyway to help you out, but it sounds like you have some really great friends and a wonderful family. You seem to have a lot of people in your life who are willing and able to let you lean on them and take some of the burden. It sucks to be under that much stress and strain, but you've coped well, better than most people.

I'm glad things are getting a bit calmer for you, when I'm stressed out I try to remember two quotes. Maybe they'll help you?

"When you're going through hell; keep going." - Winston Churchill
"The only people without problems are in the graveyard." - Anonymous

One thing. Perhaps the insurance company can cover the cost of a rental car while yours is being repaired?

1 person has voted this message useful

Solfrid Cristin
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Joined 4014 days ago

4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 Message 384 of 766
08 June 2014 at 9:47am | IP Logged 
@rdearman: Actually a description of any given week in my life comes relatively close to this, though this
period has been particularly trying. Mostly I bring it on myself, due to my wish to do everything, and my
pathological incapability to say 'no'.

The upside of those defects is that I get A LOT done, and since I am always there for my friends, they are
always there for me.

And with the exception of the car trouble, the office move, and my friend's father's health problems,
everything else are actually nice, positive things, it just became a bit much in too short time. Studying
Russian is nice, having guests is nice, I got heaps of positive feed back on the guiding, having parties is nice,
finishing the renovations is nice, and everyone
is healthy and happy.

And the insurance company would not pay for an automatic car, which is what I drive. The up side is that I will
get lots of free exercise :-)

Edited by Solfrid Cristin on 08 June 2014 at 9:48am

1 person has voted this message useful

This discussion contains 766 messages over 96 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96  Next >>

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