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August 26, 2014

Things will work out

Yellow flag

When I have a lot going on in my life, I tend to worry.

During this morning’s exercise swim, I came across a single yellow frangipani flower, floating in the pool. It made me smile.

The color yellow carries a whole story for me.

About six years ago, my family and I were about to move from Sweden to Philadelphia. Did I worry? You bet. Not only moving to a new house, a new neighborhood, a new school for the girls, a new job for my husband, but also a new country, a new continent even! And also something else: I had no idea how I would manage, feeling constantly exhausted, my chest heavy, making it hard to breathe.

“You’ll have to do everything,” I told my husband and he agreed, sensing my fatigue.

But still. Show me the woman who can sit on a chair while her whole house is being packed up! I cleaned and I sorted out old stuff to throw away. I could barely drag myself up and down the stairs.

I needed something to help me.

Feeling inspired one day, I pulled out the girls’ colored paper sheets for crafts. I chose yellow. A bright, happy, energizing color. I cut several yellow sheets of paper into odd-shaped pieces, about the size of my palm. On each piece I wrote: Things will work out.

Then I walked across the house, sticking the yellow pieces on walls, on doors, on mirrors, on kitchen cabinets, inside cupboards, on the wall by my bed, on the tile over the kitchen sink. Everywhere I knew I needed it.

I remember doing the dishes, looking up and seeing the yellow, like a smile, cheering me on: things will work out.

And we did it. We made the move to the USA, where things got really messy, but worked out in the end. (That is a loooong story, I would need to write a book about it. Oh, wait, I did. 🙂 Can’t wait to tell you more about my memoir.)

To this day, when I see that bright, yellow color, I remember.

The yellow frangipani flower floating in the water. Things will work out. The yellow flag on the beach in Nusa Dua, Bali. Things will work out.

Lately I have extended my mantra: Things will work out, and if they don’t, that’s also fine. 🙂

Somehow, somehow, even though it might seem impossible, things have a way of untangling themselves and looking back, there was actually a road where we thought only thorns. Maybe there is a road, because we walked it and now that we see it, we might help someone else struggling to find it.

Take care,


How about you? Are you a worrier? Or are you more of a things-will-work-out kind of person naturally?

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