Now that I have received The Magic Number, a.k.a. the number necessary to live a normal life in Sweden, a.k.a. my personnummer, I have had to call several people and organizations to sort out some things. Like my drivers license and a doctor’s appointment.
And I’m serious when I tell you that one could learn Swedish just by listening to those freaking phone-menu-systems they have. You know, where they tell you ‘If you want this and that, press 1. If you want something else, press 2. If the sky is blue, press 3. For Bulgarian, press 4.’ Etcetera.
They love them here. They love them so much that I couldn’t even manage to talk to an actual, real, breathing person when I called Transportstyrelsen with a question that didn’t quite fit the options they gave me.
Although that could have been because I don’t actually completely understand the options. Usually I try to listen for a keyword in the options and then just guess that I should press that number. Most of the times it works.
Talking about numbers – I have learned my numbers up to 20, so I can tell my phone number and personnummer when I need to. But these phone systems, they let you type in your phone number and then repeat it to you like this: ‘We will call you at five to three at number twenty-three seventy-seven …’ etc.
Seriously. I wouldn’t know if I had typed in my number wrong and they are gonna call some random person instead.
And about that call-back system. It’s all great and lovely until you have to see the doctor because of a toe fungus and they call you back right when you are buying tomatoes in a crowded Maxi. Not that that has happened to me. And I will make sure it never will. Cause that would be awkward.
It’s a funny thing, life. Just to be living here you need all these things. I need to call people and then I need to email people to remind them that I have called them and I need to fill out forms and send forms and then send an email to tell them I sent the form.
It’s just so easy to get occupied by these things. And not just the things of the now, also the things of the future.
When Jacob and I talk about the plans we have for the future, we usually come to the realization that it can’t be planned. In the end, we just don’t know. We want things, we plan things, we save up for it, but really, who knows how things will turn out? And I don’t just mean that bad things might happen. It could also be good things.
There might be blessings around the corner that we had no idea about. And when I say we, I mean you and me, and all of us.
There will be blessings coming our way that we didn’t count in in our elaborate savings system.
Blessings that we didn’t make room for in our life plans.
Because we weren’t living with open hearts and open hands.
Instead we were worrying and discussing and calculating, looking down instead of up.
This morning, when I woke up, I remembered to look at the birds.
Why worry about food, clothes, housing, money? Why worry? He provides.
‘Look at the birds, free and unfettered,
not tied down to a job description,
careless in the care of God.
And you count far more to him than birds.’