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I have a way of thinking about this Icelandic-obsession-need to belong-find my niche-write a book-sing.a.long-genealogy-travel-cousins-icelandic everything.

There is a pattern:

You get interested in Iceland and your heritage. You go to an event, visit with another Icelander, read about or travel to Iceland. You become more interested.

You take it a step further and attend another event, make some pönnukökur, learn more, think about your dream project....... become more interested and then you are sucked into the "Icelandic Vortex."

Pretty soon, you feel as if everything is spinning way too fast. The vortex is flinging you from one thing to the next and you are overwhelmed. You are at the top of a spinning vortex --- a tornado --- falling over the top of the waterfall into the abyss below that is churning and intimidating.

Some people jump out at this point -- just before success. Some people hang on for dear life, struggling to achieve their dream and they take each day as it comes. A famous Icelandic saying is 'Þetta Reddast' (It will all work out - it will be okay).

As you learn and grow, the vortex continues to spin but little by little, you settle down inside this spinning, ever-evolving vortex. You get into the center and here you find the vortex much more calm. You are not at the wide opening at the top of the tornado being jostled from one frenetic activity to another.

As time goes on, you are more settled. You live near the base of the vortex -- not spinning any more but focused and heading in the direction you choose. The entire vortex is still there but you are stable and in control - leading others - telling them to hang on - showing them they can do it. You have found a balance in your life.

The one thing that helped me the most was to write down all the tasks I wanted/needed to accomplish and prioritize the tasks. I had to make some tough decisions and not try to be superwoman who thought she could accomplish it all. I needed to find others to join in the fun and become a volunteer in this wonderful Icelandic World.


Be brave. Hang on. Þetta Reddast. It will be worth it in the end.

I am inside the vortex humming happily along. Sometimes, the vortex gets crazy and I let it pull me back up -- back out of the cozy rocking of the narrow bottom. I must focus again on settling down and seeing the goal -- seeing the focal point of my dream.


Icelandic Roots is a non-profit, educational, heritage organization specializing in genealogy, history & traditions of our Icelandic ancestors.

Icelandic Roots
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