The silver lining and new adventures

West Cape and the Atlantic Ocean in spring sun and wide horizons

Stadlandet; here I am!

After 14 years in Oslo, Norway, I am packing up my stuff and moving to the west coast of Norway; Stadlandet.

Having worked from home from Stadlandet more or less since August last year, and realizing it works really well, I have decided to make Stadlandet my base from now on.

I have for several years aimed at some day being able to move home to Stadlandet, my childhood home. I thought it would be many years before I could do so. However, the corona-situation changed that. I started working from home from Stadlandet after the last summer holiday, and with a few trips to Oslo now and then, the decision was clear. I live better at Stadlandet; the air is cleaner, the night sky is dark so I can see the stars, I have a house, a yard to roam around in, a garden to tend and fantastic recreational opportunities surrounded by mountains, fjords and the Atlantic Ocean just around the corner. The internet connection is super, only disturbed by the occasional storm (doesn’t last long).🌊🌬 The best part is that I can still continue working for CloudWay, as we have our office in the cloud, and working with my customers online during this period has really been smooth. 🤗💻

Go west – a region in growth

The Norwegian Coastal Administration is building a ship tunnel in the fjord here (read: Kystverket – Work will now begin on the Stad Ship Tunnel) and in addition there are many exciting things happening in the region, especially with regards to technology and IT. We have the Lefdal Mine Datacenter in the neighboorhood and in Måløy there are several technology groups and activities, like the PEAK competency center Peak Måløy, blått kompetansesenter i Måløy – se video – Måløy Vekst ( There are several businesses on Stadlandet itself too, with companies like Stadpipe – Avanserte rørsystemer, Arctic Linefish and Ervik Havfiske – Mat til verda med Stad som utgangspunkt, Per Stave AS (their Lutefisk is legendary) and Stad Hotell – Stad Hotell, (8) Vestkapp Restaurant | Facebook and my own pub “Korsen Pub” (I have a super team that takes care of that business).

See this beautiful video of Stadlandet, made by Anders Drage:

Stadlandet – home base and the world is my playground

Moving to Stadlandet doesn’t mean Oslo is forgotten and I still love Oslo. I don’t think we should limit ourselves to just swim around in our own little dam. We need to expand our horizons, gain new insights, dare new things and keep growing. I will use Stadlandet as my base, this is home for me. Still, I have very dear family and friends in Oslo, and with the new speed boat from Stadlandet to Ålesund I can be ready for a meeting in Oslo the next day, and even before the speed boat is in business I can drive to Hovden Airport (Ørsta/Volda) and I am in Oslo, or Trondheim, or anywhere in the world, in no time (or a little time … I guess it depends…), or I can drive to Måløy and take the speed boat to Bergen.

I am close to Ålesund, Måløy, Nordfjordeid, and even Bergen isn’t quite safe from a visit when the corona-situation is improving.

I am here to help, challenge, enable and guide, together with my fantastic colleagues in CloudWay just a Teams call away. 😉

The Stad ship tunnel will create a lot of synergy effects, and new businesses and opportunities, and even if it is not, it is not only people in Oslo, or Norway, who need help with their collaboration and communication platform in Microsoft 365. I am working online, hence I can help anyone with an internet connection. The corona-situation will perhaps bring us all closer in the end.

Secure productivity in the cloud by CloudWay

Secure Productivity happens in the Cloud. We will help you on your Way, is what we believe in and want, and is reflected in our name; CloudWay.

Vanylvsfjorden – out there behind that island in the horizon is the Atlantic Ocean

It’s been a journey

Up close and personal…below is my reflections of my journey so far.

The first part of what I will share with you now isn’t something I talk about much these days, as it is very hurtful and talking about it gives me anxiety. At the same time, it is an important part of me and also what makes me keep going, even when things are tough and tricky, and continue my work to create a better world tomorrow, especially for our children. And, as I am now starting a new chapter of my life, it can be good to reflect on my last major life change. What I am happy to share though, are what I have learnt and choices I have made. We have all our struggles in life, and by sharing mine I am hoping I can use my experience to help others, to turn pain into strength.

14 years ago, in July, I stood at the airport on Gardermoen, Oslo, with a suitcase with summer clothes, my “svele-stekehelle” that grandpa giftet me years back, no money, nothing, and hardly even myself. 17 years being away, 7 of these in another country, a broken marriage, physical and psychological trauma, a child I had to leave behind. It was not by my own choice, I thought I would be able to return to her in a few months. Life didn’t want it that way, and that part is another story. In spite of what happened, I chose to raise up, and to not be a victim. I am a warrior and I still carry love in my heart. Our children are only for loan, we can never own them. A part of being a mother is to let our children go, and let them find their own path in life. I just had to do it a little too soon. My heart is still open for my child and one day I hope I make her proud of being my daughter, and most importantly of all, that I can be her mom in every way again! Currently I need to be contented being a mom from afar. <3

At the airport that day in July 14 years ago I was broken, beaten, with a self esteem lower than a doormat, still, very much alive. My brother had bought my ticket home, and he was there to welcome me home, with open arms. And, so was the rest of my family and childhood friends. The road to rebuilding my life started…Being surrounded by people who love you unconditionally is truly powerful.

Get going, one step at a time

In august that same year I got my first job, as a project coordinator in a project implementing a digital HR system for a big company. Luck would have it, I worked there for approximately 8 years altogether. I always felt part of that company, as a company is the people within and they were/are awesome. That company, those people I worked with in those projects; they truly built me up, and for the most part, without even knowing it. If you read this and worked with me at that time; Thank you from the bottom of my heart! ❤ I never forget when someone has been kind to me. At a time during that period I was also harassed by someone from the outside, and even then my colleagues at this company surrounded me with support, and I guess the person harassing me actually achieved the opposite of what he planned. Instead of tainting my name, he made high ranking people in the company aware of me, and all they could see was a hard working woman doing her best and doing a decent job, and being liked and appreciated by her colleagues for it.

I met SharePoint…❤

In my second project with that company I was introduced to SharePoint, and a long-time relationship with SharePoint, after this Office 365, and eventually Microsoft 365, started. Whatever was going on in my life, SharePoint was there. I think I can say that SharePoint saved me; it gave me meaning to work with it; helping and teaching others to see what I saw in it, and to bring people together. It gave me focus and concentration to dive into it, and self esteem by mastering it. And, it gave me the possibility to work with amazing people and brought me to awesome companies to work for.

Even though at times it was a love/hate relationship with SharePoint, the relationship was strong enough to last (and as far as I have understood, an experience I share with many😊). It wasn’t perfect, and a struggle sometimes… I did get some grey hairs! It was the SharePoint 2007 version that started it all, well, I did work with SharePoint 2003 too before that, and there was a lot of things to learn and understand. Many things well above my head. I used hours on hours of my own time to read, see videos, search and learn. I worked with it during daytime, trying to understand what my colleagues needed, and how it could be improved, changed it during night time. At times confused my ever patient project colleagues (what happened to the files?). Together, we worked out a good platform for a project that grew into a program with 6 projects, more than 800 involved resources, and we all turned into one big, happy work-family. It was an adventure and I am so happy I could be a part of that journey.

People told me to work less, and I know their intentions were good, as I do spend much time and effort on this. However, for me it is not work, it is a lifestyle and a passion. Still, it was hard to explain why I use so much time and effort on it, it still is. I just love it, and get immersed in it, and perhaps because of the knowledge I gain, the bigger picture I see, and the skills I work on, I can help my customers work better, to feel they achieve something, and by that they are building a better world for tomorrow.

Community Rocks!🌎🌏🌍

It was around that time I joined the SharePoint Community meetups, to learn more about SharePoint. At the time the community members and topics were of a more technical nature, and lots of it beyond my understanding and knowledge. In the modern versions it is much easier, still many of the main principles are still valid, perhaps because they work. 😉I just persevered, kept going to meetups, asking stupid questions and hoped that if I listen long enough, some will trickle into my brain and once there, compute. I guess I was asking so many questions they decided I could be part of the board. The Office 365 arrived, and we changed the name to the Office 365 community and now when we have the Microsoft 365 platform, we changed again to the Norwegian Microsoft 365 Community, for short #NOM365C.

Link to NOM365C LinkdIn-group:

Link to NOM365C Meetup-group: Upcoming events | Norwegian Microsoft 365 Community (Oslo, Norway) | Meetup

There are great communities for the Microsoft 365 expertise area and I will write another blog about these another day. 😊👍

SPS Oslo – what a ride!

Thanks to Bjørn Harald Rapp who initiated it and managed it for the two first years, 2013 was the first, I got involved with the SPS Oslo conferences. SPS Oslo is a free conference by and for the SharePoint/Office 365/Microsoft 365 community. I realized you don’t need to know everything to lead people who know more, and by being part of the organizer group I got to know the very capable speakers and got some core insights joining the sessions and later following their blogs and videos. Surround yourself with good people and you get better too. SPS Oslo had a lot of great speakers signing up again and again, and we had a bit of a luxury problem choosing sessions among all those awesome speakers. We worked hard to encourage local speakers to take the stage as well, especially women, as they tend to need a little extra nudging to take their spot. I am happy we succeeded to a high degree, and the conference grew from 2 tracks and 80 participants the first year and 4 tracks, 33 speakers and 300-350 participants the last year I ran it (2017). Read more about SPS Oslo story here. My co-organizers Ahmad Najjar and Knut Relbe-Moe have successfully continued the SPS Oslo and now during the corona- situation is organizing a Nordic event, in collaboration with other user groups. They are doing a fantastic job! With my day job helping customers with their digital collaboration and communication platform in Microsoft 365, focusing on both the community and the conference in my spare time was too much, as they both grew, and then I chose NOM365 Community where I felt I could contribute more. There is really a time for everything. 💡

Teaser for SPS Oslo 2017 (at the time of teaser 230 attendees registered, in the end of the event we were 400 registered.

What is success?

The best part of my job is where we perhaps had to work through some resistance for the change coming when implementing new digital tools, or there was not a clear direction of how to use the digital tools, and/or lack of digital competency and many work silos. Then we work, in a team, with our customers, understanding the business and what they need, how they work, remove blockers, help them build a team across work units/departments and to build a culture of collaboration. When I see they get it, and they start mastering the subject, to start teaching and guiding their colleagues, to challenge their business (and me!😊)and come with their own suggestions, then we are talking! They are structuring their content and their work processes in a good way. They start to lead. They get innovative. They start taking their own place at the stage so to speak and that really brings joy to my heart! That is why I do what I do, I love what I do, and I do what I love.

I have a favorite poem, it might be from Ralph Waldo Emerson, the sources don’t agree on who wrote it. Anyhow, it goes like this:

“What is success?
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch. Or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!”

And, with all my flaws and mistakes, being human, I try to live by this poem, and especially: “to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

Take care, stay safe and enjoy life! It’s yours, make the most of it! 🥰

Published by Merethe Stave

Read more about me at

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