• LIFE
  • Honestly, I’m A Finn And I Need My Solitude

    Tiina Kivelä

    November is really November these days. Monday too. With rain and around 6h daylight – basically, it’s just a loooong and dark night followed with 50 shades of grey before another looooong and dark night. And over again. Calls for a badass attitude and not just in Helsinki.

    For a while it was nice. There was snow and I could go skiing even, the Nordic style – 1,5 year break made me feel a bit like Bambi on ice though. But I’m getting there – and whatever the style, it’s one of the best and most effective training methods ever, let me tell you. Watch out skimo and skitouring season, this year I’m really training for you…

    And then there were these extremely beautiful and cold days fairytale-like days with frost and all the muted shades of care bears. No wonder Frozen is my favorite Disney film – the one I can really relate to. There was well needed light, sunny (although cold) days and beautiful hikes.

    Tiina Kivelä

    And it’s been so quiet and empty. No wonder solitude has been another thing in my mind and agenda these weeks. It has felt a bit that I’ve been paying the bills from last winter still, the bills from when I for a while forgot what I need to keep it all together. In the end, I survived, and it was the best winter I’ve ever had. But honestly, I was too close to exhaustion with all the work, long mountain days in the weekends, shared flat, etc. There were good things, but there was something important missing. And things didn’t really go as I hoped them to go. Luckily though, life is a journey in which I don’t need to repeat the same mistakes all over again. And when stepping into another ski season, I do make sure I do things better this time and after.

    Last winter, solitude was missing, while some other shitty things were taking it’s place, like the pitfalls of bad management. I still do love most of the firm and it has been the best learning experience I’ve ever had. But it had it’s flaws, like any organization. On my freetime, I did some solo hikes, and took my time alone, but not enough. And now, it’s not just my freetime into which I try to squeeze better practices and the solitude. It’s also the work part of my life for which I try to invent better practices. And in which I hope to be able to focus on the really important things and do them better.

    Now when I read and hear how good solitude does, I’ve understood that it’s clearly one of the secrets for my success too. The thing I can do to ease the pain. In the best case, it also makes me a better team member. At work and at home.

    So, to not repeat the same mistakes again, it’s been sauna almost every day now. The real Finnish one – alone, quiet, naked, veeery hot one. I guess it works like bath for Emma Watson. And then there’s these moments in the nature, almost like Thoreau. And all this skiing and running and reading, and knitting, etc. Yeah I know, I sound like a grandma. But please, just let me take my time and see you in (Verbier) afterski with all the energy gained these months. Darling, it will be wild, I promise.

    And for the work I have new calendar and scheduling practices, as well as new confidence to do things my way, the way I know works best for me and for the goals of whatever project I’m on.

    If you want to read more about why solitude is good, you may start from this. Or this. Or maybe this. One of them tells you that solitude is even a competitive advantage! Who knew – it’s not just for us introverts to curl up in our comfort zone.

    Oh and if you want to come up here too, I may tell that my Lapland guide is almost finished (working on this site and menus this month). And to give a tip from here already, I may recommend the place offering that risotto (Restaurant Roka, Rovaniemi, Lapland Finland) which I enjoyed in solitude – comfort food, alone or made with love and enjoyed in good company, it’s an excellent self care ritual too. Especially after exercising out in the cold, which makes a girl hungry. Veeery hungy.

    With these words and pics, let’s survive now (and hopefully enjoy too) November.  See you later!

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

  • BLOG
  • Reindeer

    Tiina Kivelä

    Some places have deers in the meadows in the morning light.

    In Lapland, we have reindeer in the fields in the very cold morning light. In other words – local food eating local food. Sorry, I know, a bad joke. I didn’t eat meat that day.


    Where: Roadside between Kemijärvi & Rovaniemi – Lapland, Finland

  • BLOG
  • But I’m Hiking In Lapland

    Tiina Kivelä

    Despite the recent efforts and wishes I still haven’t seen any tickets to Switzerland with my name. Luckily though, the sun started to shine in Lapland as well. And on top of that, the first snow arrived with glistering frost and magical landscape. Yay! They’ve also opened the first “stored” snow Nordic skiing tracks in Rovaniemi, so it’s not so bad being here either. I haven’t been skiing yet, but I’ve enjoyed the weather and posed well for selfies while hiking in Lapland – exactly in Pyhä-Luosto National Park in the pictures, for example. [Strava data]

    And please, let me have a fashion blogger moment in here. May I introduce: my cool new jacket! It was damn expensive, but as it’s 6 years since my last shell jacket I kind of needed badly a new one. Moreover, this practical beauty (and apparently a bit of eco too) is finally a jacket which is long enough to cover my butt (no fitness blogger butt selfies in this blog), and it has long enough sleeves while being lean enough. Quite naturally then, it’s the kind of self-care I deserve, especially with this color (still a rare find in women’s collections).

    This week I’m having few more days of this and work, followed by weekend in Helsinki, for some books and wine and urban training (Helsinki Book Fair, some wine & food fair which has no english name, running, swimming and sauna). Maybe I find and can then tip you another cool remote working place in there too. In the series of which, I’ve moved myself into a new office up here, so less remote work in the coming weeks. And I have to say, if something, constant change is permanent in my life. It’s not light, but it has some good sides too. At least I don’t get bored easily.

    Now I’m plugging off to sleep the Monday blues away. Take care, enjoy the sun while you can, and talk to you later!

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Pyhä-Luosto National Park