• 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

  • LIFE

    Grindelwald by Tiina Kivelä

    Grindelwald Switzerland by Tiina Kivelä

    Snowy Grindelwald yesterday, 11/12/2016. Something bright, something pure, something comforting after a dark, dark week.

    Mountains know how to calm a girl. And on the same time make restless for the ski tours to come.

    See you later and listen Leonard.


    Grindelwald eilen. Jotakin kirkasta ja kaunista ei niin kirkkaan ja kauniin viikon päätteeksi.

    Location: Grindelwald, Switzerland.

  • BLOG

    Tiina Kivelä

    A friend send greetings from Malaysia, thanking for all the snowy pictures I’ve been uploading to Facebook lately. You’re welcome my friend – without you I might even forget how privileged I’m here in the winter wonderland. These aren’t mountains, but still magnificent. On the other hand, I should thank you for not posting any pictures from magnificent Malaysia (yet). The travel fever might rise high if you’d do that. Tiina Kivelä

    These pictures are from Sunday’s trip to Pyhätunturi. A lot of snow there was. And continuing with the theme, I’ve spent my late morning educating and entertaining myself reading the list of Norwegian words for/about snow. And it’s amazing to notice how you may even see the difference between the Northern languages when it comes to words for snow. Generally we have more words for/about snow in the Northern languages than Southern ones, because we generally happen to have more need for them (it makes life easier when you can use only word for ie. snow which is fluffy but has an hard icy covering). Nevertheless there seems to be differences between the Northern languages as well. In example, Norwegians (mainly coastal) seem to have specific words for the specific kind of snow and conditions they have there, while we Finns (mainly inland) have less words for those and more words for fluffy dry powder snow (typical for inland), and so on.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Snow is beautiful and words for snow are beautiful. Simply, snow is interesting. Silent too. And when the spring arrives (like now) it breaks the snow’s silence, making it melt (you hear the drops falling?) fly with the wind (early spring is the time for occasional snowstorms which are over almost as fast as they start) and fall down from roofs with loud (and dangerous– watch out) dumps.

    And have you noticed what kind of sounds the skier makes; skiing down these powdery runs, over the fluffy pillows and round the ghost trees? That’s a very cheerful sound.

    Ystäväni (joka seikkailee tällä hetkellä Malesiassa) kiitti lumikuvista, joita olen ladannut Facebookiin aika tiheään viime aikoina. Hän ei ole koskaan kokenut tällaisia lumimääriä tai maisemia, ja vaikka hän haluaisikin ensisijaisesti kokea nämä ns. luonnossa, on hän kuulemma hyvin onnellinen jo saadessaan katsella näitä kuvia. Terveisiä takaisin – epäilen että kuvat Malesiasta, joita ystäväni ei “onneksi” ole vielä esitellyt, saisivat minut vain matkakuumeiseksi. Toisaalta, hänen sanansa muistuttivat että on näissä kotinurkissa ja talvessa aika paljon aihetta iloon ja onnellisuuteen myös.

    Kuvat ovat viime sunnuntain retkeltä Pyhätunturiin, jossa on tänä vuonna harvinaisen paljon lunta. Ehkäpä sen innoittamana olen nyt sivistänyt ja viihdyttänyt itseäni opiskelemalla norjan lumisanoja, tehden samalla vertailua eri kielten lumisanojen välillä. Olen mm. huomannut kuinka hyvin norjalaiset sanat kuvaavat erityisesti norjalaista lunta, mikä useimmiten tuottaa sisämaan suomalasille täysin ennenkokemattomia elämyksiä tai yllätyksiä. Minulla on useinkin ikävä niitä vuoria ja sitä hiihtokulttuuria, mutta harvemmin norjalaista raskasta, märkää lunta ja ns. sinkkisäätä. Paras yhdistelmä olisikin mielestäni kuiva lappilainen puuterilumi yhdistettynä Norjan tai Alppien vuoriin. No mutta se olisi ehkä kuitenkin jo liian täydellistä.