Joyful Sorrow Of Missing Out

jomo tiina kivelä

Today I missed my dad’s birthday, second year in a row. Pandemic, still going strong. Me, still going nowhere far.

Honestly though, I didn’t really miss it. I only missed the physical representation while having pretty joyful day.

I remembered to send him “Hyvää syntymäpäivää!” message before lunchtime. And I marked the occasion properly by biking almost as many km’s as he turned in years (it was about 57km while he’s past 60 years) and enjoying a damn good mint-stracciatella gelato in Rapperswill for late lunch. Also, the weather in Switzerland was close to perfect today and if he’d been here we’d have enjoyed table service and Swiss wine in a sunny restaurant terrace (after 4 month break the terraces are open again and oh boy how the people in terraces remind me how I have missed the bit more lively towns of Switzerland and especially the z’vieris and apéros ).

Also, my dad is one of the rare people who most likely enjoyed his birthday just fine like this. Out of crowds and noise, he was out in the wild with nordic skis, for a pretty 30km tour on the crust snow (I also miss that occasional spring phenomenon in Lapland).

I am sure he misses me though. Like I miss my Finnish family in north, whom I haven’t seen since 2019 (thanks to pandemic and other reasons). And he’d have liked the bike tour I did. Past cute tiny wineyards and  farms with happy alpacas, chicken, cows, donkeys, goats and horses; fields covered with a yellow blanket of dandelions and occasional blossoming apple trees; the Kinderzoo’s giraffes and zeepras (I really like how one can peek into their zoohome when biking past the zoo in Rapperswil, while I really don’t like the idea of gathering wild animals in zoos for human attractions); and round Obersee with the snowy mountainpeaks in the distance.

My dad is also the person who more than me has deserved the possibility to do these kinda of tours middle of a casual Tuesday. For he’s so retired. I on the other hand always feel a bit melancholic now, even on a tour this great. Instead of feeling pure joy of missing out (very common feeling in Switzerland) I feel kinda joyful sorrow. Because the pandemic and all the sorrows it brings to our lives, and because all the missed birthdays and other occasions. And  because I should and really would like to be working full days and weeks now.

For these bike tours also make me really want a new bike or at least a new drop bar. For that (too) a new job would be nice. So that I don’t need to drop the gelatos for saving enough for a new bike.