• BLOG
  • How Is Your Resilience Doing?

    I don’t hate you for failing. I love you for trying.

    © Marge Simpson

    For years I thought I am a bad loser. For hating the disappointments so much.

    When still competing in orienteering – in the most unsexiest sports in the world btw – I always hated it when I lost. I hated it when I did a mistake, got lost, chose the wrong route, was too slow, whatever way I failed that time. (fyi I did fail a lot… wasn’t so much of racer in the end because also didn’t really enjoy winning others – more like testing my own limits was the thing and still is)

    And the same with exams, job interviews, break ups, failed switchbacks on bike and crashes on skis. I just hated hate the disappointment. The awful feeling in the chest, the wasted chance and dead end. For not living up to the expectations and not getting what I want. While others get the jobs, prices, praise and good shots.

    And for that, I thought I was a bad loser.

    But then. I realised that maybe it wasn’t so much of a being bad at losing. I mean, with this track record I am rather pretty damn good at failing. No problem here screwing the relationship, not getting the job and especially, no problem crashing the bike at the next turn. (or well, most likely in there I don’t even ride the tricky trail in the first place)

    Oh no. I am good at losing but also – to my recent surprising revelation – I am pretty good at hopping back on the bike and trying again.  No matter how many times I have failed and been said no (stubborn, some say) I keep on trying. Not with everything though, but enough many things still. I have resilience, I really do.

    Oh boy, do I sometimes just keep on trying and fighting for the things I want and need. Grasping the opportunities and keep on knocking the doors I want to open. 

    But why that, you may wonder?  Especially if and when you know the situation familiar to me too. The moment after losing, failing, whatever it is that makes you disappointed with yourself and thinking that what’s the point of trying, if it always ends like this.

    Or even worse, when failing when just before you have said to everyone that you gonna handle this, you so gonna win this. Oh the disappointed and shame…

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Well, no matter what I keep on trying and showing up.

    That because especially as the privileged white chick with education, brains and Finnish passport there’s always opportunities. There’s always something else to go for and there’s almost always some help and reason to continue available.  And there’s always something else I don’t fail and can be proud of. Something which shows that I can and I have the potential. Achievements and moments of success. 

    And like the most lame self help book or life coach, I’d say the same goes to you. You just need to keep your eyes open for them. There’s the reason you started in the first place. The things you want and need. And the things you do succeed with. And the achievements you make and have made.

    Yes, there is. And before you say no, not always, I say that yes I know not everybody on this planet is this privileged. But as long as you are reading this and seeing the pics, you are a prime example of the achievements and possibilities and success available.

    You have learned to read. You have a computer or mobile device to read this from. Etc.

     Like already said, I know I am pretty good at failing myself. And disappointing myself.  Especially the past year has been bumpy. I have lost things, jobs, fights, negotiations, people, nerves and while not crashed with bike and skis I have failed with things so bad that haven’t hand the chance to bike and ski in the first place. Well done, Tiina. Well done. (read: sarcasm)

    Yet, I have kept on trying. First, with the help of my natural Finnish strength of sisu. And second, with my tendency to think (or well this is very much because the amazing people around me who remind me of this) – at the moment of failure or a bit after it – of the good things in my life. And especially the achievements I do have made and which I can still make.

    The things which show that even if I failed at this one thing now, I have succeeded in something else and done good enough.

    linguistically speaking, the concept of sisu goes back 500 years or more. It can refer to “stoic determination, hardiness, courage, bravery, willpower, tenacity and resilience.” It’s “an action-oriented mindset.” You don’t brag about having sisu; you just “let your actions do the talking.

    © Peter Marten, finland.fi

     

     

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Matterhorn

    I hope I would have a magic cure for disappointments though. Some kind of remedy. But unfortunately, I don’t. I also hope I would have time and energy to find and read all the scientific data and doctor’s orders for this. But I don’t have that either. (though for building resilience and for good references, I recommend the books Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, and Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown)

    Luckily though, I have found the above mentioned way which works for me and which might be worth sharing with others too.

    It’s thinking of (after the fail) the marathon I did 2 years ago. It’s thinking of the master’s thesis I submitted (and got approved) on time. It’s going for a run and getting a Strava segment crown or running your fastest mile of the month.

    It may also be someone saying thank you for your help and effort and saying wow you did great, well done. Giving the praise and approval which you deserve whenever you do good. And yes, many times this means first helping other people. Being there for them and doing good whenever possible. But if and when that’s not possible, then it’s just you telling yourself: You got this, girl.

    I have failed and someone might be better than me in this and that. I might also fail tomorrow too and the day after. Someone else might be the choice of the love of my live. Someone else might get the job I so much wanted and needed. But no one else ran that marathon 2 years ago. No one else has that Strava segment crown. And no one else is ready for the new opportunities like I am.

    This is not a magic trick and it might not work for everyone. But it’s good enough for my life. The kind of which makes me try tomorrow again. Maybe I fail again, but I fail good. 

    And you know, these pics in here are from days when I’ve climbed up the mountains and stared at those peaks having just failed miserably with something. Having just disappointed myself and/or others and had others disappoint me. Badly.

    But then at the same time, I have also been the lucky girl who’s been in these beautiful places and done so well that she has gotten herself there. All the way from remote Arctic.

    So how about next time you fail you think of how you even got the chance to fail and how well you did at some other moments?

    And how many other opportunities there are waiting for you to get up again and try better.

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Disappointment


    Where: Switzerland

  • BLOG
  • Origin Of My Superpowers

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Arctic Warriors

    In our series of if I would be a foodie blogger. Includes a recipe and guest starring Minttu.

    First of all, I just realised in Switzerland I eat way more veggies than in Finland. That because they are most of the times local – or almost local – and so good quality. (Poor short cold summers of Lapland).  And because meat is so expensive in here. Which it also should be, of course. For the climate, sustainable production and business.

    Though not even that has turned me into fully vegan. And even though tempting – again the climate – I guess it will take time for me to get fully vegan. Though not for the meat – the least for that really. Mainly because the Swiss cheese. I mean, what would life be without apéro-plättli and raclette… And käseschnitte!  (Ask and I may write more of those some day). Luckily though, the cows in Switzerland seem more than happy with their life and duties.

    Secondly, in our rare food section. Raw, soaked oats and Finnish berry powders. <3 Oh why only recently I got this greatness. Healthy and handy.

    (At this point I have to tell you that especially in Switzerland  I am kinda strange Finn abroad because I don’t miss many Finnish/Lapland things. Like, I don’t travel here from Finland with bags full of Finnish bread and candies and whatever many other fellow Finns seem to do. Simply, because I am lazy and have too much stuff anyway. And because Swiss food is generally more than good for me.

    Nevertheless, in addition to the fish and flatbread baked by my dad (aka the original hipster) I do miss the berries a lot. Because they taste good and are super healthy.  The original superfood from Lapland. And while one gets some berry jams from here too – even cloudberry jam from Ikea – and while fresh berries are kinda impossible to transport to Switzerland to be enjoyed later (especially with our tiny tiny freezer)  I am super happy for the recent commercialised invention of berry powders. 100% berries, light to fly with, and easy to storage and be consumed regularly until the jar is finished and new order has to be made – thank god one can nowadays buy them online too.)

    Lately, I have been the most excited of that shock dark pink of Arctic Warrior’s Puolu lingonberry powder. Which goes well mixed with frozen bananas and coconut milk – for banana-coconut-lingonberry nice cream –  and for the above mentioned raw soaked oats porridge.

    (For mine, I normally mix together a small handful of big oat flakes, a bit of chia seeds, spoonful of lingonberry powder, just enough unsweetened almond or coconut milk, and one ripe banana. Then I let it stay in the fridge over the night in the very hipster jar and eat it in the morning – raw or occasionally topped with almonds/nuts, more berry powder and coconut flakes.)

    And to get it all balanced, see the last pic for todays most interesting find and our guess star Minttu.

    Was today sorting my skiing and mountaineering stuff aka my favourite toys and next to my harness – which I have  used way too little lately – I found a bottle of Minttu. The notorious Finnish drink which goes well as a shot or extremely well with hot chocolate (or at least to the ones who like boozy mint chocolate) and which for some reason – didn’t remember it first – I had in there.

    Though then, I remembered la graving and the concept of survival shot. (For the nerves, that is. )

    Seemingly though I have not needed it, because the bottle’s still unopened. Which only means that the harness and crampons and me need more outings. The bit scary kinda ones, for which one needs all kind of shots in the emergency kit (btw, above mentioned Arctic Warriors also makes my favourite natural energy shots – these honey ones) in addition to the crampons and glacier specs.

    Time to eat tomorrows porridge looking maps and project sheets….

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Arctic Warriors

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Swiss Veggies

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Minttu


    Where: Basecamp aka home. 

  • BLOG
  • What A Girl Can Do With Some Help

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Interlaken

    Balance for better.

    I have come to a conclusion. One of the most annoying things when working remotely/freelancing – as the one and only hustler of your business – is how you work alone most of the time. Which I have done a lot the past year. Worked and studied alone from my home office – or from a corner of a café – and talked more to my plants than any living person.  (Though the plants are living surprisingly well – I am impressed by my seemingly developed skills in this field.)

    And even as an introverted Finn who has no problems being a bit hermit sometimes, I have noted how much one can still miss the daily teamwork and slack. Because the plants are unfortunately very unresponsive, although pretty and living.

    And the same goes to mountains. They are nice to experience solo as well (just see the pic from summer of 2016 below, one happy kid biking solo around Grindelwald, or read this longer story about solo hiking) – and there are many unresponsive things to talk to there too.

    But the best is always when the solo endeavours and adventures with others go about 50/50. Enough me time, and enough doing together. Balance for better like the hashtag for the day goes.

    Soo in other words, you may invite me to work in your office any day. I would be more than happy to jump in. And for the mountain adventures and this international women’s day, I would like to especially give a shout out to all the amazing women who go solo or together, invite others along (in person or through writing, pics, videos, art etc), and simply do badass things.

    And to the people, men and women, who give women space. Space to be where we want to be, to do what we want to do, and to say what we want to say.

    It might not always be the most brilliant and pretty thing what comes out of that, but I do think world is way more exciting that way.

    Like on that hot summer day from which the selfie below is. When I decided to bike up to Grosse Scheideggen from Grindelwald, and all the way to First and Bachalpsee, and back down to Grindelwald. With my heavy not really made for this kind of things bike.

    And when the best was after it all, down in Grindelwald. Where I heard the question: “Did you really bike that sketchy path all the way down, we saw you from the lift and no way a girl was doing it?”

    Uhm well, hold my beer…

    Maybe not the wisest move, but a good test for my real capabilities. And an example of what a girl can do. With the help and pushing of other people, especially women. Because without one particular woman I would not have been in Switzerland in the first place that summer. And without the women biking before me I would not have ever gotten on bike and realised I can do things like this as well.

    Though this summer I hope I have enough money to buy a new bike. Enough of testing my capabilities exactly this way.

    Berner Oberland 2017

    Jungfrau Region Hiking Switzerland Tiina Kivelä

    Grosse Scheidegg Biking Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Jungfrau Region, Switzerland