Summer in Finland is short indeed. Is it even shorter now than when I was a child? Or have I just, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of daily life, forgotten to pause and enjoy the warmth of the summer, the soft breeze and the buzzing insects?
Autumn often marks the beginning of something new. I am sending our eighth child to the first grade, and our older daughter goes to Reisjärvi Opisto. Our middle school pupil will move from a temporary facility into a lovely new school, while the primary school kids will move out of their dilapidated school house into temporary premises. Apart from these outward changes, all educational processes will continue after the summer vacation, including my own studies. Both my calendar and my head are full of a hodgepodge of lists and schedules.
I will do my best to fend off the feelings of hurry, shortage of time and constant chaos. I will try to keep those things at arm’s length. Far enough for me not to be influenced by them. I would like to welcome the fall with an organized and orderly mind.
I have recently been wondering about the impact of the human psyche on one’s energy levels. What makes us choose our occupation and hobbies? What is the presumption, requirement or dream inside us that motivates us to make our choices? It is important to recognize the underlying aspiration that governs our actions, because it may sometimes be at odds with our resources.
This thought has been preoccupying my mind, because I have realized that I tend to aim at perfection in whatever I am doing. I have been reading about how one learns to take things easy, to pause and listen to one’s body and mind. It is important to be aware of one’s inner resources and to respect their limits.
Human beings are funny in that their fatigue is not directly related to the number of hours slept during the night or the workload accomplished. Sometimes it is easy to work on an interesting assignment for a long time without feeling tired. At some other time work can be hopelessly dull and tiring.
There are times when I feel exhausted by the ”meta” work required in daily family life. What should we eat today, tomorrow, next week? I should remember to buy a fixing kit for the flat bicycle tire. Oh, I almost forgot, one of the kids will have a dental appointment at 10.30 tomorrow and a swimming lesson right after that. When should we go to pick blueberries, and do we have enough berry rakes? Whose are the wornout trainers in the hall, when would I have time to sow the curtains for the little ones’ room?
When bombarded by all these thoughts, I should arrange some calm, peaceful time for myself. Quiet enough to hear the whispering voice inside me. What do I need myself? I often forget all about that. For some reason, I find it challenging to take a short break from the daily chores and child care and do something personally rewarding.
My inner voice seems to be quite demanding. It does not whisper in my ear nice rhymes of blooming flowers or soft knitting wool. It says that work comes first and play only comes after that. And work never ends. Based on what I have read, I am not the only one struggling with this problem.
I am happy we were able to go on a holiday this summer. I could put some distance between myself and the work waiting to be done and to relax and enjoy nature. Beautiful scenery and silence are the best medication for a busy mother’s restless mind.
I derived new strength for my daily life from the blue sky, the tops of high mountains, the rushing waterfalls and birdsong. It was easy to pause there, with no other alternatives available. I hope that, little by little, I will learn to experience that same peace in my life on an ordinary Wednesday. Right after dinner when all family members are happy and content.
Text: Suvi Myllymäki
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original blog post here.
Suomessa on eletty pitkään rauhan aikaa. Tämä ei ole itsestään selvä asia. On kysymys Jumalan lahjasta. Maamme rauhaa ja itsenäisyyttä on aika ajoin myös häiritty ja uhattu. Historian eri vaiheissa kansamme on joutunut puolustamaan omaa olemassaoloaan myös ase kädessä.
Koko perheen joululevy sisältää jouluisia Siionin lauluja. Niiden sanoista kuulijalle välittyvät sekä hiljentyminen seimen äärelle että ilo ja ihmetys seimen lapsen syntymästä.
Kirjoittajat eri puolilta maailmaa kertovat siitä, kuinka Jumala on johdattanut heidät valtakuntaansa. Kertomuksia yhdistää kokemus kotiinpaluusta, Raamatun mukaisen uskon löytymisestä ja uskovaisten välisestä rakkaudesta.
Kuuden edesmenneen puhujan elämänvaiheet piirtävät kuvaa uskosta ja elämästä menneinä vuosikymmeninä. Heidän kokemuksensa myös syventävät kristillisyyttä koetelleiden hajaannusten historiaa.
Eeva Kontiokarin runoissa tarkastellaan ikääntymistä lempeällä huumorilla ja elämänkokemuksen tuomalla viisaudella.