Who am I

Who are you? What comes to your mind first when this question is asked. Most people tell they are a mother or father a husband or wife and what they do for living. If person has something very different in them that is usually told. I have a very strange name so I often tell people when I meet them for the first time that my father is from U.S.A. I already know the questions that will then follow (Have you always lived in Finland, Why do you live in Finland, Do you visit your father often?) So I usually tell bit more to make it easyer for everyone and to change the subject.

Our identity, how we think about ourselves is not something fixed, it changes. The kids grow and we are still mothers and fathers but thats not the first thing we tell about ourselves when we meet a new person. Anything can influence to the way we see ourselves. My marriage ended very suddenly couple years ago. Since then I had always identified myself as a mother and a wife. I was working only part-time and taking care of our farm-house and animals. After my divorce I started working full-time and continued with my studies, I also built my own house very close to my old house. Our decision to stay as neighbors with my ex-husbaned was often wondered or admired. For us it was the only way to keep everyday life working somehow.

The first year the hardest part was that I had to drive pass my old life everyday. I could just fell how everything in me changed but almost everything around me stayed the same. I had been together with my husband since I was 23. Now I had to identify myself again, ask who am I? That was not easy and some of the most stupid things were done then but because of this question I also made the best decisions of my life.

It was not a change for better or for worse (Or maybe some people have an other opinion of this), it was not something that everybody around me can see but it was a change in how I see myself. This might sound like I had been very much depending on my husband in my life but many sociology’s (Mead, Cooley, Sullivan) have agreed with this “The thing mostly influencing on how we see ourselves is the way others see us”. Cooley talks about reflective appraisals which means that we see ourselves as others see us but not just like any other. We only choose the opinions of those who matter the most to us. That Is why the way we see ourselves changes when te people around us change. Of course other things also influence to our identity: what we do, where we live, what we want to achieve. I think it is important to realize that the way the people around see us has such an big impact to how we see ourselves. But also we need to remember that way we see our loved ones has a big impact on them.

Happy rest of the year, I made no promises but this looked like something I wanted to share, don’t know why it came twice…IMG_1748

Decluttering or not…

We were eating our last Christmas meal for this year together with my parents last night. I hadn’t really thought before that my dinner table is in the same place where my two mares used to live before. In my barn home this is the only room I have done completely myself (which also can be seen in some parts). My mother and my daughter still think its the best room in the house, the room also works as my office thats why there is a small desk.
I hate when I have too much staff around me so as Im having a short winter break I started selling some old furnitures and clothes on Facebook. And I ended up driving one hour each way to pick-up this beautiful English tableware. Everything in my home is quite industrial or plain so this adds some color. I specially love those handmade wineglasses which I will use as water glasses. The lady who gave it to me told me that she had been married for 35 years and this had been there first tableware together. Its perfect in my dining room, best Christmas gift.

The winner dessert

So not to many gifts this Christmas but the amount of desserts we had. There was cheesecake, pecan pie and pumpkin pie. But the winner was also the easiest to make Gingerbread-liquorice ice-cream. I thought ill share it with you:

Gingerbread-liquorice ice-cream
Piparkakku-lakritsi jäätelö

4 dl whipped cream, kermavaahtoa

2 cans (397g) of condensed milk , kondensoitu maito

appr. 20 gingerbreads, piparkakkua

Lakrids salty liquorice syrup, Lakrids salmiakki siirappia

Whip the cream and the mix it with the condensed milk. Break the gingerbreads and add them. For the liquor I used one of my favorites the Danish Lakrids salty liquorice syrup. hard to say how much is good, star with a small amount and add little depending on how much you like the taste of liquorice. Put in freezer at least for five hours.

This portion is very big so you might want to split it, if you have gluten-free guests coming put some on side before adding gingerbread. You can replace them with gingerbread spice.

I love the mixture of salty and sweet, Hope you do to!

Happiness…

Definition for happiness by positive psychology Sonja Lumbomirsky “The experience of joy, commitment or positive wellbeing, combined with the sense that ones life is meaningful, good and worthwhile.

Roughly 30-50% of happiness is determined by our genes the rest comes from psychology and our own activities. Psychological facts hawe two aspects: things happening in ones mind and the connections in social relations.  That means the feeling of being loved and the feeling of loving.  Again and again the researchers find the same conclusion: the best way to be happy is to invest in your family and friends instead of the material Wellbeing.

But still some people are happy in the same or worse situation then others. We all know people who seem to have everything and they aren’t happy ad we all know people who have every reason to be unhappy but they are not.

How often do we hear in the news that some country has been found to be the happiest in the world. If you live the nordic countries and if you follow social sciences you hear it very often. Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway they are in the lead very often. Of course these results depend on how happy is defined. Happiness is not an easy thing to explain. There is so many researches trying to find out which countries are the happiest in the world and what makes them happy. The countries vary a lot depending on what is the way of measuring. One thing is in common on most of them: The economical growth does not increase happiness after certain point. World happiness report describes America this way:

In sum, the United States offers a vivid portrait of a country that is looking for happiness “in all the wrong places.” The country is mired in a roiling social crisis that is getting worse. Yet the dominant political discourse is all about raising the rate of economic growth. And the prescriptions for faster growth—mainly deregulation and tax cuts—are likely to exacerbate, not reduce social tensions. Almost surely, further tax cuts will increase inequality, social tensions, and the social and economic divide between those with a college degree and those without.  (World happiness report Chapter 7RESTORING AMERICAN HAPPINESS, JEFFREY D. SACHS)

I think United States is not alone, many countries and many people look for happiness “in all the wrong places”.

World happiness report can be found here: http://worldhappiness.report

 

Everyday life and routines….

I just spent couple days reading the book Maa-ilma (the world) written by Mikko Lehtonen. In the chapter 10 “Power” he talks lot about the freedom. How everything that we actually are depending on creates the feeling of freedom and gives us the freedom. How people in western are convinced that they are free and able to reach for there invidual goals. Is it freedom if we are allowed to do what we want or is freedom only if we are also able to do what we want do.  That a question asked in the beginning of this chapter.

We are so convinced that we are free that we dont actually see how community is controlling us. How much we earn, own, what we do for living, how many kids we have they are all in books and papers. We have identified ourselves so closely with our country that we dont question these things very often. We have our rights and we have our Obligations. We also dont realize how much we depend on other people, people we might not even know to make our food, clean our homes, take care of our kids….

Lehtonen calls this the freedom paradoks: the feeling of freedom comes from the Full dependence that we have. We can forget how much we realy on the system and on other people becuse it has become a routine and our everyday life depends on them. Dependences restrict out life and they make our life more free. We dont realize how  forseeable our everyday life is. We have weekly routines and we have yearly routines. As Lehtonen sayes routines have for really long been to boring for science but in routines we actually see the whole world flashing. Following routines tells us that a person has an idea of what others are expecting him to act like. So routines show that we have exepted our lives under the power of the system with out even relizing it.

I love routines, the feeling that something that happened will happen next week at the same time at the same place. I love going to work, I love the word työpaikka (workpleace in finnish). If somebody calls me when Im on my way to my work I love saying “Im on my way to my workpleace” I love telling that I have this pleace where people are waiting for me and they need me to do my part. I think that partyes are great and I love holidays but I think that best of all is everyday life.

Lehtonen rights that the power does not only influence when we do things we dont like but also when we do things just to keep our everyday life on order. I will continue reading his book and it will demand a lot of thinking. At the same time I will enjoy being under the powers that make me follow my routines and run my everyday life.

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