Thursday, 1 May 2014

Summer Beginnings!

Good morning from a cloudy Sweden! 

Yesterday we celebrated Walpurgis Night here in the north - it's party-time, big time! both in Finland and Sweden with students celebrating, bonfires being lit and most people having a good time. J and I had a nice dinner at home. We both like cooking and exploring new recipes so it was the ideal evening for us. 

Today is also when the summer starts. At least in my world. I am very much of a project thinker and self-challenger. If I don't challenge myself, I don't get anything done. So, I have been thinking about ways to entertain myself and challenged to create. 

Here are some of the things I would like to focus on (so nothing new under the sun): 

  • Fitness
  • Food
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity
So, three F's and one C. 

Fitness to me is concept that includes a lot of things -  it means fitness in the traditional sense (to look fit) but it also includes feeling fit, eg energetic, well and healthy. Looking + feeling = being fit is key to being happy, I think. Mind you, it's not about satisfying and becoming a part of a norm (to look good), rather, physical activity breeds energy. An energy makes us happier. How to be fit, then, is the question? It is my belief that what works for me is to have a challenge and a plan. Surely there are some forms of exercise which should ALWAYS be present in any lifestyle (long walks, for instance),but my thought is that a mix of strength, cardio and stretching is the best. This opinion is not based on any scientific evidence - it is what feels good. So, the plan is to do strength training 2-3 times a week, running 3-4 a week and yoga as often as possible. The goal is to run 15K by the end of the summer (31 August) and run a half-marathon in the autumn. 

½ orange, 1/4 pineapple, 1 kiwi + some flavoured sour milk (not pictured)

Food is always important! Apart from the obvious reasons (we need to eat in order to live), it is also a lot of fun. I love looking for recipes and exploring in the kitchen, looking for ways to combine healthy and tasty. Now this isn't really a challenge, but I do want to learn as much as possible about nutrition and the world cuisine. I will however try to eat healthily :)

Delicious tropical smoothie

Flexibility. As with fitness, flexibility comes in two forms: physical flexibility and mental flexibility. The physical form of flexibility can be trained through various forms of exercise, for instance yoga. Mental flexibility is as important but more difficult to grasp. It is about avoiding being static and rigid; it's about curiosity, finding ways and paths; it is also about flow and trust; about letting go of perfectionism and the need to control life. I believe this mental flexibility may be achieved through meditation and being without trying to control, learning without ever being fully-taught and listening without intervening.

The last of the four points is creativity. Creativity comes in many forms, depending on how one defines it and what meaning it bears. In my life, creativity is language; creativity is colour, and it is also joy. So, for me to fulfill my yearning for creativity, it can be in the form of planning projects (like this one) or learning a language, or by the use of words. And this is what I shall do. I have no specific goal to achieve, other than the goal of spending at least 30 minutes a day in writing or translating. 

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