I´ve written some posts that haven’t been so easy to publish. I´ve written them intuitively because I´ve felt that the topic is important and related to women´s wellbeing. My post about practicing showing my emotions was that kind of a post. When the post was finished, I closed my eyes and published it. And I wished that I´m not making myself a fool by doing so.

Why it is so difficult for me to express my emotions, especially negative ones? Why have I kept so much inside of me for all these years and let it cause emotional and physical gridlocks in me? Why it is so hard to get rid of this kind of behavior pattern? The more I´ve tried to learn to express my emotions, the more I´ve wanted to find the reasons behind of them. All the reasons.

In autumn I learned some of the effects of my nation´s history on me. That helped me to find many answers for the questions I was asking  and to understand myself better.

This winter I´ve read and had conversations about the difference between raising girls and boys. How girls have learned over the past centuries to suppress their emotions. They´ve learned to keep their negative emotions for themselves. They´ve also learned to show the positive ones with a restrained way that has been commonly approved in their culture. A good girl, through the ages in all cultures, has been a girl who is kind, behaves well and who certainly doesn´t raise her voice or make a big fuss about herself. Expressing emotions freely has just not been allowed. Or if someone has done it she has certainly felt the pinch.

My husband send me this video some time ago. I warmly recommend you to watch it. It´s less than 4 minutes. It´s a provocative and sharp video, but in a good and clever way. It tells about the differences between girls and boys, women and men. How we come from difference, and how those difference affect ourselves, our behavior and wellbeing. Whether we want it or not.

Acknowledging and understanding how things pass on from generation to next has helped me to understand that some difficulties that I have with myself are no ones fault. Not my mothers, my grandmothers or great-grandmothers because they´ve suffered from the same things that I have. And what about my father, grandfather or great-grandfather? Well, they have had their own challenges in terms of what a good boy has expected to be. We can only guess how much suffering it has caused for boys when they´ve learned to suppress their emotional sensitivity. Just because a real man doesn´t cry.

The more I learn to understand the nature of human being, the clearer it is to me –  no human being is purely evil or bad. There are reasons behind everything. And when you dig deep enough, you´ll find that the reasons are very natural and human. We all have responsibility over our own behavior but many things affect on it. Reasons that cause suffering to us and people around us. Reasons that are more complex and that have deeper roots than we realize. Reasons that all need to be acknowledged and understood so that we would not blame innocent ones. So that we can change ourselves, feel better and offer a better life also for our daughters and sons. Just like our mothers and fathers have tried to do.

A permission to all girls and boys to express their emotions and skills to process them in a constructive instead of destructive way. That could be the thing that my generation could offer to the next one. Better mental wellbeing.

First this video made my heart beat like crazy. Then it made me cry. But it was not because of sadness. It was because of relief. Clearer than ever I realized that I´m really not the only one who have difficulties showing her emotions.

Yes, I´ve been a good girl and caused myself suffering by doing so. But so have millions and millions of other girls in this world before me.  And they still do. And because of that I feel that I want to publish this video. So that more and more women would not cause themselves suffering in the future by shrinking themselves.

And Jonas, even though we come from difference, it doesn´t mean that we need to keep it that way. Many things have changed, and many things can be changed. The main thing is that we avoid confrontations, acknowledge our own challenges, win them and become free to become ourselves.

Because in the end we truly are on the same boat. Both women and men.

Mari ❤ SaimaaLife




10.30 am

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Before: How I used to live?

  • I used to work at home in the same way as I used to work before becoming a mother.
  • I used to feel guilty for working at home when the children were awake.
  • I used to feel that it´s impossible to combine work and motherhood in a good way and be well at the same time.

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Changes: What changes I´ve made to my life since I started to pay more attention to my wellbeing and simplify my life?

  • I´ve learned that the key is to be present and give closeness to children. When you satisfy your children´s needs first, they often play by themselves leaving room for you to work.
  • I´ve explained to our children that there is time when I’m with them totally and there´s a time when I need to work and that working is a natural part of life.
  • I´ve learned that I don´t need to give my full attention to my children all the time. Also children need time to rest and change to develop their imagination and skills on their own. It´s good practice. Later in their lives there are many occasions when they need to be alone.
  • I´ve learned to organize my work in a new way: with children I only work with things that don’t need much concentration.
  • I´ve learned to be more merciful towards myself: Finding the level of good enough in both work and motherhood have helped me a lot to combine these two.

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After: What kind of positive effects I´ve noticed now that I´ve been able to get closer to Living Simply.

  • I enjoy work and motherhood: Mindfulness has been the most important thing in both. When I´ve learned to be totally present with the children, I´ve also been able to concentrate on my work better.
  • I feel less guilty for working: When I know that my children get enough of my time, I don´t need to feel guilty even thought I would work while they play next to me.
  • My children don’t criticize me so much for my working anymore: The better the children have understood what kind of a work their mom is doing, the better they´ve learned to cope with it.
  • My efficiency has improved: The better I’ve become in organizing my work, the more efficient I am.
  • I’m more satisfied with myself: Learning to set the bar lower with secondary things has helped me to get more time and energy for the most important things. And I enjoy more of them too.

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Next time you can read about my ways to save money.

Click to read the On the way to Simple Living: Intro.

Read all posts from my post series called On the way to Simple Living.

Mari ❤ SaimaaLife




“For I remember it is Easter morn,

And life and love and peace are all new born”

- Alice Freeman Palmer -

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Mari ❤ SaimaaLife




Last August we painted the room. Last October we were able to put the wall stickers on the wall. I had hoped to get the bookshelves ready too before the New Year. I hoped but couldn´t get myself to do that. There was always something more important, just like there often is in families with small children.

This week I decided to do it. I decided to get a grip of myself and finish the girls room by painting the bookshelves so my husband could install them.

I´m so happy that I did it because my work turned out to be really refreshing small project for me! It was so relaxing to paint the bookshelves alone and work with my hands a little bit. And not to mention about the feeling I got when I saw the beautiful result of my work!

So if you have something similar on your mind, something that you´ve planned to do but could´t get yourself to do it – a decorating idea, a handcraft, whatever. Something that is not too laborious but the kind of a task you know would bring you a lot of joy. Do it now!

Refreshing small projects bring nice variation to your everyday life. Finishing a task, even a small one, will take pressure of from your mind. You’ll feel so good when you see the result of your work! I recommend!

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We made the bookshelves from materials that we didn’t use on our previous renovation.

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My husband sanded the bookshelves and I chose the paint.

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When the girls fell asleep, I started to paint. I enjoyed the silence of our home and working with my hands so much!

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Wood is my material. No matter if it´s restaration of old furnitures or painting. The main thing is that it´s wood that I´m working with.

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In summertime I have the vegetable garden. When I was painting, I thought that I need something for the wintertime. Who knows if I’ll start my restoration hobby again next winter…

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Looking good already!

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I painted the next layer of paint in the morning while drinking my morning coffee. It was a relaxing way to start the day!

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Drilling is my husband’s work in our house.

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Girls are waiting for the outcome…

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…and all the dolls too.

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I made the right choice with the color. Yippee!

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Handmade elephant that Liilia´s god parent made found its place too.

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Almost from a decorating magazine.

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Our project is finished and mom and girls are happy! The children´s room was my favorite room already before this but now I like it even more :)

Mari ❤ SaimaaLife




What do you think if we’d rent a house by the lake Puruvesi and see how it feels like to live in a house in the countryside?

My husband asked me that question one summer day on our boat last July. The girls were having their afternoon nap on the cabin and me and my husband were having coffee together.

What a great idea! Let´s do that! was my spontaneous answer. Girls aren’t going to school any time soon. Now is the perfect time! I continued.

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We had just talked how we enjoy living in our boat during the summertime. How we had noticed that we feel physically and mentally better when our days are filled with simplicity and nature. The town has begun to mean us less and less.

So, wouldn´t it be better to live in a place where all the things that are meaningful for us are close to us?

We had also noticed that we need less to be happy. We don’t want more quantity to our family life, we wanted more quality. All that we want is to live simply good life together.

We certainly don´t want to be someday +60 and say “We should have done it back then.“. We want to be a  couple +30  who has the courage to trust our intuition and do that what our hearts have to say.

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BUT. My husband has never lived in the countryside. He has no experience what it’s like to live the long and dark Finnish winter without street lights. He is skilled ex-scout and his hobbies have taken him to nature for whole his life. But that´s still far from living everyday life in the countryside. A place where the nearest grocery (and street light) is 15 km away from home.

And me. Well, I´ve lived in the countryside for the first 16 years of my life. I know how deep the darkness can be there. But living in the countryside as a child is a quite different thing than to live there as a working mother of two small children. I don´t know how does it feel to take your sick child to emergency duty 40 km away.

Besides, we love our colorful town home. It´s big enough for us and it´s easy to live there. Everything is close. It wouldn´t be wise to make too big and radical decisions based on too romantic views about the simple life close to nature.

A realistic view about living in a house by lake in the Finnish countryside. That´s what we want to have. An experience that gives us enough knowledge to decide is a house in the countryside or an apartment building the right place for us and our wellbeing.

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Things move forward when you work for them. In autumn we started to search for the right house to rent.

In January in our friends` wedding I realized that our other friend, quest at the wedding too, owns a cottage by the lake Puruvesi near my parents´ farm. Why not  give it a shot and ask? I thought.

We found a perfect match. A cottage that was empty during the winter. A cottage that fits perfectly to our plans. And our plans fit perfectly to our friend´s plans.

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So here we are. Visiting our future home. Me and my husband having coffee together. On the steps of the cottage that will be our family´s home from the beginning of next September till the end of May 2015.

After coffee my husband continued his wood cutting. I smiled when I saw him looking at the birches. I sensed how happy he is doing physical work.

While my husband worked in the forest I walked around the cottage. I went to photograph our home road to be, sat next to the smoke sauna, imagined our girls swimming in the lake, planned how I would photograph the cottage and its surroundings for you.

I thought, how lucky I am.

And how life can be amazing. You just need to give it a chance to be amazing.

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When I look at this last photo I feel calm and relaxed. Excited too, but in a good way. I feel ready to take the next step in my and our family´s life. I know it will include a lot of challenges and surprises that are not only positive ones. But even so I feel calm and confident. This will be a good thing for us. I know it will.

That’s the view from our kitchen and living room next autumn. It is the view that I’m going to see while doing my yoga practice on our porch next September.

For some it’s a boring view. For me it’s a soulscape. A view that is a symbol of simply good life. A symbol of my dream.

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Mari ❤ SaimaaLife