I’ve never been particularly good at living in the moment. My lack of patience for just about anything is legendary amongst those who know me best. Try as I might, I’d rather not wait for … anything. Ever.

During the past year, I’ve made attempts to be a bit more mindful and of, if not quite in, the moment. Some days it’s easier undoubtedly than others. But, I’m trying.

As The Cuban, Che Fufu and I navigate a particularly stressful period in our otherwise uneventful life, little reminders continue to pop up signifying how fortunate we are and how we must simply enjoy those moments of calm and simplistic natural beauty in seemingly unexpected places when we can. We’ve taken to voicing what inspires and makes us happy at the end of each day, beyond just being together—being together is a given, even when we aren’t at our best. And, lately, I’m anything but my best. But, moments of gratitude allow us to move beyond the stress and uncertainty. They allow us to just be aware and acknowledge that even if we face adversity, we also have much to be grateful for. Much, much more than that which weighs us down.

Yesterday, as we walked our beloved neighbourhood on our evening stroll, we chased not only a budding sunset and the last of the summer sun, but a full rainbow. Neither one of us could remember the last time we saw a full, unobstructed rainbow, so full that capturing it in one shot was impossible. That rainbow was magical and necessary and perfectly imperfect as it formed, brightened and faded with the slowly disappearing and last of the summer sun. My word it was breathtaking.

As we arrived along the water’s edge, for the setting sun to our right and that glorious rainbow to our left, we breathed. Simply and deeply we breathed. We paused and just took it in. All of it. And, it was magnificently magical and perfect. For those few moments, nothing else mattered. Not the stress we continue to endure. Not the uncertainty of what comes next for us. Not the knowledge that whatever we face may not be easy but we’ll get through it together. We were, quite simply, in that moment completely.

Here’s to finding a few more of those quiet, calm and perfectly imperfect moments. Whenever and wherever we can. And, to rainbows and sunsets wherever they appear.

Rainbows and sunsets

Rainbow on one side of the water’s edge and the last of the summer sun on the other. This is Munkkiniemi and we’re glad we could call it home if even for a little while.



Today, it’s all about waiting.

Waiting to start the 2017 addition of the Helsinki Midnight Run. (My start time is 21.25, Helsinki time.)

Waiting to hear how prepared and where are family and friends in Florida are hunkered down and hopefully safe from Irma’s approach. (Last forecast has her hitting the Florida Keys early Sunday morning local time, Sunday afternoon our time.)

And, waiting to learn the fate of those who are currently riding out Irma’s wrath across Cuba.

I hate waiting. For anything. But, waiting on all of this on the same day has me unbelievably restless and anxious and fidgety. And, the weather here appears to reflect my mood rather well — rainy, windy and generally miserable and unsettled.

There’s absolutely nothing we can do from here for those in Florida and Cuba currently either experiencing what I image to be hollowing winds and lashing rain, deafening and terrifying at once. I can’t help but worry about those we’ve met who live far too close to the water’s edge. I can’t help but think of the waves currently crashing over the Malecón, which will likely grow and intensify as Irma follows Cuba’s coast. And, I hope against hope that not too much is washed away.

And, I can’t help but wonder what will remain tomorrow and the day after.

And, then comes Florida, likely to take on the full force or Irma’s terror.

As I sit or pace or try to work and take my mind off Irma’, the faces of those I love flash before my eyes, whether in Cuba or Florida.

And the word that comes to mind is simply, ‘¡cuidate!’

Be safe.


The Waiting Game

‘Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting’. ― Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

I suck at waiting. Absolutely and completely suck at it. If you ever want to torture me, make me wait. My own version of hell is an endless cycle of waiting for other people or things to happen.

In a cruel twist of irony, I married a man who is perpetually ‘getting ready’. He can’t help it and nor can I. Mix a Cuban and a mostly East Coast American together and you get an anxious woman tapping her toes perpetually and sarcastically asking, ‘Can we go now maybe?’

Perhaps its also more than a little ironic that I loathe waiting but am also prone to procrastinatation. Of course, procrastination comes with those tasks I do not want to tackle, whilst anticipation is more about moments at which I am desperate to arrive.

Today, it’s about waiting for my darling father-in-law Medel to arrive. It’s been far, far too long since last seeing him (~3.5 years), and his visit will be all-too-brief. As we were readying to leave for the airport to meet him, Sod’s Law of course strikes and we learn that his flight is delayed 2.5 hours. That’s 2.5 hours more of waiting, but also 2.5 hours we want to spend with him! Pfft.

But, it’s not just that sort of anticipation which annoys me. Waiting for a package to arrive in the post. Waiting in a queue at the supermarket (particularly just before holidays in Finland). Waiting on the bus (although, in Helsinki, this is soooooo much easier thanks to Journey Planner). Waiting for that anticipated phone call or email.

I simply suck at waiting.

In my quest to be more patient and mostly less obnoxious when waiting for others (especially when waiting for my infinitely patient darling husband), I stumbled across this gem of ‘advice’. It’s nothing really profound or new, and all of the tips are fairly obvious and common sense, IMHO. There is, however, something about seeing them in print which helps. In particular, a gentle reminder such as ‘control what you can control and let the rest go’ is never amiss.

So, I shall endeavour to let go of the fact that my father-in-law’s plane is late, and just enjoy the fact that I can enjoy another cuppa whilst waiting. Patiently. <tap tap tap>