Self-compassion and appreciating the small moments of daily life. This is what Wenjun Fu, mother to a 9-month-old son, has been learning during her maternity leave.
“When my firstborn Wenla was born four years ago, I wanted to get back to work after six months. I was grateful that my husband Lauri wanted to stay at home with our daughter for four additional months. I was younger and thought that my job in genetics was more important. Now I’m more forgiving to myself and take it easy: my family leave lasts over a year. Our son Wenne sleeps well – not even waking up to be fed. I’ve enjoyed being at home. In the mornings, I have a wonderful moment for myself when Lauri has taken Wenla to the daycare and left for work. The baby is sleeping, the house is quiet, and there’s only our dog, Yumi, to keep me company. I cook some porridge and add a salted duck egg, fermented tofu, and some salted vegetables. How delicious! For some reason, this Chinese breakfast isn’t to the liking of the rest of the family.”
“I’m the fourth consecutive owner of our family estate”
A beautiful view to the glimmering sea, from the window of Erik Oljemark, farmer from Porvoo. The rays of sun are shining on the breakfast table. Erik truly cherishes his family farm.
“The morning weather has been observed from this same window for over a hundred years. Our family farm has an impressive history: I’m its fourth owner. My grandfather bought the farm in 1916. My big brother got an education into another industry, so the farm was passed on to me quite early. I got a degree in agricultural science and started running the farm after my father passed away with cancer. The standing of farmers has changed a lot in the past decades, and I’ve had to expand the farm considerable to get by. Nowadays I’m the only full-time farmer in our town. We have three children with my wife Monica. Two of our sons live adjoint to the farm, and our daughter a bit further away. Our son Fredrik works on the farm. It feels good to have someone continue our family legacy.”
“A moment of calm in the morning unwinds body and mind”
Researcher Miia Viinamäki arrives early in the morning to her workplace in Vantaa. She spreads a yoga mat on the gym floor and concentrates on stretching and her breathing. A moment for herself helps focusing on the day at hand.
“I’m not a morning person, not at all. On the mornings we have a yoga class at work, I have to compel myself to get out of the bed earlier than usually. However, there isn’t a better way to start a morning than yoga. It gently wakes up both body and mind. The day starts with a positive energy, and it feels luxurious to focus for a moment on purely myself. I’m a bit impatient, and I’ve noticed yoga improving my ability to concentrate. On the classes I also meet coworkers whom I don’t see daily at work. Our team has sanctified the moment after a class for a coffee break: we sit down together to have a breakfast and chat.”