Sauna Evening

Hello, everyone! I hope you are all off to a good start of the week. Friday last week, Lilli, Jay, Loke and I went to Panelia, which is about an half-hour drive from here. It’s where Jay’s mother grew up and where one of her brothers–who is also Jay’s godfather–lives with his wife. I have been there many times over the years and they are lovely people. Regardless, I still get funny when we go to meet with others. Nervous or anxious. And more often than not I have to battle with myself, remind myself that it will pass. Because it does get better. I get so irritated with myself for it, though. A few years ago I would end up staying home, so it has gotten much better, but the feeling–the knot of unease in my stomach–is awful. Do you ever feel like that?

barrel-sauna
The tynnyrisauna. Barrel sauna.

I imagine that going to sauna is one of the signifying habits of Finns. Did you know they even have competitions to see who can stay the longest? I think I only went to sauna a handful of times before I moved here, and as far as I can remember, the saunas I visited in Sweden weren’t this hot. My favourite is the sauna at the summer cottage; it’s milder somehow. All that said, when in Finland, sooner or later you acclimatise. Haha

girl-back

woman-selfie

We had the nicest evening in Panelia. The weather was beautiful, even though it got really cold once the sun set. Jay and his godfather went between the terrace and the barrel sauna for what seemed like hours. Lilli and I sat inside and talked to Jay’s godfather’s wife. She is from Sri Lanka and told me a lot about her family back home. She is the warmest, happiest person. I love just listening to people sharing their life stories–a good reminder for when I get anxious about leaving my home!

Once sauna was done, we grilled and talked in their warm kitchen.

Jay’s godfather is a photographer, and it was so nice to finally get to talk to him about photography. We looked at some of the photos I have taken, and I didn’t know what to do with myself when he gave me so many lovely words of praise. Face to face it becomes like rain on a sunny day, and all I could do was blink, smile, and nod. Haha

Jay’s godfather and I seem to share the same love for light, and he even gave me some ideas and shared a little “secret”. One I will have to try. In the end he offered me his zoom lens to borrow–a lens I have never tried! I was so excited about it and finally got to try it a little yesterday evening. I’ll show you a few of those photos in my next post.

girl-on-loveseat-swing
My beautiful Lilli. ❀

girl-hand-holding

Since I don’t really drink these days, I am the designated driver. On our way home, we had a police car behind us the entire way. Once upon a time I used to get so anxious I felt like peeing my pants in those situations, haha. And then, when we turned off onto the gravel road a couple of minutes from home, the police flashed their lights. Apparently I was driving too peacefully, which the kind policeman emphasised is a good thing. I got to blow for an alcohol test which obviously came out clear. πŸ˜‰

Next time, I will try the barrel sauna, too. I couldn’t this time, due to delicate reasons, so I wandered around with my camera for a little while. Do you go to sauna where you live?

I wish you all a lovely day. Much love. ❀

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I'm Lotta. I live on a farm in southwestern Finland among oats, wheat, and swaying pines. With photography and words I show the journey toward building my life-long dream of telling inspirational and unforgettable stories through images. I am so glad you are here to share this experience. <3

10 thoughts on “Sauna Evening

  1. I always feel anxious when I have to meet new people. Or really any occasion when I have to speak in public. Even with family, I feel a sense of dread. Or maybe, especially with family. No one has more power to hurt you than your own family. They are in your inner circle, whether you want them or not.

    Maybe never feeling safe with the ones you should trust the most is what makes any situation of judgement that much more affecting.

    Of course, I don’t know your story. But I’m glad your visit seemed to be to a place of belonging and support, once you forced yourself past your walls.

    “Be louder than your fears”…I love that quote of yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry you get that feeling with family. It is true what you say – the power those closest to us have over our hearts. Our family should be our safe haven, but I know how that is sadly not true for so many.

      I, too, have had an incredible fear of speaking in public, and it still makes me very nervous – my knees shake and I cannot think straight. But I got to challenge many fears during the two years I studied in Sweden. The people there – both teachers and students – were so supportive, and I was never pressured into anything until I felt ready. So on my last day I stood up in front of the class and held a little speech. It was a goal of mine that I before I started that school couldn’t have even imagined reaching. I have written a little about this here on the blog actually, if you haven’t read it already. https://lottavillagefield.com/2017/06/19/be-louder-than-your-fears-an-introduction/ & https://lottavillagefield.com/2017/06/23/trust-and-fear/

      I have been through some rough experiences, and while I have always been quite sensitive, I ended up with deep depression and anxiety but in the end I came out the person I am today, so I am grateful these days for that. But it isn’t easy to overcome; it takes a lot of time, so I still suffer from these things, even if I feel better equipped to handle it. ❀ And I am so glad you like the quote! It's something I constantly tell myself, as much as I am able to remember, at least. My inner mantra. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you, Pamela, for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me. I value it so much. ❀ I wish you a peaceful evening.

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      1. I recognize a lot of myself in your “Introduction” post. A lot. The struggles you describe are ones I am very familiar with.
        I think you are very brave to put yourself out there…writing a blog…allowing yourself to be seen.
        No matter the outcome of this adventure you are on, it is already a victory. I mean that.

        As one who has walked in my share of dark places, I know what it takes to step into the light.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for saying that, Pamela. I very much agree with you, that it really is a victory to have gotten here to where I am today, no matter what comes next. I do forget sometimes, and am very hard on myself, but it’s nice to be reminded. I’m so glad you found your way here, that I got to “meet” you. ❀️

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      1. Thanks! Practising being alone with them and it’s tough, they cry at the same time or in turns so basically never a quiet moment! If I want to have lunch or something, I have to just let them cry. Poor things. I would need two warm laps to let them sit in so they would stay calm, impossible alone! Oh la la! 😰 But otherwise they are super adorable so that’s good!!! πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’• Your photography is great by the way, how cool that you got to speak to a pro about your work!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow, I can only imagine the challenges with twins at that age. Go you! It’s tough to let babies cry, so I totally get you. ❀️ And thanks! I feel like I’m getting better and better but it’s always so nice with feedback. πŸ™πŸ˜˜

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