Quest for a quiet life

We went to Ikea yesterday, just to look around. And to dodge people, it seemed. The place was packed. People were parking cars illeagally by the loading docks and you could barely walk inside the store. Shopping carts should be banned in Ikea anyway. We made our rounds, found a couple small things to buy, and decided that the current style of lamps and quite a lot of the furniture simply was not to our liking. Luckily, we weren’t in need of anything, really, we were just passing time.

After Ikea we needed to visit a grocery store, a big one, unfortunately, for the smaller ones don’t carry our favorite breakfast juice. And I needed a couple things from some clothes store, namely these special leggings from Seppälä and optionally new jeans from some other store to replace my favorite jeans that got ripped last week. I contemplated on driving all the way to Klaukkala Citymarket, with a Seppälä right there by it, just to avoid the crowds of Jumbo. But the necessity to have a bite of something for lunch drove us to Jumbo anyway; there’re no proper diners in Klaukkala.

I haven’t always minded the crowds, just like I haven’t always minded the heavy(ish) traffic around Helsinki in the rush hour (compared to the big world, they’re pretty mild, but I’m not in the big world, I’m in Finland). But lately I have started to crave for a more peaceful life. Going to smaller stores (if only they would carry the nicer stuff too and not only the basic bulk), walking to places, avoiding crowds, enjoying the quiet peace of a suburb.

Except that it’s only a start. Only a piece of a more slow paced life. I still work 40 hours a week, am tired in the evenings, use up the weekends to recharge my batteries for the next work week. Oh, it can be good! Weekends can be awesome! Last weekend with the girls was pretty great, and despite the crowds of yesterday, this one has been pretty wonderful too, Star Wars movies and good food and such. Carpe diem, be happy with each moment you have.

Usually, I do, and I am. But today I woke up cranky and craving for a different kind of life. Maybe it’s the hormones, maybe it’s the (too slowly passing) kaamos, maybe it was the restless dreams of last night. And maybe grass is simply always greener on the other side. But I would like to live in a place like Tinos. Have a goat and a lemon tree, be a writer, live a dream. Utopia even, maybe. An overly romantized fantasy. Life is life there too, I know, and people need to work for their daily bread there too.

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This takes me back to my age-old notion that I was born to the wrong class. I don’t really crave for a lazy life, though. Just for one where money isn’t an issue. So maybe I’m not after quiet? Maybe I’m simply after freedom. To be free of the must to work. I’ve never been good with musts and control. But I’ve also never been good with uncertainty, especially financial uncertainty. And uncertain it would be, to step out of the basic working life.

Bottomline is, anyway, that I have a dream and it involves quiet and peace, a slower pace of life, the Aegean Sea and the sun. It’s good to have dreams, right? Still, they shouldn’t cripple the ability to enjoy the now. Is that the point when a dream becomes a quest?

I hope some day I can make my dream my real life. Until then, I’ll get back to making each moment matter as it is. And I promise to get a bright light lamp for next winter.

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