This weekend I’ve been visiting my parents in my dear old hometown Tampere. More about this excellent city shall follow later on in the blog.
All week I’ve been feeling tired and a bit stressed at work, so my plan for the weekend was only to relax. This is why I came to come to Tampere to my parents’ place. Enjoying their good company, great food supply, sauna and sofa cures anything. I told only one friend that I was coming to avoid any “obligations” to meet. Yesterday we did some successful shopping and enjoyed cava in a cozy restaurant H2 + K.
However, things normally don’t go as planned. Lately I’ve been writing quite actively as freelance journalist to some magazines and, because of my slight crisis at work and big need to develop myself as writer, I’ve been saying YES to all the enquiries to write something. So on Friday I promised to write an article about Pixelache festival and Helsinki African Film Festival, both to be held in Helsinki in May. As I’m “specialized” in writing about arts & culture…
The negative things is that deadline for both these articles is tomorrow. Thus, a big part of my “relaxed” weekend has been contacting interviewees, looking for background information, writing, editing and watching African films.
The paradox is: I love writing and I’m ambitious, but at the same time I feel a constant voice saying in my head “it’s weekend so please please relax – as you promised – and have some fun!” Of course, it’s not the first time when this happens. I really want to become a better writer and establish freelancer contacts with new publications, but this means working in the evenings and weekends. And I’m jealous about my freetime. I love, need and deserve it!
This morning I read a column about success in Aamulehti, the daily newspaper of Tampere. The journalist asked himself, why he hadn’t become a professional photographer, which used to be his dream. In the end he said that he loved too much his “freedom to do whatever – or nothing at all”. And to succeed you need to concentrate on ONE thing and forget about everything else. It might not sound that hard, but it is. For me, this weekend it meant forgetting about the following:
- Spending a whole evening on the sofa reading a good book – without a work-related thought on my mind.
- Cooking and having a nice long dinner with my parents and enjoying some good red wine.
- Visiting the new home of my friends, even if they live nearby.
- Having a long, relaxed walk around the neighbourhood observing the spring around me.
- Hanging around the centre of Tampere and having a coffee – without time limits – with my old friends. Concentrating on their stories – without thinking about my own work!
- And, most importantly, having time just for doing nothing. This is very important for me, and anybody, to get totally relaxed and letting your thought flow freely and get some creative ideas…
Sure, this is just one weekend, so I’t ok, but I definitely wouldn’t be ready to give up of all the spontaneity and fun in life just to become an excellent writer. Or excellent whatever. And they say, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” I prefer to be happy and free than excellent at something – and I still don’t accept that these two things are incompatible! So for now I’ll shut down the laptop and go with my Dad to visit a fish market in Tampere.