Friday, May 28, 2010

You blink and a week goes by

This week was a tornado. I worked and spent some time trying to enjoy my last bit of time in Stockholm and see my friends.
I've left things as good as they are going to get under the circumstances, so I'm not unhappy. I got everything back into my suitcase, changed hotels twice, had the worst pedicure in history, and laughed a lot through most of it.
I miss my kids so much, I'm looking forward to my two days visiting in Amsterdam and then heading home to see them. It has been too long.
I'll miss Stockholm too, and running along the lake every morning, in the quiet.
See ya next time Stockholm! Hej da!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What a week

It's Saturday morning and I woke up at 5, sigh...
It's been a nutty week, full of work problems and personal crap. At the end of the day, there was a big problem to deal with, but I think it will be resolved one way or the other by Monday. Last night I was a few metro stops from the hotel when I started to feel sick. By the time I got to the hotel, all I could think about was lying down in bed, which I did. Then, I ran to the bathroom and emptied the entire contents of my stomach. I have no idea what happened, fatigue, tummy bug, heat, but once everything was out I felt better and I stayed in for the rest of the evening and slept and watched tv. I'm not sure how I will handle food today, I had a couple crackers last night and that was fine. I decided to forgo the morning run just in case, I need a rest day anyway. I starting to recognize a few people running in the morning, only one of them smiles though. It's so peaceful to run along the water so early in the morning. I often see little brown bunnies, and lots of ducks and swans.
I have work to do this weekend, and I'm supposed to help Jess and Geert move today, their friends bailed on them and they don't know a lot of people yet. I'm happy to help as long as I'm not puking.
Steve is ignoring that I am not happy and treating me like there's nothing wrong. I want to hear about the kids and get videos because I miss them. There's nothing I can do at this point, the damage has been done. I'll have to resolve this when I get back home.
Until then, work, running, and more beautiful Stockholm....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Running twice a day

I'm not quite sure how to describe what happened today. I haven't been able to talk to my kids every night since I left for a variety of reasons. Lately, I've been too tired to stay awake until midnight or later to talk to them, and Steve has mentioned that Naomi has been acting up. The kids miss me. I feel terrible.
So today I brought the web cam to work and snuck a meeting room so I could talk to them in the morning. I was talking to the kids, they could hear me but I couldn't hear them for some reason, when I saw Steve's girlfriend walk out from the kitchen and back again in a nightie.
We had agreed a while back that when we were ready to introduce the kids to someone that we would tell the other. Steve told me, actually I had to ask, the day he introduced her to the kids, less than a month ago. I met her a few days later at the park for a few minutes, then I left on this long trip, Steve has moved house, and now she's sleeping over with the kids in the house. I also found out from the kids that they have met her children, Steve apologized for not telling me about meeting the kids (this was last week that I found out about it)and said it wouldn't happen again, and then a week later, this....he isn't taking this seriously.
Of course, if I had done this to him, it would have been the worst thing ever, but because it's him getting on with his life it's ok. So I have to smile and pretend that every thing is ok in front of the kids so I don't let on that their father can't be bothered to respect their mom.
I have no idea what I should do. When do you choose standing up for yourself over your kids, and why would anyone force you to do it?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Return to Stockholm!

The rest of the week got away from me. I'm back in Sweden and about to start work again tomorrow. The rest of my trip in Finland was full of family and more meet ups and food and trying to piece together the mysteries of the family history. I have returned fat and overwhelmed and happy and full of so much love.
This morning I had my first run in over a week along the seawall and it felt so good even though I was still hacking stuff up. I hope I can get up early enough to go again tomorrow.
I miss my kids, this trip feels too long. I know I don't have to worry but they miss me more this time too and it's making me so sad.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More to love

Yesterday was a busy and an emotional day. We started with some sightseeing late in the afternoon. We went to the Russian Cathedral, the national library, the Helsinki Cathedral, the railway station, a bit of shopping, then the rock church.

After we met up with Rita and one of her daughters and we went to a old restaurant with traditional food. We were joined by many other relatives - twelve or thirteen in total- for a meal and good wine. I had asparagus and smoked salmon and new potatoes.

There was lively talk around the table as I met my second cousins and their children, some in school, some in business, all animated and interesting and funny. We compared ourselves, looking for similarities. One of the women looks a lot like a picture we have of my grandmother when she was 15 or 16. After the meal we all walked to my grandmother youngest half-sister's apartment in Helsinki. She is 83, very lively and warm. She reminded me almost instantly of my grandmother, especially the eyes.

She played the piano for us - she plays by ear. Old songs, war songs, popular songs, at one point we were all singing along to Elvis. I was overwhelmed emotionally, to be sitting there with so many wonderful, talented women, all related to me, all coming together to see me. I've never felt so special and so undeserving of such an honour, it was truly remarkable and humbling.

I cried several times during the evening, and laughed, and sang, and shared stories about my grandmother. On the way home I tried to explain to Richard in a text what the evening had been to me and I couldn't come close in words. It was just so much to take in, unreal and overwhelming and marvelous. I slept soundly and woke up this morning to sunshine on the water and birds singing - the first sunny day I've had in Finland.
Today, my grandmother's other half-sister, Meri, came for a visit with her husband, Esko. Joining us for lunch were two more of my mother's cousins, Vaikho and Torsti. We had a good lunch and tried to unravel some of the mysteries of my grandmother's family. There are so many stories that it's hard to tell what is true. Maybe some day we will be closer to figuring out all the real history.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's Monday, this must be Finland

I spent the week working in the office and then we found out that there was going to be a delay in the project. I was planning on taking some time to visit family in Finland near the end of my stay, but because of the hold up, I contacted my relatives and they were more than happy to receive me a little early, so I booked a flight and off I went!

Like Sweden, it is unusually cold here for this time of year. I packed for a normal Swedish May and was surprised to discover that I should have packed more sweaters and fewer sandals....whoops! Jess loaned me a sweater and I bought a pair of pants, so I'm not so bad off now.
So yes, I arrived in Finland on a cold, grey day and found Mariella, my mom's cousin, waiting for me in a gorgeous red coat, a nice contrast with the weather.

We hugged and then ran to her car and drove to the cemetery to plant some roses on my great-grandfather's grave. Mariella's mom is also buried there. It was mother's day, I missed talking to my kids which was upsetting, but I did get a video.
After the cemetery, we went back to Mariella's home in Espoo and had some tea and talked and she brought out pictures and before you know it it was dinner time so we had a nice meal and then I had a shower and a sauna in hopes of clearing out the cold I've been fighting off. I felt much better by the time I returned upstairs, and we watched the very end of Der Rosencavalier being broadcast on tv. Mariella's a big opera fan which I was very excited to hear. The next time I visit we will try to go to the opera together :-)

So I am perfectly at home and this morning I have been lolling around and had another sauna and had some coffee and tried to walk the dog but he wasn't keen to go out or he doesn't understand because he only speaks Finnish. Later we will go out and see a bit of Helsinki and then go to another cousin's house for a meal and meet more family. How wonderful to realise that you have more people to love in this world.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Here I am again

Flight was full of turbulence and crying babies, getting here was a bit blurry, but right now I'm staying at a swishy hotel for a couple of days right downtown and had a great bath and a nap and dinner and a walk around town. now it's time for bed so I can get up super early to get to the office and get on with it. Woop!

Here I go again