17 – Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day: Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If so, how successful are you at keeping them?
I never have, not really. When I was younger, I sort of half-heartedly did but I wasn’t serious about it and didn’t even try to keep them. I don’t remember what the resolutions were.
18 – Thesaurus Day: Do you own a thesaurus? How often do you consult a thesaurus to find just the right word?
I do own ones both in Finnish and English, but I use the Internet for that now and have for more than a decade. About weekly.
19 – Popcorn Day: Do you like popcorn? What is your favourite topping for popcorn? Or do you prefer it plain?
Sure, I like it salty and nothing else. Traditionally popcorn is always salty here in Finland and that’s it. When my best friend and I were in London back in 1998, we went to the theatre and bought a big popcorn thingy to share. To my horror, the popcorn was sugared! It was absolutely horrible – it’s supposed to be salty! I couldn’t eat any after that first one, so my friend who isn’t as picky as I am, ate them all by herself but she didn’t love them either. It didn’t even occur to us popcorn could be something else than salty! Cultural differences, I guess.
20 – Take a Walk Outdoors Day: Is being outdoors important to you? How often do you spend time outside/in nature? Do you have easy access to parks or walking trails or other natural areas (e.g. the beach)? Do you feel any benefit if you make the effort to go out into nature? Do you try to get outside regularly? Depending on where you live, January might not be the best month for marking Take a Walk Outdoors Day – do you find it more difficult to venture outdoors in the winter?
I’m not an ourdoorsy person, no. That said, I wouldn’t want to live somewhere where I can’t get to nature quickly which is possible everywhere in Finland. So I wouldn’t want to live in a place like Manhattan or somewhere like that, I’d guess. I don’t have parks near me, but I have a field and small forests and long strips of narrow forrests with walking trails just a few minutes from home, and I can walk in a stretch of forest from one suburb to many others if I want to. It’s great for walking dogs! I don’t really go out to nature now, but when we had a dog (a Beagle!) I loved to take walks with her! I enjoyed the walks too, but a good portion of my enjoyment came from the fact that Caro (the Beagle) LOVED being outdoors no matter the weather, and watching her having fun and being happy made me happy. I need a reason for a walk, a walk by itself doesn’t do anything for me.
Winter is all good – it’s just a question of right clothing for the weather. If it’s snowy and cold, you just got to wear layers and the right kind of fabrics and good winter boots. If it’s raining horribly then wear actual rain gear, or at least coats that keep rain and an umbrella. Rain is somewhat annoying because my eye glasses get full of rain drops and I can’t see well, but that’s a minor inconvenience that doesn’t really register beyond thinking”ugh”. Rain is common here and I don’t truly mind it.
What’s hard is the summer – I hate heat and I hate the brightness and the sun. And the summers have been getting horribly hot, so it’s summer when I avoid going outdoors as much as I can.
21 – International Sweatpants Day: Thanks to Covid, many of us have probably lived in sweatpants for the better part of the last couple of years. If this is true for you, has that experience impacted your choice of “work” clothes? Do you now seek out non-sweatpants trousers that mimic sweatpants, e.g. elasticized/drawstring waistbands, stretchier material, etc.? If Covid didn’t really impact your clothing choices, do you wear sweatpants?
COVID-19 hasn’t changed my life much because my life and circumstances had already years previously been limited so much by illnesses. I don’t wear sweatpants, but I usually wear a nightgown at home because I can’t stand anything pressing/squeezing etc. so waistbands are right out. I do wear pyjama pants in the winter if it gets cold enough to do that. Also, because I never had a steady job and couldn’t afford to “waste” good clothes by eventually wearing them out at home, I started to wear nightgowns because of that too originally. I also hate clothes shopping so the less I have to do it the better.
I’ve always worn pants made of stretchier materials and all my pants have always had elastic waistbands ever since I was a kid. Non-elastic waistbands are always either too tight or too huge – they never sit right and I also just don’t like how they feel on me. Luckily libraries aren’t business formal or anything like that, so people wear neat but casual clothes. I’ve never had to buy and wear a business suit, or even business casual really I guess (judging by what comes up when I google those terms). Just what’s thought of as “office clothes” which are like normal clothes but maybe only worn for work so that they keep better longer and don’t get worn out.
22 – Celebration of Life Day: Every now and then, it’s a good idea to take some time off so you can refocus yourself. It’s about stepping back and looking at your life from a different perspective so that you can appreciate everything that you have. How would you celebrate your life? What can you be proud of having achieved?
I suppose I can be proud about having to learn to live with several chronic illnesses, and that I’ve learned how to be creative despite the daily pain and other symptoms that frequently get in the way. And also that I don’t have to work or do things at the same rate as when I was healthy, slower is ok and so is not doing something if it’s too much! Or doing it piecemeal.
23 – Handwriting Day: Do you still write by hand? Can you write (and read) cursive? Do you think cursive should be taught in schools?
I do, yes! I keep my symptoms diary by hand. I also write fic by hand, and also write random notes when I need to remember tell someone something by hand. I LOVE my fountain pens, so enjoying doing these things by hand.
I think cursive should be taught, yes. I was taught, and I can still write it but with difficulty (except for my signature). It’s not very pretty plus I’ve forgotten how to do some letters. I started writing print at some point after been taught that in school.
I’m not very good at reading cursive – it really, really depends on how well defined the cursive writing is and how used to a person cursive I am. If it’s very squiggly or if there is little differentiation between the letters, I can’t read it. As an example, I couldn’t read my Mom’s cursive (except for her signature, because I knew what it said) until well into my 30s. At some point my eyes and brain got used to her writing and now I can read her cursive well.
But really, I think people should write by hand however is most comfortable to them! If it’s print, that’s okay! If it’s cursive, that’s okay too! Just write by hand because it activates the brain in a different way than typing on the computer. I personally also noticed, back when I was a student, that I didn’t learn things well just by listening to the teacher and reading the assigned books. I had to make notes from both and then I’d remember and learn the things I needed to much easier. Later I noticed that this doesn’t apply to typing – typing makes it actually worse. I don’t take in what the teacher is talking while typing. I need to be handwriting. I’m actually sad that in school we weren’t talked out different methods of learning – I found what works for me by accident and I was in the library school by that time already. So in a way I wasted a lot of time, not knowing what kind of learning works well for me. I sometimes wonder if my rates had been better if teachers had talked about different ways of learning and I could have tried other methods but I don’t remember that being talked even general in the 1980s and early 1990s when I was in school/library school. It was just “listen to what the teacher says” and “underline important bits” in your books. That’s it.
24 – Peanut Butter Day: Do you like peanut butter? What is your favourite way to eat peanut butter?
It’s okay. Not something I buy often – usually because I need it for baking or something. It’s typical for me to go years or even a decade without buying/eating any. It’s too sweet for me to want to have it regularly. I don’t like it enough to have a favorite way. And it’s not really a thing here the way it apparently is in the US and unless I buy it myself, I never come across it in cafes or other people’s homes etc.
25 – A Room of One’s Own Day: Did you have a room of your own when you were growing up, or did you have to share with siblings? Do you have a room of your own now? If you do, what do you use it for? Is it a bedroom or something else?
I’ve always had a room of my own! I’m an only child, and as an adult, I’ve always lived alone. I have a two room apartment – a bedroom, and a combined kitchen/living room. Ideally I’d like to live in a two bedroom + kitchen/living room arrangement, but those are too expensive for a single, low income income and also KELA is strict about the size of the apartment per inhabitant if you need the housing benefit and a lot of (most?) single and/or low income people do. I’m very happy and relieved to have a separate bedroom – I had to put the bookcase there because there wasn’t the wallspace for it elsewhere, and I don’t even like having that there. I’d prefer the bedroom have nothing extra in it.
26 – Australia Day: If you are not Australian, have you ever been to Australia? How much do you know about Australia? If you went to school somewhere other than Australia, how much were you taught about Australia in school?
I’m not Australian, and I’ve never been there. We were taught a lot – the history, the nature and animals, and I guess the current (well, 1980s when I was in school) politics too. I’ve forgotten all the politics but remember a lot of the history and nature and animals.
27 – Fun at Work Day: Do you think work should be fun? How much fun do you expect to have at work?
Work doesn’t have to be fun – that’s not why I go to work. I work for money; fun comes from elsewhere and other things. That said – work shouldn’t be something you hate either, or something that feels unnecessary or useless or a burden. It should be something neutral or positive.
28 – Global Community Engagement Day: Do you feel engaged with your community? How important do you think it is to feel that you belong in your community?
I don’t, no. In real life my community (chronically ill, and the unemployed communities) is disparate, looked down on and forgotten. I don’t feel part of the “normal”, “expected” society. Expected as in expected to be able bodied + have a steady job that’s the default expectation by society. If you don’t fit that expectation, there’s really no respectable slot for you.
29 – Curmudgeons’ Day: What is a curmudgeon? Do you know any curmudgeons? What do you think of them? Today is also Freethinkers’ Day. Do you think a curmudgeon might be just a freethinker?
I think carmudgeon is a crumpy person, someone who sees the negative in most things and complains all the time. I’ve become a carmudgeon in certain aspects since getting ill and since I started to follow politics.
A carmudgeon can be a freethinker or not.
30 – Bubble Wrap Day: Does bubble wrap deserve its own day? Why or why not?
I don’t care – it’s a useful thing. Beyond that, I have no opinion.
31 – Backward Day: National Backward Day is a fun day that encourages us to do things in an order that we would not usually do them in! Have you ever taken part in a backward day? How did it go?
Nope, I haven’t. Never heard of it before!