Yesterday would have been my grandmother’s 103rd birthday. She was always tickled that she was born on 7/7, and I think it would have amused her that even here in Europe, where we put the day before the month, she’d still be 7/7. This month, for one hour per day, I take a break and watch a TV show that’s just for me. That means it’s something Katie’s not interested in, or is excessively violent. Peaky Blinders is my current jam. I described it to someone as a cross between Downton Abbey and Sons of Anarchy, which I think is at once completely off the mark and right on the nose. A lavish period piece set after World War I,[…]

In this episode, Katie and Berin talk about little differences between the United States and Finland. They discuss food, coffee, dining out, tipping culture, and more. Hopefully, Finns will appreciate how great they have it, and Americans will understand that there are other (sometimes better) ways to do things. Special Thanks Pertti Ankkuri Petri Nurmi Gary Weller Support Our Patreon https://www.patreon.com/proofoflife Berin’s Blog https://berinkinsman.com Katie’s Instagram https://www.instagram.com/katie_kinsman_in_finland/

When I started using my Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal, I said that I wasn’t going to be one of those people that turns it into an arts-and-crafts project with a small side of productivity. I haven’t. If you look at my Instagram feed, though, you will see a rainbow assortment of highlighters, gel pens, washi tape, and even stickers. When I take photos of some of my spreads, you can see that they aren’t entirely devoid of asthetic considerations. So what gives? Am I a hypocrite? Have I given in and jointed the cult. It’s simpler than that. I’m embracing the idea of my bullet journal as a vice, in addition to a tool. My Bullet Journal as a Vice There are[…]

I’ll say it here and I’ll say it clear: A good chunk of my need for self-care stems from years of not practicing Right Livelihood. What I did for a living caused other people harm. There is no question. While I never did anything illegal, I did things I considered to be unethical if not downright immoral because my employers required me to. The guilt of that left me with anxiety, depression, and ulcers. What is Right Livelihood? Right Livelihood is the fifth step along the Buddhist Eightfold Path, and the third moral virtue. Don’t earn your living doing things that create harm. The examples in the early texts talk about not engaging the slave trade, selling weapons, or dealing[…]

In November 2014, right around my birthday, one of my cousins reached out to me on Twitter. We hadn’t spoken in probably close to 30 years. After sending direct messages back and forth, he told me that my mother had died. She’d passed on June 27th of that year. I was still living in the United States at that time, and didn’t leave for Finland until mid-August. No one contacted me to let me know, or to invite me to the funeral. My cousin felt guilty about that, and felt that I should know that she was gone. Once he’d gotten past the small talk and managed to tell me, his guilt assuaged, he ghosted me. A few days after[…]