Kodan Spotlight: Jan gets bored at the cabin
Kodan Spotlight is a series of blog posts introducing our employees through their passions. This time in the spotlight is our software developer Jan Ruusuvuori.
“My first memories of being at a cabin are from my childhood. My grandparents had a cabin that we visited occasionally. It was an extremely traditional lakeside cabin in Luopioinen, where we relaxed in the sauna and swam lots. We were often there at the same time as my cousins, so there were lots of fun things for us children to do.
Our current cabin originally belonged to my wife’s parents. I first visited the cabin as a prospective son-in-law, then as a proper son-in-law, and now the cabin has been passed on to us. My mother-in-law still visits the cabin with us from time to time.
This cabin is also a very traditional lakeside cabin, located in the Kuhmoinen region. There are lots of neighbours, so this isn’t a remote cabin in the wilderness by any stretch. Nevertheless, the surroundings are extremely quiet, especially during the winter.
The best thing about visiting a cabin is the peace and quiet. The silence is always the first thing you notice as soon as you step out of the car; there is no noise, no humdrum. There’s always background urban noise in Helsinki, but at the cabin, it’s quiet. For us, the cabin is also a private and relaxing place; we only have guests a couple of times a year.
Another thing I love about the cabin is the darkness. A few years ago, I noticed that at the cabin, the stars are visible in an entirely different way than they are anywhere else. I even took up a new hobby because of it; I began to photograph the night sky, and now I’m completely hooked. Darkness is a positive thing at the cabin, a resource.
The best way to really get to the core of relaxation and laziness at a cabin is to do the physical activities that you'd need to do there anyway! Just lying around is usually nothing more than a dream, because for knowledge workers, it’s the concrete things like felling a tree or chopping wood that feel lazing around. Context and thought patterns change completely when you pull on a pair of overalls, a hard hat, and boots. Heating a sauna and then relaxing in it takes up hours of time. This all helps your mind to unwind: after physical work, you can enjoy a beer, go to the sauna, and just settle down.
At the cabin, you also have to accept boredom as it comes. You have to embrace it. If you can learn to not do anything for a time, you’ll begin to come up with new ideas. Some of the ideas you will be able to put into practice immediately, and others may require you to take some notes down for later. You should even try to feel bored, because that will help you to have new ideas you wouldn’t normally think of. The buzz in your mind quietens down and makes room for new ideas and inventions. Complex problems become organised in different ways, and you’ll be able to see the bigger picture from a different angle.
I do lots of things at the cabin that I don’t do at home. The cabin is where I read books and listen to the radio while I look out over the lake. You might ask why I don’t do these things at home, but I suppose it’s about routine. These things are simply part of being at a cabin.
We have slightly too much visible technology at our cabin for my tastes. We fiddle around with technology too much, and it feels like it’s never-ending. I’ve dreamt that in the future, when I have the time and the money, I’ll build a technology-free shack on the cabin land, with nothing more than a bed, a fireplace, and a window to the lake. As an old boy scout, I find that idea really exciting.”
Photos: Jan Ruusuvuori
p.s. We’re always looking for new software developers and designers.