What It Takes to Keep Your Inner Glow Alive?

The birthday cake - guess who ate most of it?

A couple of weeks ago I went on a mini vacation to celebrate the birthday of one of my little nieces, Iiris, who just turned four and her sister, Siiri, who turned six a month ago.

It was a fun trip and a also a good reminder of what it takes to keep your inner glow alive.


Before I left, my mom emailed me a quote from a Finnish philosopher Esa Saarinen. Loosely translated it says something like this:

There’s a lot of people who live their life giving all they’ve got, driven by their inner glow. Too bad that most of them are under age 7.

Siiri with her Zhu Zhu hamster

I love the quote and I boasted to my mom that I’m going to be the rare 44-year-old (I turned 44 on Monday) who is driven by her inner glow, giving life all I got.

Read on to find out what happened. 🙂

I love my little nieces. They are the apples of my eye and they remind me of what it’s like to be a little girl. And like all children, they have endless supply of energy available. That is especially true about Siiri, who is constantly hopping and twirling and doing three things at the same time.

Also, I’m a Super-Aunt, which means that when I go over I don’t get to sit peacefully on the sofa and chat with my sister. 🙂

Hanna and the birthday girl Iiris

When I stepped from the train on Friday, Siiri and Iiris took me over immediately and it was go-go-go till the moment they were put to bed in the evening.

Also,I had also promised to help Hanna to clean the girls’ bedroom for the next day, so I made it a game: I used a countdown timer to time our efforts and my camera to take before and after pictures of their bedroom. We cleared their bedroom in 25 minutes (pictures below)!

We spent a better part of the Friday night on our feet doing dance and gymnastics moves and teaching them to each other (Siiri takes a weekly dance class and loves to teach). At one point I had to resort to teaching the girls some moves from Female Body Breakthrough (inchworm) to keep the girls entertained. (I should’ve taught them how to do burpees!)

Being on the move isn’t usually a problem for me, but I don’t like jumping because I’m top heavy (I really need a good sports bra if I’m going to jump without knocking myself over).


I had fun time with my sister, nieces and other relatives but the troubles started because I forgot to take my anti-migraine meds on two consecutive nights and because I didn’t sleep well in a foreign bed.

You can see how I look a bit sour on Saturday morning already – truth be told, I felt like a wilting lily!

The listless look

I paid for my lack of sleep dearly when I returned from my trip on Monday and promptly got my first proper migraine in two months. I felt more like a walking dead than a creature driven by her endless inner glow!


It turns out you have to be in top physical condition to be able to keep your inner glow alive (at least if you’re middle-aged): sleep well every night, lead a regular life and not just eat cake all the time!


  1. Happy belated birthday!!!

    I love that you are even attempting to keep your inner glow alive Satu! It also shows that the mind and body need to come together… to feel really great!


  2. Satu says:

    Thank you for a great quote, Debbie: “mind and body need to come together… to feel really great” I could create a fitspiration picture of it. 🙂

    I think that when you get older, the less you can get away mistreating yourself.

  3. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! Happy Birthday!!!!! I love this post and the pictures. The nieces are adorable. Little pixies. Vacation sounded so fun! The picture of you with the Hello Kitty shirt and the pink zhu zhu hamster is funny! Part of the inner glow is not taking yourself too seriously. 44 is a great age. 😀

    The reason I’ve been so busy is that we had a federal appeal due today. But also we had oldest daughter’s graduation from college on Saturday and a very big grilling party in the backyard on Sunday. Relatives from Minnesota were over. Also many friends and neighbors. In between all of that, we cleaned the entire house from top (attic) to bottom (basement). I also made huge amounts of pasta salad. I ate a ton of food. I just can’t lie. After work today, I took a 3 hour nap.

    Tomorrow, I’m taking off from work. I’m going to plant pink “wave” petunias and being with dog. I will try to eat sensibly again. But that’s hard with apricot turnovers, graduation cake, and mini cheesecake squares in the house. Tomorrow, I start with a big cup of tea and no treats.

    🙂 Marion

  4. Satu says:

    Thank you, Marion!

    I knew you would *get* the picture of me in Hello Kitty shirt.. 🙂

    Wow, you have been REALLY busy. Mini cheesecake squares and apricot turnovers sound delicious. I hope your life gets soon back to normal and you start posting again..

  5. Jedha says:

    A BIG BELATED HAPPPPPPPPPYYYYYY BIRTHDAY SATU!!!!! Hip Hip Hooray, I hope the year ahead brinds you many wonderful things 🙂

    • Satu says:

      Thank you, Jedha. I feel my year has started on my best foot forward. 🙂

  6. Aimee says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Satu! Your nieces are adorable! How lucky they are to have a super aunty. I think children help keep that inner glow alive, but also our willingness to act silly and not take life too seriously all the time. Having my son prompted me to take my health seriously. I didn’t want to be the mom that was lagging behind. I now embrace my inner glow not only as a mother but as an individual. I love being active with my son, but I also enjoy making myself feel amazing just for me.

    I’m sorry you had to suffer with a migraine after such a wonderful time with your family. Hope you are feeling more rested now!!

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