13.08.2022 | “Every Once in a Few Months When All the Punches Land…”

Lyrics: “Punches” – Frank Turner, 2022

It’s been a while since I wrote a post and I can’t even say why exactly. Probably because I feel like I don’t have anything “newsworthy” to write about. My life is pretty ordinary at the moment. Work. Books. Watching TV series on a streaming service. A bit of politics, but I can’t really be bothered as much as I used to. Therapy…

Therapy | That’s going good, I think. The last few sessions anyway made me think quite a bit and also made me start getting into a bit more routine to not think so much. “Think” as in going down a spiral of worry. Recently my therapist helped me figured out that wanting to do too much or expecting something to work right away might be part of my problem. Or to put in differently: I often forget that some things take time. Trial and error. Training. I sometimes – too often ? – think back on what I have already managed to do in my life, but only see the positive end result and not how long it took me to get there. Right now I often don’t bother starting something, because it seems impossible to me that I’ll manage to get from starting point A to the end point for instance… Z. But that’s because my brain obviously thinks that there are no letters in between. And don’t believe that it’s ok to just get to B or C for a while, because that’s still the right direction. But I often feel bad when I don’t get to at least P or Q right away and then I give up and … Argh! Does that make sense to anyone? Anyway, we’re working on small steps and small expectations at the moment.

Work | I’ve been a bit more relaxed at and about work recently, which feels amazing. I sometimes still worry that I should be more worried, but at the moment I try to ignore that more often than not and just go with the flow. On Thursday some members of my team and I participated at a “goals and other stuff” workshop of our department. We were about 15 people all in all and I think we had a good time and productive workshop. I’m usually anxious about these kind of group projects: lack of self-esteem, too much worry to mess up and what others might think and all that. But I’m proud and happy to report that it all went quite well. I contributed, I made small talk or even proper work-related inter-departmental talk. I kind of involuntarily presented the results of our sub-group at some point, because I was standing nearest to the flipchart. And I did fine! Didn’t feel to nervous in that moment either. Is it a bit pathetic, that I think a day like this is worth remembering here? I don’t care. I got out of that building and thought: “You did good today!” I don’t often have that feeling at the moment, so yeah: writing it down here as a reminder!

Grief | I know this prompt feels heavy, but it’s not all that. I just can’t think of any other for the stuff I want to sum up under this one. Three of us four children decided on which sort of grave plaque we want to get for our mum’s grave. I know we’re late with that. August last year was the time my mum was finally home again after her stroke in May. I don’t know if we really would have managed to care for her at home indefinitely even with care assistance coming in twice a day. But we were determined to give it a try at least. Re: grief, I can at least by now drive around various streets / places, which remind me of the whole ordeal last year with the various hospitals / care home stays all over the area, and not get pissed off or sad about last year. That’s progress. I still miss my mum as someone to just talk to about my day or other random ordinary things. I guess that won’t ever go away.

a rose somewhere, because my mum loved those…

31st July 2022 | How Is It (As Good As) August Already?

Where has the year gone? Seriously. How can it be August tomorrow already? I really have a hard time to not drown in feeling like a failure for having let a lot of the year pass by without achieving…. whatever my messed up mind think I should have achieved by now. Just typing this I think I might need to sit down and actually make a list of all the things I actually DID (good) this year instead of focusing on the opposite. Which is sort of a nice segue to my first prompt.

Therapy | Ten sessions in and time for a first feedback / take stock session. I’m quite comfortable with my therapist, sometimes wish we’d get a more concrete result / agreement by the end of the hour. We’ve talked about that as well. I think I’m making progress, but I’m a bit impatient. One of the things that’s bothering me a lot about myself at the moment is the still ongoing apathy and indecision about a lot of things. I come up with an idea and then start thinking about it too much and then don’t follow through with it. In all kind of aspects of my life. I’m supposed to make a list now about where this applies and think about the reason why I don’t follow through. But also think about all the things I already DID this year (and where I followed through). Also… make plans for nice things first and ignore the “I should / need to do…” plans for a while, if possible.

Yesterday I felt the impulse to grab my camera and leave the house and go somewhere and take some photos. I spend way too much time thinking about where and a bit lacklusterly got in my car, thinking about shooting some nature spots I had considered some time ago. Drove around, didn’t see the appeal anymore. Thought about other photo spots, went home, changed, programmed my satnav and drove to the harbour in Düsseldorf, which is about 45 minutes away. I thought I’d stay for some sunset shots though I knew I might be too early for that. Too early for night photography as well or rather I went back home before it got proper dark. Last time I had been there last fall, I forgot to pack my tripod. Anyway, no proper sunset or night photos, but I’m still glad I went. Got out of the house. I had some food there as well and walked around a bit. Got a bit overwhelmed by the – not even crowds, but just people out there in the bars / restaurants / outside on the steps. And definitely the “Party cruiser” on the river Rhine playing German Schlager at the top volume. But as I’ve said: I’m still glad I went, even if not for a long as I had originally planned.

Gehry Buildings, Düsseldorf July 2022
Gehry Buildings, Düsseldorf July 2022
Dusk at Düsseldorf Harbour, July 2022
Düsseldorf Harbour, July 2022

Work | Still busy, still feeling a bit overwhelmed, but it also seems like I’ve got a bit of a handle on some things. I often don’t feel comfortable demanding things from others, even though I’m in the position where I have to. That’S also something to talk about in therapy. Anyway, I did that more this week, so that felt… weird, but good. I guess? I’m working in a part of the public sector, where the energy crisis, we in Germany are facing this autumn / winter, will require action of some kind. We had to brief our deputy boss this week for a meeting about that, because they don’t know that much about the whole energy supply aspect than the regular boss (on vacation) does. It all makes the whole crisis even more real than I already think / know it is. Scary stuff to get more insight into emergency plans and protocol.

I also mentioned seeing a therapist to another one of my close coworkers. I don’t know how we got there, but I’ve known them for a long time and like them, so it wasn’t a big deal. It turned out, they have been seeing a therapist some time ago as well for some issues and they think about going back or rather looking for a new one, as their old therapist retired. I gave them the information about the service I’m using, so… Isn’t it weird how having mental health issues and getting help for them is much more common than we think? We need to talk about it more.

Stuff | I had other vague ideas to write about when I first thought about writing this post on Friday. All ideas have left me now though. Watching the football finale at the moment, while I type this. I thought I wouldn’t care that much. And I don’t really, but still…. By the time I’ve added all the photos to the post the Lionesses have brought it home. Congratulations.

26.07.2022 | Still Around, Sort Of…

A few days back at work and regular life and I already feel in need of some more vacation. There is not much to tell or not much I can put into words. Or can find the energy to sit down and gather all my thoughts and put them out there. I’m a a bit of a mess still. Again. Forever? Who knows. But I felt I should at least check in here and as I can never get motivated to do that at the end of the day I thought I’d do it in the morning. Though… like stated: not much to tell really.

Work: I started work on Tuesday from home, which was good during the heat wave days last week. Work is still as busy as it was before my vacation and I feel equally overwhelmed by lots of it.

Home: Last week I went to IKEA to buy a few things. And I really only bought these few. Win! Boxes mostly to get a grip on the (slight) mess in my living room / kitchen. Trying it the Struggle Care way.

Life: On Saturday I attended a small birthday gathering of a friend. All people I know more or less well or at least have known for ages. Plus some parents. We sat outside so I wasn’t too worried about COVID and it felt nice to do something quite normal again for a change. I even was mostly ok with some slight disagreements about some issues. Not that I fought a lot for my corner so to speak, but just accepted that not everyone has to see things my way and that it’s ok to have a different opinion. It doesn’t make me an outsider or a strange person.

Books: I’ve read / started quite a few novels recently. 100% Escapism or what I’ve learned from a good German mindfulness podcast: “experiential avoidance”. Like when I read about someone else’s life, I don’t have to think about my own. I need to work on that as well, I think.

white coffee mug, filled with coffee. Mug has "Be More Kind" written all over it.

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