09.12.2022 | “Nobody Knows That I’m a Fraud…”

Lyrics: “Nobody Knows That I’m a Fraud ” ~ Grace Petrie, 2016

I made it to the seaside. In the dark, but who cares. Tomorrow there will be daylight – maybe even sunlight – the beach, the sea. Fresh air. Peace.

The beach after sunset, Katwijk an Zee, December 2022
The beach after sunset, Katwijk an Zee, December 2022

I’m only staying for the one day (two nights) and on the long-ish drive over here I was questioning the decision for a bit. There was no option (work etc wise) to stay for longer. But I felt the need to be by the sea once more this year. So here I am. And it’s ok if it’s just for the day. I just hope I’m not sleeping through most of it, because I’m sooooooo tired after this week.

Local Politics | There were long meetings each evening from Monday to Wednesday. Some parts were frustrating, as it’s wont to be for a Green party group in opposition to an absolute Labour majority. I volunteered to speak for us on one issue against the Labour majority and I think I did a good job. I don’t often think that of me, so that was nice for a change. It all just took a lot of time out of my days.

Work | Is busy as usual. Projects are going well though and are progressing. Finally! Our new supervisor and I had a 2nd meeting for him to get to know me (and vice versa). Or rather this time talk about goals and ideas and critisicm about our team, the department and such. About how I would like to / need to work in the future. It was a good talk, we get along well. He was full of praise. More than I would have expected. I know my shortcomings. Or at least I think I do. Some might just be in my head? Maybe I need to ponder that for a bit longer. Anyway. The Grace lyric felt fitting for that meeting this week. With the end of the year or rather Christmas Holiday break just a few days away, things will keep being busy for the next two weeks, I’m afraid. So maybe I SHOULD sleep through this weekend? Kidding…

“Musical Christmas” | As if the three evening meeting from Monday to Wednesday hadn’t taken up enough of my time, on Thursday evening I joined friends to see a “Musical Christmas”.

Unlike my friends I haven’t seen Anton and his wife Harriet do this kind of thing on stage before. I enjoyed this night very much. Some Christmas songs. Lots of well-known songs from musicals, interspersed with their own history with these shows and tunes. The evening had a lovely narrative arc with songs from when they started out in the musical theatre world, mixed with classics like “Maria” from West Side Story. And Disney and Grease and lots of other classics. Let’s do that again some time.

Only downside of it all: I was whammed by the music played over the speakers before the show started! Day 8. Bummer!

Recharge | I should definitely try to recharge my body and mind while I’m here for the day. I brought newspaper, books (fiction, non-fiction, self-help), tons of articles in my feedreader. While reading either of those often does help me to recharge, I know by now that I often turn to reading (or streaming familiar TV shows) to distract myself from my own thoughts / worries / self-loathing. Therefore “turning to something to read” might not always be a good thing. I’ll see how it will go or how I feel tomorrow, if I feel mentally rested enough to spend a day mostly in my own head. Maybe. I might check in about that tomorrow evening.

05.12.2022 | “Locked Up, Left Out, Terrified of Everything”

Lyrics: “Haven’t Been Doing So Well ” ~ Frank Turner, 2021

Woah, did I feel anxious and stressed and full of self-loathing from the moment I woke up way too early around 4.30 this morning. Fuuuuck! For no obvious reason except the regular worrying and self-loathing and maybe some of the weird mood from yesterday still lingered on. I’m so glad that I by now often quickly recognize that these thoughts are not true. That it’s just the messed-up part of my brain. I’m still struggling to ignore or successfully counteract these anxious thoughts, but I’m working on it. Bit by bit. Anyway, I was pissed off most of the morning by these thoughts. And the fact that I think these thoughts in the first place. Quite meta, I guess. Meditating helped. Doing my regular rounds of online games on my phone as well. The Frank Turner Heardle. Wordle. And the new (to me) Waffle.

It probably was a good thing that my work (from home) day was quite busy and thus kept me distracted. Weekly team meeting via videocall in the morning. Handled a few tiny tasks about our finances. Did a load of laundry in between. A quick lunch before the next long videocall with another department about our strategic plan and action program for the next three years. I have been in charge of developing the plan and program for the longest time and I’m glad we’ve finally got the ok from the higher ups to go ahead. I still too often feel like a fraud and overwhelmed, but again… I’m working on it.

The long day ended with yet another videocall, this one from the local Greens. Usually we’d meet in person, but we had snow last night and today, so we opted to do it online. I was so grateful, because when I’m in such a mood as I am right now, certain people rub me the wrong way rather quickly. Less so on a videocall and I can hide my annoyance better with just turning off the camera for a bit and roll my eyes or bang my head against the table, so to speak. I’ve been typing most of this during the meeting as well. Multi-tasking and such.

Early night for me today to catch up on the sleep I missed this morning. And be moderately well rested for another long and busy day at the office followed by a long council committee meeting in the evening.

My life is so boring at the moment, it’s pathetic. I’m so looking forward to be by the sea this weekend, though I’m dreading all the things I have to do before that. And when to find the time to pack my stuff for that weekend. Help…

Sunset, Nordwijk, February 2020
Sunset, Nordwijk, February 2020

04.12.2022 | “I’m Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired…” Still!

Lyrics: “Haven’t Been Doing So Well” ~ Frank Turner, 2021

I thought I was getting over that weird mood I was stuck in earlier this week. And I was for bit. And now today I’m once again not. This emotional rollercoaster is messing with me. Big time! Because I don’t notice early enough where / when my mood is about to go south.

Grief | Friday was the first anniversary of my Mum’s death. I admit it sneaked up on me a bit, but looking back now I’m pretty sure I subconsciously repressed all thoughts of it. I still do, though maybe not even subconsciously anymore, because I’m obviously aware that I’m not dealing with it at the moment.

Live Music | I went to a gig yesterday and it was wonderful. I admit in recent years I’ve been a bit of a snob re: German pop / rock music. Possibly because the stuff on mainstream radio feels so generic. Sound and especially lyrics wise. Bland and interchangeable. Nothing that hooked me in any way. But I also admit that I never really made the effort to look into other, less mainstream German artists / bands. It’s the same with English artists though. I sometimes feel bad that my musical taste is quite limited and that I don’t check out new bands or new to me old bands. Or that I don’t listen to the variety of music, I think a lot of my music pals (which I found through Frank Turner) listen to. And then I start feeling like a fraud for being so single minded in my musical preferences and so ignorant of other bands / artists. Ugh! It doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. It’s not a contest. But that’s just me. Imposter syndrome and all.

Anyway, I found this German artist Thees Uhlmann through Frank as well, when he was one of the supports at Lost Evenings in September. He blew my mind then and I was so glad that I was able to get a ticket to the additional afternoon show in Cologne yesterday. As expected, it felt amazing to sing those songs, which I’ve grown to love in these past few weeks, with a room full of people. It was lovely to see that Thees felt thrilled to be there on stage doing the thing he loves. And to be appreciated as audience as well. He’s quite similar to Frank in that regard, I thought. Loved it.

Especially when he played my two favourite songs. “Avicii”, about the Swedish DJ, who took his own life a few years ago. Just like in Berlin in September, Thees talked about mental health and asked people who were struggling to reach out to friends and to talk about it and to seek out therapy, because there is no shame in it. And that meant so much to me. Obviously. The other song (“Ein Satellit sendet leise”) has these wonderful lyrics about the monsters under our beds and how they sometimes still are alive and kicking. Which is something I know so well myself. Again… obviously. That was the final song of that gig and my heart was so full after. Live music does make every day better.

This clip is neither of those songs, but a very old song from his former band Tomte. I had to record a bit of that one to send to Bro2.

Bro2 is much more into a variety of German punk(rock) / indie rock music than I ever was. And when I texted him from the festival in Berlin in September about how awesome I thought Thees was, he just replied “Duh! I know. I saw him 18 years ago play a Tomte gig in a club near by”.

Street Photography | So yes, yesterday basically was a good day. I had spent the morning in Cologne as well, spoiling myself with a breakfast in a cafe, a trip to the bookstore (didn’t buy anything) and thought I’d just stroll around with my camera. Which I did, though I was quickly overwhelmed by the people at the Christmas markets and opted for side streets back to the venue of the gig. Had coffee and cake and strolled around some more and took some photos, but the mood of those are rather bland. Depressing. Winter in the big city. I don’t know. When I came back home from the gig I felt soooooo tired, because I had been on my feet for so long by then. Maybe not the best idea to get 14.000 steps in before a gig. When will I ever learn?

Colourful house in Cologne, December 2022
Colourful house in Cologne, December 2022

Mood | I still felt knackered when I woke up this morning and thus decided to take it easy today. I had vague ideas of relaxing, not strenuous activities, which still might have made me feel like I didn’t waste my day. Somehow I never really got around to do those though. And now I feel like I did mostly waste my day. I had some IT / Nextcloud issues, which in the end seemed to have lost me some of my files stored in the cloud. Nothing really important, so there is no reason to fret over, because it was stuff, I was hanging on to for too sentimental (unhealthy) reasons anyway. I had planned to get rid of digital stuff I did not need any more anyway, while solving the “sync problems issue”. But having the decision what to lose taken out of my hands was a bit frustrating. I will make sure to have a hard drive backup on my main computer or even external hard drive of those files in the cloud in the future. You live and learn, right? Hopefully I’ve learned from it.

Books | I’m glad I didn’t buy any new books, because there are still enough on my to-read shelf. I started the latest Jasmin Guillory romance novel “Drunk on Love”, because I did enjoy most of hers, I’ve read so far. But I just couldn’t get into this one. And it was my 2nd attempt. For a moment I considered just skimming the second half of the story to see how it ends (though I think I could guess how), but then decided against it. It would have felt like even more waste of my time. Maybe I should stick to non-fiction for a while.

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