23.05.2022 | “When It Feels Like Life Weighs Ten Thousand Tonnes…”

Lyrics: I Am Disappeared – Frank Turner, 2011

I’m having an absolutely crappy, gloomy, dark day today. From the start and I don’t even know what brought that on. Partly the lack of sleep probably. But even the few hours of sleep I got after the gig were restless for some reason. My head is all over the place today. The working hours passed alright, though I wasn’t as focused and “productive” (I hate that word) as I should have been. Or as I would have wanted to be.

I lost focus of the tiny things. Like the laundry stuck in the washer hours after it was finished. I didn’t keep hydrate well enough. Always turns me into a grumpy human being. I think of so many things – ranging from insignificant to important – I know I should be doing / starting and then still inertia and overwhelmedness (it’s not a word, I know, but I can’t be bothered to think of something better right now) sets in and I didn’t start doing any of those things. Some other tough. Ugh!

I am so tempted to skip the local Greens meeting tonight, but I already skipped the last one and I need to talk about the committee meeting at which I need to represent the Greens next week, so I really should / need to go. But I don’t want and it’s making me even more grumpy.

I thought about just putting all those thoughts down in an analogue journal, but couldn’t even be bothered to do that or rather thought: Wasn’t that one of the reasons you re-activated this space for? I don’t know, if anyone wants to read this all. I don’t care either way though. At least I put it down somewhere…

Thoughts that definitely contributed to the gloom today? Coming back to some things my therapist said about my mum and me last week. I don’t think I feel ready to share *that* line of thinking just now, but let me tell you it’s a spiral down the dark well, because of course one thoughts leads to the next and so forth. Too bad it’s a public holiday on Thursday so no therapy for me though I think I would have a lot to unpack this week.

After spreading the gloom here, I’ll now have a bite to eat, get ready to head out to the Greens meeting and hopefully get some more and better sleep after that tonight.

Loch Linnhe, 2016
Loch Linnhe, Scotland 2016 – the most gloomy photo I found here on short notice

22.05.2022 | “Hemmed In, Penned Down, Struggling To Find Myself…”

Lyrics: Haven’t Been Doing So Well, 2021

Grief | It comes in waves. And it’s not even proper bone deep emotions and the like. It’s the little things like the questions only my mum could answer, because she would have remembered stuff or the anecdote I want to share with her, because I know she would enjoy it. It’s also the weird double take when Bro3 calls to tell you that the other elderly neighbour died yesterday and for a split second I thought “You have to talk to mum about that” and Bam! Nope! Not anymore. It’s soooo freaking weird.

Therapy | Four sessions in and it still feels more like chatting to a lovely and kind acquaintance. Though the “getting the (medical) history” part is over now and we will dive in a bit deeper in the next sessions. Anyway… of course we talked about my mum a lot because, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned here before, I already figured out that a lot of my issues stem from the fraught and complicated relationship I had with her. I feel a bit disloyal putting all / a lot of the blame on her, when I know her life hasn’t been easy either. But as the therapist pointed out kindly and patiently, my mum was the parent and in some moments it would have been her job to do things differently than she did. And right now it doesn’t / shouldn’t matter why she acted that way she did. It did mess me up to some degree. [I really really need to write the post about why I can/could relate to Frank Turner’s song “Fatherless” so very much]

(Mental Health) Issues | I’m still having ups and downs. I still feel overwhelmed with stuff more often than not. Both on a practical and emotional level. And then I fall back into procrastination or distraction with TV shows or books or any other “projects” which keep me busy for a bit, but lose my interest faster than they should. It’s weird. I can’t explain it any better. 

Vacation | One of those projects was to finally book my summer vacation and once I decided to tackle that I finalized plans and booked everything in one evening. Boom! I can be focused on productive when I want to. I’ll be in London for a week and then spend another week on island in the Netherlands. Weird combination, maybe? London was a given because of plans I already had. I also wanted to go to the beach. I thought about an English beach for a bit, but I also knew that I would love to rent a small apartment for myself and not stay in a hotel or B&B. Doing that while travelling with just a suitcase and a backpack seemed like a nuisance, so I considered doing the same thing I did in April: not take the train to Brussels to board the Eurostar but take the car and then find a place by the beach in Belgium or the Netherlands after. Belgium seemed expensive and the lovely place I stayed in September 2020 still had vacancies and a great deal. So I booked that. Booked all the trains and parking and a night in Brussels to make it all possible and booked the ferry to island and that was that. I still need to think of things to do in London, besides the two (and a half) I have already planned.  

Beach Ameland
Beach on Ameland, Netherlands September 2020

Photography | Another one of my (creative) projects. I want to get better at it, whatever that means. But I also still don’t know what I actually want to focus on taking photos of. For quite a long time – until very recently in fact – I thought live music photography would be cool, because I enjoy live music from bands I love and I love to see great shots from gigs. But to be honest I don’t really enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Mostly because focusing on taking photos takes me too much out of enjoying the gig for itself. I’m going to another gig in Cologne tonight and while I will bring my good camera to the city, I won’t take it to the gig, but instead spend some time before just strolling around and take photos of whatever might interest me in the city. Maybe get to know my various features of camera and lens a bit better. Either way, just do something and just sit at home watching TV or reading a book….    

16.05.2022 | “The Truth Is I Don’t Like People All That Much…”

Lyrics: Once We Were Anarchists, – Frank Turner, 2007

Politics | I don’t know if it’s due to the gloomy mood I’ve been finding myself in more often than not these days. Or if I’m really just generally fed up and lost interest in some parts of it. If I’m worn out or overwhelmed by it. Whatever it is, I’m really not as interested in it all. Reading about it. Discussing it. Doing it! I’ve been active in local politics for two decades now and I’m a bit tired. I don’t know why. I don’t know if I need to know why. My mind is a bit of a mess about it, it seems.

This weekend I also realized once again that the other active people in my local party and I don’t have all that much in common. Our political aims and such of course and the work we do, but that’s about it. We don’t have to be friends, but I think it would be easier for me to get more motivated if the people I work along with were people I’d like to spend more time with even when it’s not about politics. It doesn’t have to be that way of course, but it might help? I don’t know…. Like I said, a bit of a mess. I skipped the weekly meeting tonight, because I feel a bit under the weather (likely caused by the storm which had passed through just now). Not as bad that I couldn’t have gone to the meeting. But on the other hand, I couldn’t really be bothered….

On state level my Greens did splendidly in the election yesterday. I’m happy about that. But also watch it with a detached view from afar. Ugh! Maybe it’s just life and after two decades of being active in politics it’s time to step back a bit? I don’t know.

Grief | It comes in waves again. Maybe not even grief as such, but the memories and the regrets and the guilt. When I drove back home from a gig last night for the strangest reason memories popped up from when the first days my mum had been back in her home after the long stays in hospital and short term care and rehab. And how much we all had to learn and adjust and how tense we all were with each other and overwhelmed. And how I think we all didn’t how to talk about it and thus we bitched and yelled and ugh, it was horrible. At least in hindsight now it feels horrible and I felt and still feel so guilty for not having been calmer. Not having been more understanding. Not having been… the good daughter I was supposed to be maybe? I know this is not a helpful line of thinking, but I can’t help it, that was the memory that popped up. Something to unpack in therapy this week maybe?

Earlier today I read something for work about the effects of climate change – the storms, the floods and all which also mentioned the horrible events here last summer, where so many people died and so much damage and loss happened. And the next memory popped up from driving to visit my mum in the rehabilitation centre 2-3 hours drive away. When on of the first drives I saw quite a lot of the damage still. It’s weird how the mind works….

Entertainment | I’m very much enjoying the 2nd book in the “Thursday Murder Club” crime / mystery series. It’s so much darker than the first one, I think, but I still enjoy it a lot, as it’s told with the same detached, hilarious points of views than the first one.

I’ve also been to another gig – not Frank Turner this time. Tim Vantol, a singer/songwriter from the Netherlands. He sings in English, has been living in Germany for a while now and puts on such a great show with his band. It was lots of fun. So much fun in fact that I’ll do it all again in Cologne in a few days. One of the reasons I’ll do that is that Tim talked very vividly about how much of a setback the last two years have been for the whole touring industry and especially for all those mid-sized and smaller acts, who make their living on the road. How much it hurt their whole enterprise that so many of the crew had to find other jobs in the last two years. Jobs which they have settled in by now. More or less secure jobs. Which is great for them, but sucks for the touring industry. So…. I bought another ticket. I will buy a drink at the venue and do my little bit to keep / get the whole thing going again.

Tim Vantol, Münster, May 2022
So much fun to see Tim and Eddie have fun on stage

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