20.06.2022 | “When You’re Out There Floundering…”

Lyrics: “Be More Kind” – Frank Turner, 2018

flounder verb
1. ​[intransitive, transitive] to struggle to know what to say or do or how to continue with something
2. [intransitive] to have a lot of problems and to be in danger of failing completely

While I was reading “The Dictionary of Lost Words” I was once again reminded how much I enjoy the English language. There are so many beautiful words. Frank Turner has also been good at introducing me to some of them. Or if not introducing me to them, to appreciate them a bit more because he put them in beautiful context lyrically. Like “flounder”, which I seem to be doing a lot lately. Still. Again. Whatever…

What bothers me most at the moment is that it feels like there’s a gray filter on everything. The good things feel nice, but not great. At least the bad things don’t feel worse than they do. It all feels a bit “meh, I don’t care”, which is not a good state to live in. Because I should care and in some regards I need to care. But it’s a struggle to actually do sometimes. I don’t know of that makes any sense.

To spruce up my life a bit I do “crazy” things. Spending two nights away in a city just an hour drive away, because I want a change of scenery. That worked quite well to be honest, at least I kept myself busy and didn’t spend too much time “in my head”. Crazy thing #2 these days? Getting up at 3 in the morning to watch a live stream from the US? Just because I can to be honest.

"51 State" - Live Stream from Philadelphia
“51 State” – Live Stream from Philadelphia

To keep my mind in a better headspace I’m also determined to write down all the good things that happen during a day or the things I do well (as in do at all sometimes). Every tiny little bit, because it also is the little things that matter, right? I often forget that as well..

This feels like a bit of a proxy post. Not much content really. But at post nonetheless. Posting more often is one of the things I try to do. I probably wouldn’t have felt motivated later in the day to do this, so I’m multitasking this early morning….

16.06.2022 | “Making Do And Muddling Through…”

Lyrics: “The Way I Tend To Be” – Frank Turner, 2013

Mood | Too many thoughts. Too much apathy to put those thoughts into words. It really sucks. I fled from my own flat for two nights (public holiday and a day off) because I hoped a change of scenery would help to get myself out of this mood at least to some degree. And it worked in some ways and not at all in others. I guess you really can’t outrun your mental health issues, no matter how hard you try. And trust me I tried a variety of distractions over time. I guess the apathy and speechlessness is something I need to live with for a while longer.

Photography | Finding beautiful or interesting things to take photos of was another objective for this trip. I enjoy taking photos and learning more about photography and my camera and to dabble with editing those photos later. I still haven’t really found my “interest” yet, like nature or street photography. I don’t even know that I need to pick one. I tend towards street over nature at the moment, even after spending a few hours in a lovely botanical garden this afternoon.

Flora - Botanicial Garden , Cologne, June 2022
Flora – Botanical Garden , Cologne, June 2022
A Scooter in Cologne, June 2022
A Scooter in Cologne, June 2022

Indecision | Visit the botanical garden was the main reason for picking Cologne for this ‘flight’. I wanted to be outside and take photos of beautiful things, but also be not too far away from home (if I stayed home) or the hotel in case I got overwhelmed or tired or loose interest and be able to quickly return to the safety and comfort of indoors. But ever since I considered spending these two nights away from home I spend way too much time thinking of various alternatives. Which city to travel to? What to see? I dithered between 3-4 different options and at some point felt so overwhelmed by all the decisions I had to make to make it happen, that I almost gave up on the idea. Cologne is the comfortable compromise as I know the city well enough to easily find my way around and there are still enough interesting spots to explore.

Boots | Another – a bit silly – reason for some outdoor / walking activity was that I needed to get used to / comfortable with my new hiking boots. They fit perfectly in the store, but I still haven’t really walked in them. They do fine though…

New Hiking Boots
New Hiking Boots

Words | The ones I seem to lack for myself I at least consume en masse by reading. Right now I enjoy “The Dictionary of Lost Words”. The whole lexicography bits of it remind me – of course – of Kory Stamper’s “Word by Word”, which I feel I should re-read after this one. Maybe… There are too many books on my to-read-shelf still, so I should not re-read too many books. But re-reading sometimes is such a comfort so for now I might still go with it. Comfort is good.

12.06.2022 | “I’m Sick And Tired of Being Sick and Tired”

Lyrics: “Be More Kind” – Frank Turner, 2018

The title says it all basically. I’m so fed up by this weird mood / funk / depressive episode (I still have a bit of a hard time to actually use that term) I’m currently living in. And I wish I could just snap out of it and change the way I feel and the way things make me feel. Or not feel. The not feeling is even worse than the feeling. Though if it’s dread and worry, the not feeling is fine. I’m a bit of a mess. Still. For a while longer I think. At least I know that this is just a phase – hopefully. That there are things I can (try to) do about it. Unfortunately it also means that the doing part often feels like such a drag.

Step by step, I guess. Yesterday I spent out with friends and their children and I had a lovely time, distracted by good talks and playing with the little ones or rather accompanying or watching the little ones. I didn’t play all that much, but that’s fine. I helped out where I was needed which was very much appreciated and of course made me feel quite good.

Today I sat outside with some of my neighbours with cake and coffee for quite a bit and that was nice as well. We talked about vacations and families and stuff and it was lovely. Once we ventured into more of a social / political territory, it became obvious that we don’t agree on everything and that always make me feel awkward for a variety of reasons. I don’t want to rock the boat with arguing against their opinion. I often don’t feel confident enough to argue my point, which I know is a bit lame. We managed to steer away from that after a while and had a lovely time.

The rest of the evening was spent with a bit of work for … work. Ugh! Something I didn’t manage to finish during office hours, but I want to present a first rough draft of a paper to my supervisor, so we can discuss it before I flesh it out. But that’s finished now as well, which means I can now make some dinner, read a bit, go to bed. Get enough rest for the new week.

Three more weeks till I’m off for my annual summer leave and I can’t wait! In about 4 weeks I’ll be back here… 😉

Beach Ameland
Beach on Ameland, Netherlands September 2020

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