26.07.2020 | “There is a shadow across the land…” *

A lazy, mostly relaxing weekend obviously was what I needed. For now anyway, let’s see how it will be when I’m back at the office tomorrow. Last week had been stressful and the – by now I’m pretty sure hormonal induced – anxiety midweek added to that of course. The project that caused so much stressed came to a point where it seemed to be going okay-ish, so at least I didn’t have to stress over it on the weekend. 

I’ve been thinking about my own privilege a lot these past few days. Sometimes it’s difficult to acknowledge it, because I’m not aware of it or I don’t want to be, because ignoring it is more comfortable. Often enough it’s easy for me to acknowledge it and to feel grateful and humbled. In podcasts or on the news I recently heard quite a bit about how hard life if for so many children, family, people in Germany, undoubtedly one of the richest countries in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic makes it even harder for most of them, but it was hard even before that. Children who don’t have space at home for themselves to do their homework or just be on their own. Children who can’t afford – what other consider – ordinary stuff. New clothes. Toys. Being able to have friends over for a play date or just hanging out. Being able to just go somewhere for icecream or the movies. Go on a trip somewhere else. Anything. All the things we – middle class people – take for granted.

I am so so privileged and always have been. We never had a lot of money growing up, but we still went on vacations. Staying with family or youth hostels, but still we went away. During the short period of time when I was unemployed 15 or so years ago and didn’t have much money I could count on my family to feed me or to take me out and pay for drinks. Hell, if I had wanted I could have moved back home to save rent. So so many people don’t have that kind of safety net.  Now I have a steady, safe job, that pays well and which I actually enjoy (most of the time). I know so many people who do the job they do because they must. And I had those as well, but I really should and need to appreciate the one I’ve been lucky to be in for years now a bit more. If I wouldn’t just feel in over my head still so often…

At my regular supermarket the Rotary Club started a collection of food and hygiene products collection for the local food bank. I try to buy some items and drop them off every time I shop; toothpaste, pasta, chocolate, coffee and I feel a bit… ashamed (or something like that) about that being all  I do. 

This all sounds all rather gloomy. Sorry….

 To bring this round to some good things: I’m reading the most adorable contemporary romance novel at the moment (I hope it won’t disappoint me plot wise on the last stretch): “Boyfriend Material”. For a change I went for a gay romance and what can I say? Just like I loved “Red, White & Royal Blue“, I’m absolutely hooked on this one. Not sure what that says about me 😉

The second good news is that I most probably will be a my first ‘real’ as in not on a screen gig on Tuesday. I hope I’m not jinxing it by writing about it in advance. But Tim Vantol, a folk-rock singer I like a lot, is playing small gigs in pub gardens at the moment and he’ll do that in Essen on Tuesday and the weather looks promising. Sitting at a table, spaced far enough apart from other people, outdoors with all the regulation in place for pubs and all that. It will be fine and I hope I won’t stress myself too much about everything else. But I guess I’ll have to go and see…

*Lyrics: The Lifeboat, Frank Turner, 2018 

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