Lyrics: “Recovery” ~ Frank Turner, 2013
The first week post vacation week is over and it was fine. Mostly anyway. I managed to establish some new routines. Slacked a lot on other old / bad routines. I’m a work in progress. One of the new routines was trying to be a bit more focused in what I do during the day. Like not trying to watch the remaining episodes of Outlander Season 6 while also writing this blog post. Neither to listen to a new playlist. I obviously can’t do it without any background noise, but at least I opted for something less distracting: “Sailing Ship Lower Deck” Soundscape via the Calm App and it worked fine.
Intermittent Fasting | I don’t quite know why I wanted to give this a try, but last weekend I had this “let’s just go for it” impulse. I’m sure you’ve read of the 16/8 plan, I’m aiming for 14/10 for now, which means I can eat for 10 hours (from 10 AM to 8 PM) and then only hydrate for the remaining 14 hours. For me it’s not primarily about losing weight, also that’s part of it. As the app I’m using for it also uses a reduced calorie count. It’s the app I’ve used for ages now to track my calorie intake, when I was inclined to. I just never used the fasting feature before. But once I looked into it a tiny bit with my limited understanding of biology, it made sense for a whole lot of other reasons. Blood sugar, insulin and such. Since I’ve started working from home a lot in 2020 I often didn’t eat breakfast before 9 so skipping this in the process from going from 3 to 2 meals in the 10 hour period of non-fasting made sense. I was afraid the “no snacking in the evening” rule would be hardest, but so far I’ve done fine. I’m having snacks like chocolate for dessert at my regular meal. Maybe just the novelty of a more restricted eating schedule helps as well. I lost about 4 pounds while I was on vacation in Scotland, because I was a bit more active and seem to have snacked less, so I wanted to keep the momentum. The advice I read so far about milk (either cow or plant based) during fasting is inconclusive to me. I can’t drink my coffee without a splash of milk, so I’ll risk it in the last few hours of the 14 hours window.
Mental Health | I’ve been feeling surprisingly fine this week. I had a good therapy session on Tuesday. It’s winding down and there will only be two more sessions left. So this week and next time we’re working on recapping what I’ve learned and to check where I might need to still do some work or pay more attention too. But I’m confident that I’ll manage. I’ve also listened to a few (new) podcast episodes which talked about various mental health care issues or with professionals during my vacation. I’m still learning so much. When I’m in a situation which would have stressed me out or sent me down a spiral of negative thinking in the past few years (or forever) I now often catch myself being weirdly zen about it all. Of course then I wonder if I’m so desensitized and numb to everything around me or if I’m just doing fine and okay and am a bit more grounded in myself. It feels weird to not freak out about stuff so much anymore. Does that make sense? Anyway, life is good. More or less.
Local Politics | This is a bad segue to the “less good” part. I’m frustrated and fed up. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years now and the majority parties are still sticking to their – in my eyes – wrong priorities and block any idea from us Greens. It probably is a very specific local problem, because elsewhere politicians from the same party are much more progressive. But by now I wonder why I should spend my time fighting a lost cause. I don’t think it’s doing my mental health any good and I could use the time for better things. To be honest I would like to step down from it all right now, but that would feel unfair to my fellow Greens who don’t have anyone to replace me. I am determined to not stand again at the next election in 2025 though and – true to my still a bit messed up mind – already worry how the others will react and when to best announce it and all that. It will still give me enough reasons to stress and freak out till then, I’m afraid.
Work & Colleagues | I eased back into work this week with not too much urgent stuff on the agenda. I tried to implement some of the stuff I’m still learning from my mental health / better life resources (podcasts, books and such). Again, a work in progress. But it’s been lovely to be back with my colleagues and to experience that they appreciate my work and to get good feedback from my supervisor and also just catch up with their real lives as well. The good stuff (engagement, yay!) and sadly with others also the difficult stuff (mental health problems of a child). I hope to be able to lend some support there, even if it’s just to pick up some of the parent’s urgent tasks at work. Anyway, I’m sort of really looking forward to the next few weeks at the office, which also is a nice new development. I never dreaded going to work, but often felt a bit meh about it. It’s just work, isn’t it?
My Frank Turner anniversary | On a June weekend in 2013 I was channel surfing and landed on the stream (not quite live, but from the day, I think) of the Southside Festival. The music of this band on stage that moment sounded good, so I kept watching. They only had one song left and that was all it took for Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls to hook me. The rest is history, so to speak. Today they played the same festival and there was a Youtube Stream of their gig at 5 in the afternoon and of course I’ve watched it. It’s always fun even if it’s just via a computer screen. Here’s to the next 10 years.