23.07.2023 | Just Some Random Sunday Thoughts

I always find it a bit difficult to decide how to start a post. Does it need an easygoing introduction of sorts or can I just crash into your days – whenever you’re reading this (if anyone is reading this) – with my random thoughts / prompts? After all this time I still haven’t quite figured it out. I know I’ve changed the way I use this space of mine. When I look back on posts from a decade ago, it seems I didn’t think about it all that much and just wrote. Which might have been the better attitude? I’m clearly overthinking this as usual.

Physical Health | I had planned to go for a scheduled run this morning, but the usually very reliable forecast predicted rain so I changed my plans and schedule the run for tomorrow morning. It doesn’t seem to have rained one drop here so far. Though while I’ve started typing this I see some fine rain – not more than mist to be honest – falling outside my window. I could have been back hours ago before this all, had I decided to go for that run after all. Oh well. I’m glad that over the last year I seem to have learned to be better with this small setbacks and frustrations. To just accept them for what they are – tiny bumps in the road – and not turn them into much bigger problems. To not let those tiny bumps set me back or make me give up the whole idea, because it seems pointless and because I’m too weak / stupid / any other self-derogatory term to finish what I’ve started.

Two weeks from now I’ll be in London for just one day (Friday) to watch “Operation Mincemeat: A New Musical” once more. At first I thought maybe I should pack my camera gear and spend the Thursday evening, with some night photography down by the Tower Bridge. Last evening I thought what about packing my running gear instead and go for a run along the canal on Friday morning? It went so far that I checked distances from Camden Lock to near-ish my hotel by Kings Cross. Or from even further than Camden Lock like Regent’s Park, though that would be a much longer distance than I’ve run yet with the training I’m doing at the moment. I once DID ran from Camden Lock along the Canal and through Regent’s Park back in 2018 though. Maybe I just want to recreate that feeling of accomplishment. We’ll see….

The numbers on the scale finally moved down another bit and even though I don’t want to pay too much attention to it, of course I do.

Mental Health | This morning I finally filled out the few “end oft therapy” questionnaires, I’ve been asked to fill out. It still sometimes feels a bit weird to me that I can honestly answer most of the questions in a more positive mindset. More positive than when I started therapy – as it should be – but also more grounded in the self-awareness, that I’m ok. If that makes sense. I know I still need to work on some issues and I need to watch out for certain things, but all in all I’m doing good and that feels amazing. This here are my PHQ 9 (screening for depression questionnaire) results over the therapy period.

A graph going from max 8 to 3-1 in the end over the last 1,5 years

The scale goes up to 30, so depression or depressive episodes haven’t really been my biggest issue. But all in all it’s nice to see the numbers align with how I feel.

Distractions | This goes along with the whole “mental health” topic, but deserves it’s own prompt. Years ago I’ve subscribed to the RSS feed of the Leo Babauta’s “Zen Habits” blog. I admit I sometimes just skim the posts, but this last one stayed with me for a while longer, because I recognized a lot of my own behaviour in it: “We are mostly trying to escape the moment”. I think in my case I sometimes do that with apps on my phone, though I’m trying to cut back on that. It’s often definitely with reading, which I do for fun of course, but when I’m honest also I often do it to distract myself or to procrastinate or whatever. It also sometimes happens with sound like music (or podcasts) while I’m doing other things like writing this post, do chores, drive to work. I specifically not turned on any music for this right now and let me tell you it feels weird. Not bad, just weird. I will definitely spend some more time paying closer attention to my distractions these next few days / weeks.

Pandemic Aftermath | This morning I read an article about how the rightwing parties all over Europe (as demonstrated by the German AfD) appeal to people not on a rational, but an emotional level. And how after years and years of worries and uncertainty and even trauma from the pandemic, the war in the Ukraine, Climate Crisis and such some people are more perceptive to the seemingly simple solutions those parties offer. The rise of right wing / possibly fascist parties in Europe is a whole different topic, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to address in the way it needs to be addressed.

But the pandemic aftermath is something I definitely notice in myself in the weirdest way. You’d think over a year after most restrictions where lifted and at least half a year after I myself stopped to abide by any personal restrictions (mask with indoor groups and/or public transport), life would have returned to normal. And it has of course, because – like I said – I’m not applying any of the many restriction rules to myself anymore. After my antibodies test came back with such stellar results in March I’m not really worried about catching it any time soon and not in the summer time anyway. But a tiny part of me still is a bit startled almost every time – and I really do mean almost EVERY time – I enter any of the familiar shops or other locations like my GP practice and not see any restrictions in place. I don’t know what part of my physical or mental memory is startled for a millisecond to see everything back to pre-pandemic normal except for the plastic shields still up in some places, which might just be the new normal anyway. So many times I then also for a millisecond have flashbacks of how it used to be at the height of the restrictions. Checkout queues till the back of the supermarket. Hearing myself bitch to a customer in the dairy section for not keeping 6 feet distance (we were both masked of course). Having the pizza delivered to the bottom of the stairwell and not to my door. And so much more…

Frankly it’s a bit annoying to have these images pop up in my mind all the time over and over again. I still haven’t find a good way to replace them with other images though. So if any of you have similar experiences and maybe and idea how to let go of it all… please share them with me.

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