11.11.2023 | “Leave Your Fears Upon the Shore”

Lyrics: “Sail On, Boys” – Operation Mincemeat, 2019

When I finally picked up the custom-made bracelet which had been delivered a few days ago, I thought it couldn’t have come at a better time, because I feel like I really need that reminder / resolution.

Photo of a silver bracelet on a black cloth. Bracelet inscribed with "leave your fears upon the shore" in capital letters
One of my favourite lines from “Operation Mincemeat – A New Musical”

Worries | It’s not even proper fear over things to be honest, just too much worrying of all kinds. About work mostly at the moment. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at work these days. Again. Wondering if I need to draw more lines? Worrying that I’m not clear enough in my instructions / plans / articulating my needs ? Do I actually know what I need at work right now? Not feeling up to the job I’ve been assigned and the imposter syndrome rears it’s ugly head all the time right now.

“I Don’t Know, I’ve Changed My Mind” | Just like almost each day so far I yesterday read something about the Israel – Hamas war which made me not change my mind as such, but reconsider some previously thought thoughts. It’s such a horrible situation with such a long complicated history leading up to this. I notice almost physically how my mind and my heart seal themselves off to the horrors of it all, because I’m afraid I couldn’t handle to actually let it all get too close. I know that I’m privileged in the way that I don’t HAVE to think or feel about it too closely. I then sometimes feel guilty and worried about that as well.

Being In a Funk | The worries on my mind and the world outside – not just Israel / Gaza but also the ongoing war in Ukraine, earthquake in Nepal, drought in the Amazon and all the other horrible things going on – make it hard to not be in a funk. I notice myself slipping back into “shutting out everything mode” and that might be okay as a short-term plan and might be even helpful if I’d use more time for some introspection or at least something creative or productive. Right now though I feel more like I’m dawdling and not always making the most or best use of my time. I blame the season as well. It seems to have been raining nonstop for the past few days. It get darks way too early. I mean WAY to early. Six more weeks (more or less) till winter solstice and I can’t wait!

Book-(Buying)-Habits | At first I wrote addiction instead of habit, but that might be a tad too harsh. I know I should reign it in a bit though. On the other hand…. my preferred big book retailer has a 15% off for Xmas sale at the moment and most of the time sells English books with a discount anyway. BookTok is my downfall as well and I still haven’t figured out how I let myself rope into that. Wrong question probably, because it’s TikTok’s business model to rope you in. What I should ask myself is why I’m so indiscriminate about whose recommendation I decide to screencap to check out later.

Screenshot of 3 screenshots of book recs in an album on my phone
Random collection of my recommendation screenshots

I can come back with 20 of those screencaps from less than 5 minutes on my TikTok “Follow” and “For You” tabs. I might have a problem. I only put one of those on my “Want to Read” list though.

I probably have more than enough fiction and non-fiction on my shelves already to last me till 2025. But I’m fickle about my reading choices. I need to be in the right mood and headspace and willing to invest the time. At the moment – the past few days anyway – I needed easy to digest, potentially fluffy, romance of sort. I might venture into entertaining heist / crime stories after that for a while. I don’t feel I can stomach proper historical novels or thrillers at the moment. Family drama? Nah, probably neither.

Entertainment | Over the last three nights I watched the Robbie Williams documentary on Netflix. Like I said in my last post, I always had a soft spot for him and could relate to some of his lyrics from early on. The series was interesting enough and it was fun to watch some of the old stuff. I had to get used to the disconnect of my recollection that I always thought Robbie was “so young”, when in fact he is a year older than me! That can’t be right, right? It was interesting to see a bit of a more personal side of him, as I never really knew more of him than his music. All in all though I had wished it would have been a bit more in-depth. Everything they touched on stayed a bit superficial. I don’t know. I’m using this to now listen back through all the old stuff and possibly the newer as well. I think I bought most of them up till Take the Crown in 2012, but hardly ever listened to it. “Escapology” – on my headphones while I’m typing this – is a great album though.

Social Media | Even though I haven’t left Twitter yet – and I won’t as long as some of “my artists” still use it as main means of communication – I yesterday deleted the app from my phone at least. I also logged out of the other two social media apps I’m (sometimes) using on my phone: Mastodon and BlueSky. I set it up to check all three through a browser on my laptop or desktop computer only. I haven’t checked either since one time this morning and don’t really miss it (yet). Instagram is a bit of a different beast to tackle. I might need to check if TikTok on the browser is less addictive than on the phone. For now I’ve logged out of that app. As mentioned above I do have more than enough book recommendations.

COVID | As expected the test finally turned negative this morning. I had already ventured out – in the dark and rain – yesterday to a quick shopping trip (wearing a mask) to my small hometown high street. I admit I hardly ever do any shopping there, because the clothes stores don’t have anything I’d want to wear. The shoe stores most often don’t carry my (big) size. There are perfume stores, pubs, small electronic stores, newspaper agents. More clothes stores with no clothes for me. Kebab and chips shops. More pubs and cafes. Barber shops. Mobile phones. How did this prompt turn into a swan song of high streets in small towns?

Anyway, post round 2 of COVID. I hadn’t left the house for almost a week by then, expect for putting the trash out and such. I don’t know if it was the lack of activity at home or the effects of COVID, but I was feeling rather winded rather quickly. I felt safer when I walked more slowly than I use to. Same thing today when I had driven to the next bigger town to pick up some books I had ordered earlier this week. Yes, books, of course. On the way back I was planning to buy some groceries and had to stop at three different supermarkets before I was able to buy the tofu I needed for a dish I had planned to make this evening. Even before I was finally able to buy some I knew I probably couldn’t be bothered to actually cook dinner tonight. So just sandwiches it was after all. I really hope I will bounce back quickly from this bout of being this easily winded. I did last time, so I’ll try not to worry too much (yet).

This week I talked to someone younger and fitter than me who was out with COVID around the same time as I was. They were off work for two whole weeks. Bedbound for almost a week of with fever. They still have some trouble breathing properly. All things considered: I consider myself lucky.

Last bout of Indian Summer | Even with a often grey sky the day had it’s moments today….

Photo of three trees in various shades of autumn foliage

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