18.11.2023 | This & That (A Bit Sentimental In the End)

I don’t know if it’s the constant rain or whatever but I’m feeling this so hard this year. And I never really used to or at least not to this degree. But the fact that it’s getting light so late and dark so early is properly messing with me at the moment. It might be a slight post-COVID effect. Maybe something hormonal? Either way, I don’t like it.

Work | This week I had four sessions of IT / software training. 3.5 hours each, which is not that long. But long enough to let me get behind with tasks that need doing. Plus lots of time spent on new staff induction, which I don’t mind doing, because the two new people on our team seem great. Easy to talk to, interested, motivated and all you want in people who are supposed to take over some of the work. But again: explaining stuff to them instead of doing my own work set me quite behind in some aspects.

At least I feel that I made tiny progress with how I handle myself and how I handle some things with my supervisor. We get along fine and I feel supported enough by them in general. But I definitely need to be more assertive when it comes to them giving me feedback on projects, which I need to get to be able to move said projects forward. I’m working on that. Next week is going to be another busy one though. I don’t dare look at the schedule for the week after.

Music #01 | I went to see The Lottery Winners in Cologne on Tuesday.

Photo of the Lottery Winners on stage in Cologne
The Lottery Winners, Blue Shell, Cologne, November 2023

While I was driving there during heavy rain and typical rush-hour traffic, I was questioning the decision for quite a bit. After just few minutes in the car in fact, because the motorway was jammend and my sat-nav sent me along streets I never had to drive on before. Up and down the hills, in the dark and heavy rain. But I made it to Cologne safely and in good time, so all was well. It was a 200 cap venue and sadly there were only about 50 people in attendance. I felt so sorry for the band who were great and made the most of it and engaged the audience and we all had fun, I think. I chatted with some of the band at the merch table afterwards, which was lovely. I joked that I’d like to take a photo with them now, before they get too big for that kind of fan interaction. Which I honestly think they might manage to in the UK anyway.

Music #02 | Jess Guise released a new song on Friday: “Wish”. It’s about how she wishes her dad – who had passed away when she was 18 – would still be around and I think anyone who has lost a parent too early in life can relate to what she’s singing about here.

“Wish” – Jess Guise, 2023 (Youtube)

She had shared the song via her Patreon page a few times before, so I knew what to expect and how I’d react to the song. With a few tears of course. Even more so this time, because it’s a polished version with full instrumentation and you can’t turn that up in most emotionally fraught (for me) moment and not expect me to react with tears. When Jess had released “Brother in Arms” – another song about that experience – in 2020 I wrote a long post about how much I could relate and how much it moved me. How it made me remember / work through some of the stuff I hadn’t thought of for the longest time. My dad passed away when I was 14. That was 34 years ago. I wrote this back in 2020:

You would assume I’m over it. And I am. But also… I’m not. I don’t think you ever really ‘get over it’, because losing a parent at that age is such a traumatic experience, which shapes you like not much else. And to me that is what this song is all about. I’m now at a time in my life, where I only very occasionally think of my dad and this loss anymore. That’s why hearing my whole experience described in such fitting words all of sudden and quite unprepared absolutely floored me.

My own blog in November 2020

I’m not going to another long review post of “Wish” now. But I thought it’s worth noting that once again some lyrics absolute took my breath away, because they mirror my own experience and emotions to a T. Something I haven’t thought of in decades. Did I repress it? Did I ever even share it with my friends, once I had managed to talk about my dead dad in any capacity? I don’t remember.

I wish I could apologize for the teenager I was before you died

“Wish” – Jess Guise, 2023

In spring of 1989 my dad was still recovering from the flu he had caught in February. He was still experiencing breathing and cardiac issues and had been off from work (as a teacher) for a while. He died from cardiac arrest at home one morning after we children all had left for school. The evening before he and I had gotten into an argument over something silly. The TV? I don’t recall the details. I do remember lying on my bed crying the indignant tears of a teenage girl. For some strange reason I have a vivid memory of my mom sitting on the bed next to me trying to smooth things over and to calm me down. I don’t think I saw my dad or talked to him that evening again. We definitely didn’t have any kind of “clearing the air / make up” moment. I didn’t see him before I went to school the next morning either. Around noon I got home from school to the news that he had passed away.

I don’t have any clear memory of how this “not making up” affected me in the days, weeks, months, years after. I vaguely remember that a sort of guilty feeling crept up every once in a while to haunt me for a bit. Like I wrote in 2020 we definitely would have benefited from grief counselling, but we never got any of that. It was a different time back then and we all muddled through somehow. At some point with the passing years the guilty memory was replaced or at least amended with the belief that he didn’t hold that stupid little argument against me. He wasn’t resentful and I know he loved me. Of course I wish we wouldn’t have left things unspoken between us. Just like I wish for so many of the other things Jess sings about in this song. I guess that will never ever change.

Prompts on Hold | I had a few more rambling thoughts to share. About Social Media. About “Zen-doodling” (that’s what I’ll call it for now). Dragging up memories about my dad and all that put me in a sentimental mood now and I can’t be bothered to write much more.

Photo of a half-finished doodling. Wonky squares filled in shades of blue and green. circles drawn on the border lines and spirals in some of the squares
Photo from last night – finished it by now

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