17.12.2023 | Bits & Pieces from Week 50

For the last hour or so the female neighbour from two stairs up seems to be hanging out with the neighbour in the flat above me. How do I know? Because her voice carries! I think she / they might have been drinking? Her husband probably is there as well, so it’s all above board and even it weren’t I wouldn’t care. It’s just that I’m annoyed that I hear her through the floor / walls. Not clear enough to know what she’s saying, but loud enough to hear she’s saying something. For hour(s). I turned on music on my laptop, but the volume I consider neighbour friendly wasn’t enough to drown her out, so I’m sitting here with my good headphones on. Which is fine, just weird. Anyway… how has my week been? Busy!

Work | This was the 2nd week I worked overtime in a row. Not that much, but still something I usually try not to do that often. Our team had a day off for teambuilding and next week I’m off two days for communication training. All lovely stuff to do, but not helpful when you have deadlines and stuff to finalize before Christmas break / the end of the year. I don’t like the fear of missing deadlines and such. I managed fine this week in the end, but still it felt like I constantly running behind and I don’t like that feeling.

I’m still very happy about the new people on our team and the support they provide now. Still very content to work in this department to be honest, especially when I see how in departments left and right people leave for one or the other reason. Frustrating when it’s good folks being driven out. Not so frustrating when it’s people I didn’t quite get along with. Frustrating still when it’s someone we are supposed / need to work with a bit closer and only now by chance hear that the person is leaving mid January and no idea when the position will be filled again.

Over the Christmas break I hope I will be in the right mindset to do some introspection in regards to some aspects of my work situation. Basically it’s fine, but I think I need to be or at least want to be a bit more assertive in some aspects. With my supervisor mostly. We’ll see how it goes.

Shopping in the 21st century | I took the train to the next town over which has a decent shopping area. I needed to buy a new umbrella and was looking for a certain brand, because I know their stuff is reliable and durable. I was also looking for some stationary stuff. I had ordered quite a few pens for my doodling online recently and I try to not do that all that often but instead support local or at least brick & mortar shops. But they make it hard, don’t they? Or online shopping makes it too easy? I know I ordered an insane amount of books online recently. Most of them were 2nd hand though, so that’s at least a small bit towards sustainable shopping.

Signs at a department store window: Everything's on sale / Sale / Every item reduced
Clearance Sale posters at the store

The department store I was heading for is closing down soon. I was afraid it might be one of the stores from that chain being closed down. Or do they all close down because the company went bust for the 2nd or 3rd time? I lost track to be honest. Anyway, I wasn’t able to buy the umbrella I wanted. I was looking around the store to see if I could find anything else as a bargain, but I don’t really need anything of the stuff still on the shelves. A lot had been cleared out already and it was quite a sad sight to see. They also offered the store furniture (shelves and such) for sale, which I’ve never seen done before.

I will try to get the umbrella I want in a local shop in my town tomorrow or in a still open department store of that chain in a mall on Wednesday. If I don’t manage to I might need to order it online after all. And I know this makes me part of the problem of dying high streets and inner city shopping areas, but what are my options? It’s a mess, isn’t it?

On the streets | Something else that has been weighing on my mind / conscience since that shopping trip yesterday is, that I noticed much more beggars in that shopping area. Or rather what’s weighing on my mind is how I reacted to it and that I didn’t give money to any of them. In most cases I caught myself thinking they – often women – probably are part of an organized begging network and that I don’t want to give any money to criminals. But those out there on the streets more often than not probably are just poor souls being forced into it. Will giving them a bit of money make their lives better in the way that at least they might not be punished for not bringing in money? Should that reason enough for me to give some? Then there are the obviously homeless or destitute – often men – who I still didn’t give any money to? Why didn’t I? In hindsight I can’t really say and I’m a bit ashamed about that as well.

In an attempt to not end this post on such a miserable not I switch prompts and now end instead of start with a nice memory from this week. Today in fact:

Running | I haven’t been active in any way for weeks except for walking the odd distance to a shop or in the shopping area on my lunch break. Since my last proper run on 22 October, I went to Denmark for a long weekend, got COVID, had been busy with work and doctor appointments and lots of other stuff. Plus it was rainy and cold and just not running friendly weather. It was around 8 °C and sort of sunny today, so I thought “No time like the present”. I did a 3K and it went alright, which made me quite glad to be honest. I was afraid not doing any kind of proper physical activity would set me back quite a bit cardio wise, but it was fine. I will definitely try to head out next weekend as well.

Fenced in meadow on the right, with a path on the right. Barren trees in the background
On my run today

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