24.12.2023 | Merry, Rainy Christmas

view of the bottom of a window, raindrops on the pane
Rainy Day

That’s not a current photo of my window, but it looks the same today. As it has for the last few days. Weeks? I lost count. I’m sure I could find out if that is the wettest Christmas in my parts of the world since the beginning of time. I can’t be bothered though. It feels like it anyway.

Plans | I’ve got the next week off from work and in fact won’t be back until Thursday 4th. had / have a few plans for that time off and even though I didn’t actually make concrete plans as in “do this on day X” I still feel like I’m failing on follow-through. One of the plans was to spend more time on looking inwards. Reflecting on what I know I don’t do the way I want to do it. If that makes sense. Reflecting on a lot of things like why I so often tend to loose focus and switch from one activity or thought or interest to another? I’m not going to share how many other tabs I opened while I was still mid-typing of the last sentence.

Communication and a bit of Psychoanalysis | On Monday / Tuesday I attended an online seminar on communication and moderation (groups at work and such). It was a bit different than I had expected, but in a good way. Super interesting with a big focus on the psychological aspects of communication, as in all the underlying stuff (the underwater iceberg so to speak) that affects the way we communicate much more than the seemingly factual way we think we do. We also learned a bit about “the five drivers”, which is a concept from a psychoanalytic theory called “Transactional Analysis”. The idea is that everything we do / say is driven to varied extend by one or several of these thoughts / emotions:

Be Perfect!
Be Strong!
Try Hard!
Hurry Up!
Please Me!

According to the theory – and from what I can attest for myself – these all are messages we have received while growing up. And it helps in communication and life and everything if we all were a bit more aware of what or drivers are.

I still need to go through the tons of notes I took during these two days of seminar (see plans above). But there was so much that made me think or what I would like to explore a bit more. For instance the instructor mentioned that 80% of our thoughts each day are negative one. And 50% of the thoughts each day are about the past (day, weeks, years). Again speaking from my own experience this might be true on both counts, but REALLY? Everyone? Each day? No wonder we humans are such a complicated mess.

(Expensive) Distractions | Work was rather stressful for me these past few weeks. Something else I might / should reflect on these next few days, maybe. So much reflection needs to be done ;-). My not – recommended – way of stress-relief was retail therapy. Books, of course. Pens and such for my doodling, but also writing. For the longest time I shied away from fountain pens and used ballpoints or gel pens and such. I can’t quite say why I tried a fountain pen again. The main reason at the moment might have been that they feel more ecological as in less waste. Because you “only” need to replace an ink cartridge which feels like less waste than ballpoint refill. But just like I don’t have just one ballpoint in my home / pen case / bags, I’ve now bought several – trying to find the best fit for me – so for the time being that might have been less ecological as I might have thought. We all live and learn, right?

Another distraction was that I replaced the compact (point and shoot) camera I had just bought (second hand) this summer with a different more expensive model. I re-sold the “summer” one and at least made a bit of money from it, but still. I never really felt comfortable with it, maybe because it wasn’t a Canon one, which were the ones I used to have and which all my good camera equipment is from. So I spoilt myself with buying an expensive high-class compact for all the moments (like gigs, birthday parties) when I don’t want to lug around a bigger camera.

Social Media (Networks) | I know it took me a long time, but I’m slowly coming to terms, that the times where I was able to build a connection and a community with other people on a social network, are over. A lot of the people I used to follow on Twitter (that’s the one I used the most) have left for greener pastures. I tried to keep track, but especially since Threads was finally available in Europe as well, I asked myself: “Why?” And “Is it even possible?” The answers: No idea and No. So, I’ve deactivated my Threads account. Put a “Find me elsewhere, I’m not using this account” message in my BlueSky profile.

Except for Instagram I had deleted all apps from my phone a while ago. I’ve now also deleted links to Threads and BlueSky from the browser I only use to check on those networks. I’m using the browser to check a list of 46 accounts on Twitter and sometimes re-post something there. I’m still on Mastodon and sometimes think I might / should get a bit more active there. But right now I’m not really motivated to get back into the socializing on social media aspect of it all. We’ll see. I will still share links to these posts on the networks I’m still using for whatever that’s worth.

I think I’m having such a hard time letting go of the social aspects of those networks, because I was in contact with and met so many lovely people through it, online but also on ocassion in real life. It was a connection and for someone like me who had and still sometimes has a difficult time meeting people / opening up or making friends in real life, social networks were a great way to meet and get in touch and form bonds with other people. I know a lot of folks “offline” say these connections aren’t real or can’t be as valid as the bonds you form offline, but I always knew that to not be true. Far from it. So… I’ve finally come to that stage of grief about the death of social networks as I knew them.

And now I’ll be heading over to my family’s home to socialize with my brothers, because it’s Christmas.

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