081/2024 – “The Birds Are Ringing in the Opening Act of Spring…”

Lyrics: “The Opening Act of Spring” – Frank Turner, 2015

There is a half-finished post in my draft-folder about the past four years since March 2020, when the world shut down. I started it sort of enthusiastically, because for the past few months I’ve finally felt like I’ve got used to this “new normal” after having such a difficult time since COVID started. The first year I was super anxious all the time. In year two my mum got ill and then died which just added more anxiety and stress and all the feelings. In year three I had reached the point where I finally asked for help and started therapy, which helped a lot, but also brought up a lot of feelings as well. My first infections in early October 2022 put me through the ringer. My 2nd one in late October 2023 was a mild case for which I’m grateful. All winter and till late February 2023 I still often wore a mask in more crowded spaces and – thanks to therapy – I didn’t give a fuck what anyone else thought of that.

I don’t want to make light of all the deaths and grief and ongoing illness some still suffer from, because it’s sad and horrible. But I’m finally in such a calmer state of mind that I also don’t want to recap the many many moments that made me anxious for such a long time. Neither do I want to recap that for such a long time I had flashbacks to anxious moments whenever I visited these ordinary places like supermarkets in the years since. I’m grateful that these have simmered down to the occasional fleeting thought every once in a while and I don’t want to jinx it by saying too much about it.

Recently I learned that the child of someone I know here locally, suffers from Long Covid since and infection about 18 months ago. Said child is early 30s and has now moved back home to their parents, because they don’t have the physical or mental energy to live on their own anymore. They are still employed on a few hours / day contract, but that’s more goodwill from they employer, because they often can’t do these few hours of (office) work. Not to mention the lack of available care or support in all aspects of their lives. It breaks my heart!

Now this turned into a downer post after all. Sorry.

Spring is here. Isn’t that nice? It’s supposed to get cold and rainy again on the weekend, so maybe spring is just an interlude? Let’s make the most of it, while it lasts.

Work was once again quite busy, even though our supervisor is off for this and next week. I’m not their deputy, but as I’m in charge of the biggest project I still had to sort of act as deputy in some regards and that’s fine by me.

My first (of two) days at the actual office this week was filled with lots and lots of – sometimes planned, sometimes impromptu – brainstorm chats with coworkers about aspects of their sub-projects. Which I love to do with them, because we really get things moving and being creative and all that. But it also means that I haven’t gotten all of the tasks on my own to-do-list done that day. The downside of working at an office filled with coworkers. I have no idea how I did all that for years before 2020: spend all day five days as week in a working space with one office mate and open doors and often chatting to other people all day long and not go mad! I can’t imagine ever going back to that. And I’m grateful that I probably don’t have to.

I’m also grateful for the flexible working hours agreement we have at our place of work and for coworkers who easily agree to cover for me, when I want to take and afternoon off on short notice. Like I did today for the afternoon of Wednesday 27th where thanks to a kind friend I will be able to go and ‘do a thing’. My sometimes still too anxious and sometimes superstitious mind worries that sharing more information will jinx it. So wait and see.

I need to finish this with sharing how much I by now seem to rub the wrong with some people I’ve know for many years in the context of local politics. We never got along super well, but I usually was able to ignore that and just stay out of their way. If I’m honest I didn’t really manage to ignore it. I was often annoyed but never said anything, because I thought I was just too sensitive and the animosity I felt towards them was my own fault. By now I at least don’t think it’s my ‘fault’, but it’s obvious to me that we’ll never get along well and my strategy now is to just let it go in the way that I just don’t care anymore if we don’t agree or if I think they are getting snippy. It’s not my fault and I don’t have to react to it; neither towards them nor internally on an emotional level. I just don’t care anymore. And boy, does that feel good.

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