07.11.2021 | “Do your best to leave the others be…”

Lyrics: “Non Serviam” ~ Frank Turner, 2021

All morning and way into the early afternoon I noticed that I spend too much time in my own head. Contemplating other people. People I don’t even know that well, because I just follow them on social media. But I was thinking about why they do what they do? What it might mean for me or how I see them and how it might affect me? Spoiler alert: In 95% of the cases it does not affect me at all. I could just so easily ignore it. Mute them. Unfollow them. Whatever. Just not read what they post. I don’t have to engage. I don’t have to care. But… of course in some cases I still do for whatever reason. This is getting cryptic. Trust me I was more open about it when I gathered my thoughts about it offline in my journal. But I did notice – once again or even more than before – that I pay too much attention to what other people do or how they act/react. It really shouldn’t concern me as much.

In some ways I’ve always been that way, looking towards other people, because I didn’t trust my own opinion maybe? Comparing myself to others. So so so wrong for my mental health. I know that now. Not that it stops me. I’m working on it but it’s hard to break the habit of decades, isn’t it? I always compared myself to others and often got envious of whatever they accomplished or achieved or just did. Always thinking I could / will never do that or get there. Which also often stopped me for even trying to, but that’s a whole other issue.

Another lazy Sunday, which went not as I had planned and I am tempted to beat myself up over that as well. But I’m tired and a bit headache-y, probably because I didn’t drink enough water today. I’m also once again quite sad and a bit lost after my visit to the nursing home today. The mood was ok, just a bit tired all over and I think I still haven’t made my peace with the fact that it’s going to end there in the nursing home at some point. I have no idea how many more weeks / months we’ve got and it’s scary and sad and today once again absolutely dragged my mood down. For no particular reason, just because… it sucks!

I’m so damned tired of so much in my life right now. There isn’t much I can do about that at the moment though. Forgive myself for all my (assumed) failures. Take a breath. Get some rest. Get up and start again tomorrow.

Today’s photo is the wallpaper I put back on the new tablet. I miss Scotland.

North Coast Scotland

06.11.2021 | “You will find me rushing through every room…”

Lyrics: “Plan Sailing Weather” ~ Frank Turner, 2013

Starting with a rather random1 picture, because I like to have picture going with the automatic tweet, when I share this post on Twitter.

Frank Turner on Stage, Dortmund, 11 February 2020
Frank Turner on stage, Dortmund, 11 February 2020

“Rushing through every thing” when my mind is set to do something is a habit / trait I’m not always proud of, but that’s the way I am. At the moment or always have been? I don’t know. I was about to write “I don’t deal well with waiting” which is funny in a weird way, because in many regards I also am very good with waiting (aka procrastinating, avoiding…).

The plan for today was to have a relaxed Saturday. Take care of some chores. Read a bit and all that. But then all of a sudden there was the rush to replace my 2-in-1 tablet (with a detachable keyboard), because around noon I clumsily dropped the one I owned on the living room floor. Of course it missed the carpet and of course it fell with the screen face down. Boom! Cracked and all. The touchscreen didn’t work anymore, but I guess I could have kept using it for a few more days or even weeks, because I don’t really need it right now. Not since I updated my regular desktop computer setup by adding a webcam and such for work. But the impulse was to… replace it. Right away. On a Saturday. Yes, I know how crazy this might sound and trust me there were moments where I was asking myself “where is the rush?!” Which didn’t stop me from rushing. I might want to ponder why tomorrow.

I did a bit of research online, checked the stores sites, because I prefer to buy these kind of gadgets not online but in a real store where I can drop it off for a repair or warranty issues. And I found one that would be a good replacement, so I drove to the store in the big city. The city I had just driven to yesterday to run some errands. And even though I should have remembered the newish speed limits on the main road in, I still was a bit too fast and the speed camera caught me when I came into the city centre. I didn’t need that today, but my own fault for rushing to be somewhere obviously.

I spent about an hour in the store circling various tablets and then came back to the one I had my eyes on, chatted with a staffer, got a good offer for a older model, which still does all I need it to do. Spend a long time in the checkout queue, walked back to the car, which I parked for only the 2nd time using the “pay by phone app” option. For the longest time I thought doing this would be more expensive, because of the additional service charge for using this option. But… as it turned out both times so far, it’s still cheaper than putting too much money in the parking meter. Go figure. Because I so often only have high value coins or don’t know how long it will take and put in more money than needed. In this case today I was also kind of lucky that the long line in front of the mall’s parking garage made me look for on street parking in the first place and that I found a spot. All in all I paid 2.20 € (incl. the fee) instead of 4 € in the garage. It’s the little things. And I need to save money to pay my speeding ticket…

The rest of the afternoon was spend with doing a backup of all the files from the old tablet and then getting the new one going. As it isn’t the newest model it needs some updates. Quite a few updates. It’s still not done installing, but that’s ok. I’ll have a whole day tomorrow to procrastinate other things and deal with getting the tablet set up properly. I’m beyond help…

On a more serious note: I am well aware how privileged I am that I can just go and buy a new gadget, when I need or want to. I didn’t have to wait till I get paid again or think about how that would effect other expenses or financial obligations or such. I’m grateful for that, trust me.

1: The main road into the city, right around where I was caught going a bit over the speed limit, is also where the big event venue is located. Whenever I drove down that road in the past 20 months I often thought about how I found parking in a residential area off that road in walking distance to the venue in February 2020, when I saw Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls (supporting Dropkick Murphys) for the last time before the pandemic. A lifetime ago it seems…

05.11.2021 | A Day In The Life Of…

The 5th of the month is “WMDEDGT” day for some bloggers in Germany. Abbrevation translats to “What do you actually do all day?” Diary style sort of. I remembered it and even though I’m tired (as usual by the end of the week) I’ll try to make sense of some of my notes from today.

I woke up before the alarm. Once again, but I felt rested enough, especially as I must have been in a deep slumber right before I woke up, so I felt ok this morning. And then I dawdled the morning away my usual style. Sipping my first coffee while scrolling through social media and news feed on my phone. Adding books, I see mentioned on Twitter to my neverending Goodreads list. Getting more and more frustrated with the way Germany handles or rather not handles the ongoing COVID pandemic. Highest number of cases ever! Do we do anything about it? Nooooo. Hibernation feels very tempting again.

Around 8 I logged into work and was rather productive. For a Friday anyway. But I started some of the tasks I postponed for a while, because they make me feel a bit bad. I needed to tell someone that we can’t hire their company for some project work right away, as much as I’d like to do it. But I work in the public sector and there are certain rules about procurement. Those rules are flexible to some degree, but we need to do a proper procurement process, which will take some time and is so much work *sigh*. But… tax payers money and all. Still made me feel a bit uncomfortable.

9:30 was a phone call with a younger colleague in another department, who just started working there and is supposed to be working on climate action etc. projects for that department, which of course means they will also need to be closely working with our team. Lot of mentoring going on these day in my job. I’m not sure how to feel about that yet. I like doing it but sometimes I still feel like a fraud. Check out Grace Petrie’s wonderful song about that.

11- 12 was a video call with colleagues from another department and a few external consultants about some public participation we plan to do next spring. We fairly soon agreed that planning to do it online is the safest bet, because COVID is such a unknown variable and I’m afraid still will be in March 2022. So, yes we could plan an event in real life, with real people meeting and discussing in a big room. We had planned exactly that for late March 2020 and… well, we all know what happened to those plans.

After 12 the Friday work day usually starts winding down. Another phone call to another external partner, scheduling a proper work meeting for next week and catching up on a more personal level. They used to be my boss for a few years in another job a decade ago, so we go way back and it’s always nice to still be kept up-to-date what’s going on. Some more work on the long procurement process mentioned above and then I logged off for the week.

I found some lovely mail in my mail box: Bracelets I ordered to replace the ones I have lost of the years (clumsy me) and a new one with a custom made inscription. As I can’t get a tattoo or at least shouldn’t with my compromised immune system, jewellery is the closest I’ll get to wear Frank lyrics on my skin :-).

Bracelet with Frank lyrics
“The Only Thing That’s Left To Do Is Live”

The afternoon was spent running some errands, doing a bit of shopping and also with a rather impromptu (in the morning) scheduled visit to the hairdressers. Ever since my hairdresser shut down her salon for personal reasons I’ve been using various salons of a chain all over the region. They are all doing decent enough jobs and right now I can’t be bothered to go looking for the perfect one. It was the first time at this particular salon and I must say I was very impressed how the handled the COVID regulations. Very diligent about checking vaccination status and track & trace even though I think they aren’t even obligated to do the latter. Nice anyway.

One of the errands was to pick up a package at the post office. When I read that I need to pay some fees I remembered that it must be the new Andrew Cotter or rather Olive and Mabel book I ordered from the UK, because it’s not published outside the UK / USA yet. And yes it was. And yes, of course I had to pay a few more Euros for customs and “handling” fee, which is so annoying. Fuck Brexit! I was thinking about ordering some merch from smaller UK bands on Bandcamp Friday, but depending on what they put on the custom forms, it might have been the same hassle and I just couldn’t be bothered today. Again… Fuck Brexit for screwing over the UK music industry.

Talking about music… nice segue, eh? A few blog posts ago I mentioned that I was feeling underwhelmed by the latest releases of bands I usually like. On the drive this afternoon I finally listened to the new Biffy Clyro album and OMG, that’s soooooo good. Well, most of it at least even on the first round and I was so happy that there are obviously still bands who can make me feel that way. On the way back I started listening to the new ABBA album and I liked most of it so far as well. But it’s ABBA, so what’s not to like?

After yet another “Felix Friday” (with some ABBA, but also some other great tunes as well) I will now go to bed reading about Olive and Mabel.