21.02.21 | “We’re all caught in the blackout, trying to feel our way out…”

Lyrics: “Blackout”~ Frank Turner, 2018

I’m not sure if I can really call the state of mind these last few weeks a blackout, but it definitely was a weird fog of mental exhaustion from so many things. The pandemic and everything around it. The worry for our future, because this is so far from over. Work has been insanely busy, which has been a blessing of sorts, because it kept my mind occupied in some way. But it also made me feel overwhelmed a lot. I’m in charge of some bigger projects and at the moment I don’t really feel up to it. And I don’t know if it’s just my usual lack of self-confidence and excess of self-doubt speaking. Or if I’m really in over my head. I wish I’d be better at this whole “adulting” thing.

I spent a lot of time mindlessly distracting myself with social media and reading easy romance novels and these kind of things. Mindlessly in a “can’t tell you the name of characters or most of the plot the day after I finished it” kind of way. One third into the latest one I was finally fed up by this and myself, when I noticed so many flaws in the plot and everything of the current book I was reading. I realized that even though the story was set in the USA, the book originally was written by a non-English-Speaker and now translated to English. But OMG, I wish either the writer or an editor would have done some more research about some of the stuff they were writing about.

This must have cured me and I’m now back to reading some more substantial stuff. Still working my way through “Around India in 80 Trains” and I finally started – “A Woman is No Man” this evening.

I’ve also recently started reading “Clanlands” the book Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish (and a ‘real’ writer) wrote to accompany the TV travel show “Men in Kilts”. I haven’t gotten too far yet with it though, because for some reason some of it is rubbing me wrong. I don’t know. Maybe it all feels to forced and too artificial? Or maybe I just am fed up by the social media campaign Sam is running at the moment. For the show, the whisky, the tartan stuff and everything else. I know, I know, if you’ve got a new product you need to sell it and social media is the way to do it these days. It just feels a bit much at the moment. Anyway. They’ve reach Loch Leven, north of Glencoe, when I stopped reading. Lovely part of Scotland.

Loch Leven, August 2012
Loch Leven, Scotland, UK, 2012

Talking about Scotland, my lovely, lovely Scotland. In my “falling asleep routine”, I’ve recently started switching from Richard Armitage reading Georgette Heyer novels to a Calm Sleep Story: “The West Highland Line” from Mallaig to Glasgow, described as it would have been in the 1920s.

It’s a 30 minutes story. According to my app history in the past two weeks I’ve listened to it 13 times so far, as I sometimes start over multiple times, when I wake up in the middle of the night. It took me about five tries to reach the Glenfinnan viaduct and even after 13 times I’m still not farther south then Fort William / Ben Nevis range / Loch Linnhe. What I’m saying is… this sleep story works. Obviously!

Glenfinnan Viaduct, 2019
Glenfinnan viaduct, Scotland, UK, 2019
Loch Linnhe, 2016
Loch Linnhe, Scotland, UK, 2019

Every once in a while I’m considering doing more of #Positivity posts or at least jot those moments down in a journal at least. The forementioned blackout / mental fog kept me from it so far though. Maybe I’ll start over next week. I’ll try anyway.

Today was a mostly positive day. Relaxed. Chilling in the sun. Feeling like I make tiny tiny progress on the guitar. Going to bed at a reasonable hour. (Hopefully).

Ending this post on another positive note: Migrating birds this afternoon…

Bird migration

10.02.2021 | “Don’t lose yourself by looking at your phone”

Lyrics: “Don’t Worry” ~ Frank Turner, 2018

Over the last few days I’ve once more realized I’m spending way too much time on my phone. Scrolling through feeds, clicking on links, rather mindlessly. I don’t like it. I know it’s not good for me, so why do I do it? To distract myself most of all, I guess and to not spend too much time with my own thoughts. Because I either look back and worry or look forward and worry and avoiding too much worrying is always welcome. But not a good way to be. I know.

But I feel there is so much too worry about at the moment. I’ve always been someone who worries too much, so 11 months into a global pandemic with no end in sight, it’s just wearing me down. So so so much.

How much I suffer from the lack of live music from my favourite artist hit home yesterday when the Arkells posted footage from unique live music moments on Twitter.

Add that to the stress I feel at work (not necessarily stress that actually is, just how I experience it) and so many little things that annoyed me and made me almost loose it and you might understand why I went to bed early. Sleep usually helps and it did to some extent.

Waking up to reading a Facebook post from Frank how much he misses live music right now, did not help though. Note to self: Really keep the phone out of the bedroom and not check everything in the morning. I managed to do that for a while to be fair, but recently have slipped back into bad habits. I listened the Calm Masterclass about “Screen and Social Media Addiction” yesterday and this morning and will definitely try to incorporate some of the

Random positive thought of the morning: It’s nice to see that it does indeed get lighter earlier each day. Or at least every couple of days I notice it. Little Changes and all that jazz. And with that, I’ll now go start this day: Shower, breakfast (more than just the coffee I had so far), logging into my remote work desktop…

07.02.2021 | “When the harsh winds blow, and the world gets cold…”

Lyrics: “The Twenty-First Century Survival Blues” ~ Frank Turner, 2018

The dreaded ice storm showed it’s first signs around my area tonight. I probably wouldn’t have noticed as I had the closed the shutters and all, but around 11 at night I realized that some of the fruit in my kitchen got mouldy and I took that out to the trash right away. As I expect the weather to be much worse tomorrow. I trudged through a light layer of snow/frozen rain/ice to the bins and was lucky to get back inside quickly. Here’s a bit of it on the outer window sill.

Harbinger of the ice storm

We might all be exaggerating in our worry over it. I have no idea. I’m ready to hunker down for a few days though. I hope. I don’t want to think about power outage or something like that. That happened at some point during a storm 15 or so years ago in my state, not my area. I’m not prepared for something like that even though every once in a while authorities remind you to be prepared. Have enough drinking water, batteries, torches and stuff. I fall more into the category so aptly described by Frank Turner in the quoted song:

Comfortable enough to play around with doubt
Without knowing how to survive when the lights go out.
And if we take away the things we’ve been depending on,
We’ll be flailing like children in a nursery home,

The Twenty-First Century Survival Blues ~ Frank Turner, 2018

I really hope we’re all staying safe (and sane and reasonable) here. We’ll see how it goes. It feels weird to worry about other things than the pandemic though. Not better or worse, just different. I just wish we could stop worrying over anything for a while soon, but I’m afraid COVID in all it’s variation will keep our minds occupied for many weeks / months ahead. And I’m so terribly tired of it all.

I try to distract myself with nice things / activities, but I’m failing more often than not. I muddle through and procrastinate and am a sloth and…. Ugh! I don’t know. This afternoon I started writing out lists of the unread books on my shelves. I know I can use goodreads to keep track and I used to, even though not diligently, so my list there might be incomplete. And I spend so / too much time online anyway, so to cut back on my time on that app can’t hurt. It also was kind of meditative to just get stacks of book from the shelf and write down title and author, one after anotuher. I still need to list all of my unread novels tomorrow. I have so so so many books and still ordered two more today. I’ve also still got two outstanding orders. I’m beyond help. And the weird things is, I’m not even reading all that much at the moment. But at least buying books isn’t as unhealthy as other coping mechanism might be. Or is it?

Off to bed now to be well rested to brave the the winter storm tomorrow….

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