05.09.2021 | “Baby, let’s get out of the city, we need to breathe some cleaner air…”

Lyrics: “Wanderlust” ~ Frank Turner, 2011

So, after my proper mope-y post last night this morning I felt like I needed to do …. something. The forecast said it would be a lovely late summer day, so I rather on a whim I decided to – once again – ignore all possible chores at home and head out. I wanted to walk a bit and see something. Nature and maybe other things. My choice fell on the “Sauerland Park” which had been the location of a Regional Garden Show in 2010 (on a converted former army base) and was kept up as a park with a variety of gardens, but also playgrounds and other things to do. It’s about 40 minutes drive away and I’ve never been before. And it was lovely. I walked around a lot. I didn’t visit all the various parts of it, but enough. I even went up all the way to the top of the observation tower (125 steps) once I made it slowly up the hill…

I’m so out of shape as I haven’t done any kind of real exercise for over a year now and I don’t like it. Slowly walking around this park and up the hill I was reminded of how only a couple of years ago I was hill walking in the UK. Ben Lomond in 2017. Snowdon in 2018. And this year I’m puffing slowly up a tiny hill. Ugh. This needs to change, I think. Anyway, at first I thought I might be too out of shape to get up the tower as well. But I wasn’t really. My legs were a bit wobbly once I got back down to the temporary beach area between the buildings, but… 🙂

View from the Tower, Sauerland Park, 2021
View from the Tower, Sauerland Park, 2021

Here is the tower up on the hill…

Observation tower, Sauerland Park, 2021
Observation tower, Sauerland Park, 2021

One of the other attractions – not in the park – but next to it – is a large geotope. A lot of very old rocks in the woods, basically. Any geologist will kill me for putting it this way.

"Felsenmeer" Geotope, 2021
“Felsenmeer” Geotope, 2021

There also was a variety of art all around…

Tire(d) People ;-) ?
Tire(d) People 😉 ?

And there was a small maze, which of course I had to go into. My bedtime story is (still) the Harry Potter Series, read so wonderfully by Stephen Fry and I’m almost done with “The Goblet of Fire”, where Harry and Cedric have to go through the maze and we all know what happens there…

Inside the Maze, Sauerland Park, 2021
Inside the Maze, Sauerland Park, 2021

And of course there were flowers. Not as many as in the height of summer, probably, but still quite a few lovely ones…

Closed blossom, Sauerland Park 2021
Closed blossom, Sauerland Park 2021
Flowers and bees, Sauerland Park, 2021
Flowers and bees, Sauerland Park, 2021
Sunflowers, Sauerland Park, 2021
Sunflowers, Sauerland Park, 2021

All in all, I’m really glad I went and spend some time outside, in the sun. Being active and keeping my mind occupied with other things than worrying.

I should do that more often…

04.09.2021 | “If you were hoping that I am coping then you’re wrong…”

Lyrics: “L’appel” ~ Heavy Meds, 2021

Last night for the first time in a while I was wondering how much longer till I reach my breaking point. Without even having a clear idea what that breaking point might look like, but it’s just… a lot right now.

Work | Still the same amount of projects as before. I still feel overwhelmed a lot and it feels like time is running out or that we need to adjust our timeline on some projects. Which is not good, but also not such a huge disaster. I hope. I still feel like I’m not doing my best work. Scrap that, I know I’m not doing my best work. My supervisor told me – in the nicest way – during this year’s evaluation meeting, that while I’m doing good work, they thought and expected me to do even better work. And right now I’m torn between just doing the good work and be done with it and on the other hand wanting to do better work. But at the same time, feeling unable to deliver better work. I DON’T KNOW…. *sigh*

This week both my supervisor and our department head signed off on the way I want to structure a workshop next week. Instead of thinking “Cool”, my mind goes: “Mmmh, have they read it?” Are they really ok with it? Are they trying to trick me?” It’s exhausting to be me, believe me.

Family | We had working routine down so far taking care of the senior family member who needs care and assistance back at home. We still sometimes are a bit testy and bitchy about how other family members are doing things, but all in all, it worked fine. Looking back on these past four weeks I’m surprised about how much I don’t mind doing some stuff, like assisting with basic physical needs, if you know what I mean. Not something I’d want to do as a job (kudos to all the nursing staff everywhere, underpaid and undervalued), but I don’t mind doing it for a family member. Is that something unusual? I don’t know. Something to be proud of? That feels weird to say. We’re a family. I couldn’t imagine not helping out and doing it.

We had a bit of emergency last night or at least it felt like it, even though so far all tests done in hospital last night or today turned out fine. So obviously no heart attack, not another stroke, just old age and brittle bones and deteriorating health in general. Hopefully. It was still an evening with too much excitement for my taste. I was already in bed when I got called and of course I headed over to “watch over” the medics.

I think this constant, underlying worrying and the added actual worrying when something health-related happens, is wearing me down. Has been wearing me down since that they suffered that stroke mid-May. I’m just exhausted.

And with these closing words I’m heading off to bed (soon). Hoping the phone won’t ring around 10:30 again with bad news. Wish me luck. As my life is boring AF right now, here is a sunset photo from happier times. We will have those again at some point, right?

Sunset at Balnakeil Beach, Scotland, 2016
Sunset at Balnakeil Beach, Scotland, 2016

01.09.2021 | “Deep down you’re just like everybody else…”

Lyrics: “Reasons Not To Be An Idiot” ~ Frank Turner, 2008

After unsuccessfully trying to revive a bullet journal habit, I recently bought another planer / calendar. This one comes with some mindfulness tools and tips and all. Among other things to name three habits you want to follow this month. I noted down blogging more as one. Let’s see how that will go.

Though there isn’t much to report from my side at the moment. Same old, same old. I have some ideas I could write about, but I’m not sure yet if these are thoughts I want to share with the world or if that’s just stuff I need to work through for myself. Being an anxious mess, trying to be more mindful and to “work on myself” is complicated.

At work these days more often than not I feel like others have a much better grasp of their tasks and do their job much better than I do, even though they’ve only joined our team a few months ago, whereas I’ve been in this job for nine years. To the day today. I’m sure a lot of this is just my wrong impression, based on self-doubt and all, but still. It feels hard sometimes. I need to listen to “Reasons…” a few times a week to get over that feeling 🙂

I almost didn’t get around to follow the blog more habit, even though I was determined to. Being the first of the month and all. I finished work almost on time today as I know tomorrow will be another long day with a video call till at least 17:00. I came home and lay down for a nap, which I usually don’t, especially not at that time of the day. But my sleep cycle is so messed up. And I didn’t even nap, only dozed, but felt more rested after, which is the whole point. And I almost didn’t want to get up again, which would have messed up my sleep cycle even more, I know…

I sat down to read a few more pages of the novel, I’m currently reading: “The Secrets of Latimer House”, about a secret operation in Buckinghamshire in WWII, which started off all right. Unfortunately this evening the plot got ludicrous and I was about to just put the book away and not finish it. But I was already over half-way through. So instead of just tossing it, I decided to skim-read the rest so I could put it behind me today. Yeah, not sure if that was a sensible use of my time tonight. Here’s my short review of the book and here are some photos from Bletchley Park (December 2019), which was something similar to Latimer House. Only bigger. Or at least more well known afterwards.

I so miss travelling and spending times with friends. Taking silly pictures with a Frank Turner tour flag.

Mansion at Bletchley Park, 2019
Mansion at Bletchley Park, 2019
Hut at Bletchley Park, 2019
Hut at Bletchley Park, 2019
NML Tourflag at Women at Bletchley Display, 2019
NML Tourflag at “Women of Bletchley” Display, 2019

Anyway, now that I’ve finished that one, I can start with the next one tomorrow. I saw the Scottish prime minister Nicola Sturgeon tweet about it and thought it looked interesting, so I ordered it right away. “Great Circle” about a a female aviator whose plane vanishes in the 1950s and the disgraced actress who plays her on screen in modern-day Hollywood. It’s got stellar reviews and sounded interesting to me. Let’s hope it will keep me hooked more than the … ehm, dozen or more novels I started reading but put aside this year. There were more novels I did finish and most of them I did enjoy, but the amount of stories I aborted this year feels staggering to me. I blame my pandemic mind.

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