Sunday Scribblings #115 – self-care

Aaron over at www.confusingmiddle.com  shares prompts on Wednesdays to write a little something. Often, it sparks ideas, but just as often, I don’t write for these prompts. Today, the new Sunday Scribblings prompt was announced: self-care; in honour of this Sunday’s International self-care day.

For some, self-care is having a long bath, meditation and writing in their journal. For others, self-care is a quiet evening at home with a bottle of wine and no phone. Some stay in bed all day and are unavailable to the world. Other turn the music up, and sing and dance along.

For me personally, it is all of the above, depending on the initial mood.

But something else is self-care too: admitting that something is not what we wanted, and moving on; finding something else.

Today, this means something very specific for me, to walk away from the job I started in May and going back to the place I left in July 2021. My former boss got in touch and offered a position; that was last Friday. She said she had to run it past her superiors, but if I was interested, I was to sent in my CV and paperwork. I did so on Monday. Today I got the call that the job is mine and that I can start in September. Just in time for the start of the new school year. I will be actively working with kids again – I missed that, help and support their homework, organise other activities…

I admit, I am afraid to be judged when I tell people that I changed jobs 3 times in one year just get back to the start. But I also believe that some times one has to move backwards to be able to move forward.

So this week, my self-care is moving forward by moving backwards.

And now, I will write my job resignation letter. (I have no idea if that’s the right way of putting it, hehe)

A day in the life

If you are expecting anything profound and informative, don’t. Hehe…

Backstory: Four colleagues and I are having a training in Luxembourg City. We decide to meet at a train station close to our workplace to take the train and then a bus to a training centre. (A monastery)

We met at the train station, all bright and early, to take the train to the city.

The train arrives, we get in, and promptly, K hits her head against a handrail. Ouch.

We drive a couple of minutes into the city, happy about how easy and stress-free it all is. A quick check: bus number 13 will bring us to the destination once we arrived at Luxembourg Central. We get off at the right stop and haste a bit to catch our bus. A ton of people are there. A bit overwhelmed, we stand there waiting for our bus. And when it comes, it drives past us. Yes, we are at the right bus stop. But the bus is filled to the brim with people.

J suggests taking a tram to get closer to our destination and just when we are about to walk to the tram we hear an announcement:

Due to technical issues, tram line 1 is suspended until further notice.

Okay. Maybe we can take the next bus. A quick peek at the schedule shows us it will arrive at 8:47. Bugger we need to be at the monastery at 9 and will not make it.

V suggests walking. It’s only a 10-minute ride on the bus, and then a little walk, how far can it be?

We all agree that this is a good idea and start walking. Did I mention that it was freezing cold? And so, the five of us started walking. 35 minutes. Brisk pace. Passing a little impass, K slips on a frozen puddle, drops her phone, and steps on it. Broken screen, hurt arm. But okay, we march on. We need to get to that training centre. We arrived ten minutes late but were lucky that we made it.

The training was okay. A bit boring and nothing you can’t find online, but okay. We all need this training, no need to fight it.

Time jump. We are left out early. 4:50 pm. There is a bus station across the road. Line 13 back to central station. Yes! Succès. Until the driver informs us:

I am not driving to Central Station. Everything is closed. There are no trains.

Panik. How will we get back home? What happened?

Bomb alert

While excavating close to Central Station, they found a bomb (from WWII). Everything was widely cordoned off.

But, at a stop, the drivers changed (because of the shifts ending) and the new driver informed us that everything is open again and back to normal.

Hurray. Succès.

The 5 of us arrived at Luxembourg Central walked into the terminal and saw:

All trains are cancelled

Noooo. It’s cold. We are tired. M asks how long it will take until the trains run again: could be 25 minutes, could be 80 minutes.

Because M is our boss, she decides that we should call a taxi. But since we are 5 and don’t want to split up, we order a van.

It will be there in 25 minutes

25 minutes is feasible, we say. We laugh, we inform family, and wait. 45 minutes. No taxi in sight. F@#$

Now what?

I suggest going back to Central Station, maybe trains are back on track in the meantime.

And wouldn’t you know, there’s a train scheduled for our destination just 20minutes later.

Yay. Succès.

We get to the right track to wait. Everyone is on the phone and then there is an announcement:

The train from here to there changed tracks from 12 to 10ab.

What the f@#$?!?!

And so, the 5 of us hurry to the other track. The train is already waiting and we get in immediately.

A couple of minutes later, we are on the move. Finally. No further incidents.

And I have to say, while the training was boring and bland, the adventure around was very team-building for us. We laughed a lot. And even though I decided to leave the team, this will stay a memorable training, forever linked to these people. And it felt good.

It felt nice to be with this very special and unique bunch of women. If the 5 of us were a team, with the addition of 2 more, it would be perfect, but, as is… And those are not my words, my boss said them. Yes, I agree, not very professional, and yet – I get what she meant by that. The team quite sucks, and I will not stay there for much longer. In fact, I am sending applications and having interviews…

Today, we had the same training (second part), but without any of the technical issues. And yet… The bonding was palpable between us. That was nice. I will not work a shift until next Sunday. We’ll see how things will go on.

xx

39 for 39

  1. It’s my 39th birthday today
  2. My horoscope said plenty of good things today
  3. And yet, I am grumpy, tense, irritated
  4. The first birthday wishes came yesterday. They cannot wish today, for personal reasons
  5. I was sent out of the kitchen because my daughter (13) is about to make a cake
  6. I don’t really like cake – or anything sweet
  7. I like long baths though
  8. With bubbles
  9. I also like music
  10. I wanted to share a Spotify playlist with 39 songs, but that’s quite hard.
  11. I will put the link to my daily playlist up with this post. Be prepared for close to 49 hours of music (!) (I deleted 4 hours of music today!)
  12. I don’t believe in coincidence
  13. But i kept thinking about my former best friend these last days
  14. And then I saw an opening at a place where she used to work
  15. I will not get in touch
  16. I am not expecting any birthday wishes from my older sister or my mom
  17. I used to write many lists like this, with facts about me
  18. That’s why I am trying to keep it vague
  19. Everything was said at least once before
  20. Or as a good friend said: nothing is new under this sun
  21. The sun is not shining today
  22. I ordered myself a piece of art from an American painter. Lee Zimmerman. I hoped it would arrive today. But – nope.
  23. I was 15 when my mom turned 39
  24. When I was 15, I was in a relationship with an older guy (he was 23).
  25. I caught him cheating with another man. I broke up with him because he lied and denied everything, not because of his bisexuality
  26. In hindsight, I experienced quite a lot already
  27. What more is there to come?
  28. I am longing to see live music again
  29. And to feel loved
  30. But, I am overthinking this “love” thing. How can I be loved when I have no idea how romantic love feels like?
  31. I am not a romantic person
  32. I could be considered to be a bit hard or cold or eccentric though
  33. It’s starting to rain
  34. It sounds vain, but I like to read bits of my novel. It’s a good book.
  35. I am not always a miserable person. I like to laugh too
  36. Last year, on this day, my kids and husband had arranged a surprise visit from my dad and younger sister. I loved it. And I cried happy tears. I don’t want this this year. I want to be left alone and be antisocial
  37. Or maybe not?
  38. I am a walking contradiction
  39. I’m thinking about sending out handwritten letters or postcards again. I did that in 2019 and met great people that way. Strangers who enjoyed receiving a handwritten letter. I like receiving postcards and letters too.

39393939393939393939393939393939

Happy Birthday to me. 🎉🍾🥳🎵

Sunday Scribblings #89 – handwriting

Every Wednesday, Aaron at https://confusingmiddle.com/2022/01/19/sunday-scribblings-89-handwriting/ shares a new writing prompt. This week, the prompt is handwriting.

Handwriting can reveal a lot about people, there is an entire science about it, but honestly, I never really took the time to get into it.

My own handwriting is very much depending on my mood. But, it is often quite sloppy and I often have people at work commenting on it. In a hurry, my handwriting is hardly legible.

I noticed though, depending on the pen, my handwriting gets better or worse.

Many years ago, a person who was a friend back then gave me a fountain pen. I adore that one and use it all the time. Used – until I lost it at the hospital at the end of last year. It’s a long(er) story that I will not get into right now. Anyway… I loved that fountain pen and was devastated when I lost it. I ordered a new one. Exact same – pretending that it will be a birthday present to myself. Imagine what happened? Yeah… No surprise, I found the pen at the bottom of my handbag the exact day the new one arrived in the mail. My handbag is a large tote bag with lots of room. I bought it online last year. I am not sure it is still available, but here is a photo.

It looks better in real than on the pic. Hehe… I own at least 4 more bags from Society 6.

Back to handwriting. I share pictures with handwritten poetry quite often. And many people compliment me on my penmanship. It’s a nice thing, I think.

Both are things I wrote. One is legible and one is decipherable. Hehe.

How’s your handwriting? Do you write by hand at all?

Maybe, maybe not

Last year, I published two books and my initial plan was to publish a new one this February. I think I mentioned it several times before. But somehow, these last months were not very productive and I decided to drop the project. It took a while to come to terms with it, but eventually, I also mentioned it in passing here on this very blog.

But as so often, once I voice something, it is like pieces of a puzzle fall into place and I am drawn back to the plan I abandoned in the first place.

I shared many a poem here on the blog, but as you can see on the photo above, I also keep journals and use whatever comes in handy when inspiration hits.

Right now, I am looking at short of 200 pages of poetry. I will have to cut a lot of material and change some. Also, there is some writing that is horrible and others that is just plain depressing. Seeing that most of these poems were written last year, one might believe that I had a very bad year in 2021.

And so I spent the best part of this Sunday afternoon trying to remember last year. And not much stood out.

  • Shoulder pain
  • Surgery
  • Extensive sick leave at work
  • More pain
  • New job
  • Troubles with the twin flame
  • Abandonment
  • New friendship
  • Some writing
  • Lots of music
  • Persisting shoulder pain
  • Family matters

All quite mundane. Add my kids and husband to the mix – yes I am married and tomorrow is actually our 22nd anniversary. (Obviously not wedding anniversary – that’s 14 years).

I did have emotional ups and downs and some empty moments too. But I cannot remember having been as miserable as some of those poems read.

A predominant theme seems to be being rootless, finding freedom, building a home, love, and loss.

It will be a while until I sort through all of this. There is no cover picture and no title yet. I will not meet my intended deadline of a February 8th release either. My 39th birthday, by the way. (I think I also mentioned February 18th as a possible release day… I am not sure.)

Anyway… I have been working on this, also trying to decipher my handwriting on occasion, today.

Soon, I will take my aching arm and shoulder to bed. Ah, see… And here I revealed a couple of things about myself in this post, amongst them that 11 months after surgery, I am not pain-free, in fact, the pain got worse again. Ah well…

The Captain’s Christmas Quiz

It’s time for the first edition of the Captain’s Quiz 6: Our First Christmas Together.

Be warned, Santa is not a thing here in Luxembourg, and for a moment, I thought I’d skip this one. But after Paul tagged me on Twitter, it seemed rude. I gave it my best shot, be gentle with me. Fingers crossed I made it in time. Time zones, eh?!

Good luck to every participant, and happy holidays to everyone.

RULES
 To participate, answer the questions below in a blog post of your own and link it back to this post so I see it.
 There are no right or wrong answers; there are only answers. Feel free to provide as many, or as few details as you want, at your own peril.
 You will receive a score of 1, 3, or 5 points for your response to the 10 Questions. Your answers may unlock hidden bonus points, so answer wisely.
 There are 3 Bonus Questions. The scoring for them will be kept a secret until the final results are posted.
 You have until Noon on Thursday, December 23 to participate. The results will be posted next Friday.

THE 10 QUESTIONS

  • Santa Claus is on a health kick this holiday season. Instead of milk and cookies, what snacks would you leave out for him?

Poor Santa. I’d leave oatmeal biscuits and a glass of soy milk.

  • Picture your 8-year-old self. You are home alone during the holidays, when burglars try to break in to your house. What do you do?

I think, I would use all my toys to make my home burglar proof. Also, I’d put glue and nails on the stairs, maybe throw an iron at one and make sure all the handles to all the doors are hot, so that they burn their hands. I would not be afraid.

  • Have you ever bought a gift for someone else that you wanted to keep for yourself? If so, what was it?

I did. It was a watch I gave my husband. He never wore it. Maybe I did.

  • Which would you rather build: a snowman or a snow fort? Explain your decision.

I would build a snowman. Where I am there is not a lot of snow, and a snowman in front of your home looks better than a fort.

  • It is your job to remind others to drive safely in treacherous winter conditions. Write a Public Service Announcement that will play on the radio this winter.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but by golly, ‘tis also the season of snow and ice; so unless you are Santa in a sleigh that flies, stay prudent on the street and you’ll arrive in time for every family feast.

  • There is a holiday party at your workplace and everyone must bring in one dish of food to share. What are you bringing?

My famous tomato/mozzarella salad and as a dessert, chocolate chip cookies

  • Someone got you a hippopotamus for Christmas because you insisted, “only a Hippopotamus will do”. How did they give it to you?

With a smile and a card stuck in the very obvious wrapping paper :“this is Gloria. A beautiful hippo girl. Take good care of her and be careful when she marks her territory.”

  • What advice would you give someone who isn’t good at wrapping presents?

Do your best. Everyone is more interested in what’s inside a wrap anyway.

  • In the movie, Home Alone, Kevin McCallister says, “Be sure to bundle up if you go outside. It’s a little nippy.” How do you stay warm when it’s cold?

Many layers of clothes, gloves, scarf and when it is very cold, a hat too.

  • Are you a Dasher or a Dancer? Why?

Depending on the mood, but mostly a Dancer, I’d say. I am not a leader and I am not fast.

BONUS QUESTIONS

  • Santa is about to put you on the naughty list this year. Convince him he’s making a mistake and that you were a good person in 2021.

Dear Santa, I know you think I have been naughty this year; but look at your list again. I did a lot of good too. I gave to charity, never lied, I was always kind and humble. Look into your beautiful heart and you will see the truth, dear Santa. I trust that in all your wisdom you see that my name on the naughty list was a mistake. Merry Christmas

  • There have been allegations that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was bullied by his fellow reindeer. The North Pole calls you in to give the reindeer a stern talking-to. What do you say?

Listen, reindeers. How would you feel if you were singled out and laughed at for being different? You are better than that. All of you have qualities and flaws. But only by working together you are the best team Santa ever had. If I catch you bullying one another again, you will face consequences. Are we clear?! Now go finish your chores.

  • On the television show, The OC, Seth Cohen created Chrismukkah as a way to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. Meanwhile, on Seinfeld, George Costanza’s family celebrates Festivus – a secular and non-commercial holiday – on December 23. Create your own alternate winter holiday and tell me all about it. What’s it called? What are the traditions? Who can celebrate?

Since I am not a festive person, I would celebrate on winter solstice (21st December) and call it “Winter’s night festivities”. We gather around at night, with good company, food and music. No presents. We will light up little fires in the garden and stay up until the sun goes up. The next day is solely for sleeping everything off. Everyone who is able to stay up all night can celebrate with us. Everyone is welcome.

Happy blog anniversary

Happy Blog anniversary. This very blog is 9 years old today. There were many changes over the years, but one thing always stayed the same. Me. I try to be authentic, honest, and genuine. I share things I like, ranging from poetry and short stories to pictures and scenes from my life; and of course, music. Lots of music. But I am not a critic and I don’t write reviews.

I am not hung up on stats but, every year around this time, I give a little insight into this place. So, here we go.

This year, there were a lot more comments on the blog than any other year. Partially, that had to do with a blog friend I made in summer – John. John was an amazing guy, but unfortunately, he decided to leave the blogging world a couple of months ago. He deleted his blog and there is nothing left of this friend, apart from memories and a couple of comments under posts. I miss that guy. He was great fun. Someone else who often comments on my posts is Jeff. Jeff writes an awesome music blog, with very knowledgeable reviews and really great taste in music too.

As for the posts, I shared almost 100 posts less than I did last year. Notably, I did not post every day, as I did in 2020. There are a couple of reasons for that, but I won’t go into details. In the end, it all comes down to one thing: I’ve grown and I am more mature, more conscious about what I share and how.

As for the visitors and views. See for yourself. As of today, there are 44% more views, 28% more views, and 35% more likes. I’d count that as a HUGE success, for someone as niche and hidden as me. I still don’t always tag my posts – I am not sure if doing so would change a lot, I am not in this for the fame anyway. I am doing it for myself. But, I am not going to lie: I love that you are there on this crazy journey with me.

In 2021, there were visitors from 80 different countries. The top 5 can be viewed in the picture above. Next year, I really want a visitor from Iceland, lol. Goals, right?!

The most viewed posts are the home page, obviously, followed by:

Goodbye, Anathema a post about a British band that split up and meant a lot to me. That post was written in 2020 and it is the most successful ever on this blog. It is laced with music and small hints about how it influenced me.

Unknown or deleted was a piece of fiction I really hated. And I got annoyed that it was viewed so often that I had to take it down. Does any of you experience the same?

Facts about me is just what it says. A ton of facts and truths about me, written at the beginning of the year. Take a look, but I cannot guarantee that those facts are still true. I am human, I change and evolve all the time.

Art a piece that I shared for Aaron’s weekly prompts.

Steal me a poem, because that’s what I do best.

All these words I wrote and will write mean something because you are reading them. What I intend and mean with a post might not be what you are getting out of it. And that’s okay. For me, this is part entertainment and part therapy. This blog is very important to me, and I am a lucky girl that so many of you took a moment out of your life to spend it with me. It matters. It means something.

Here’s to the next year of blogging. Happy Holidays to everyone. Remember, don’t be too shy to get in touch. I may appear stand-offish. But most often, I am not.

Lots of love from me to you,

Cathy

Thank You!

Thank you. It is that time again; I want to thank you all for your support and for checking in more or less regularly. This blog is made of music and words. Often, the words are inspired by music and or by my thoughts and life. Thank you for being a part of this. ❤️

Merci. C’est l’heure de dire merci pour votre soutien et pour me rendre visite ici de temps en temps. Ce blog n’existe que pour la musique et les mots. Et souvent, ces mots sont inspirés par la musique, mes pensées et ma vie quotidienne. Merci d’être là. 💜

Danke. Es ist Mal wieder an der Zeit Danke für die Unterstützung und das mehr oder wenig stete Interesse zu sagen. Dieser Blog besteht aus Musik und Worten. Die Worte sind inspiriert von Musik, meinen Gedanken und meinem täglichen Leben. Danke dass ihr ein Teil davon seid. 💚

Merci. Et ass un der Zäit Merci fir d’Ennerstëtzung an den Interessi ze soën. Dëse Blog besteet aus Musëk an Wierder. An dacks sinn déi Wierder inspiréiert vun Musëk, mengen Gedanken an mengem daachdeeglejen Liewen. Merci dat dir en Deel dovun sidd. 🖤

🖤💚💜❤️💙🤍💛🧡🤎

I only speak these four languages fluently, but I want to thank everyone of you, no matter where you are from.

The Captain’s Quiz 5: Golden Rings

After a long absence from these quizzes, I decided that it is time to partake again. Thank you, Paul, for hosting the 5th edition of your famous quiz. Interested? Head on over to The Captain’s Speech. You will be in for a treat.

Now about that quiz and my answers… Please enjoy. And good luck to everyone taking on this challenge. It’s 5 pm, let’s get this one on the road.

RULES

To participate, answer the questions below in a blog post of your own and link it back to this post so I see it.
There are no right or wrong answers; there are only answers. Feel free to provide as many, or as few details as you want, at your own peril.
You will receive a score of 1, 3, or 5 points for your response to the 10 Questions. Your answers may unlock hidden bonus points, so answer wisely.
There are 3 Bonus Questions. The scoring for them will be kept a secret until the final results are posted.
You have until Noon on Tuesday, November 23 to participate. The results will be posted next Wednesday.

💙

THE 10 QUESTIONS

1. The Fab Five were a group of all-freshmen starters for the 1991 Michigan men’s basketball team. What is something you immediately excelled at?

Knowing songs and their lyrics.

2. One Direction was a boy band that eventually went in five directions. If you were in a five-person band, would you be the first one to leave? Why or why not?

No. I would be the second. The first is the one that gives up, second is the one leaving the sinking ship.

3. Five Alive is a line of various fruit juice blends. Create a new drink and include any number (other than five) in its name. Tell me about the new drink.

2+3 Your new favourite drink combines two kinds of vegetables and three kinds of fruits. Tasty and healthy; guaranteed to improve your day. 2+3 Now available in stores near you.

4. In the mid-2000s, WWE Superstar John Cena had a weekly segment on WWE.com called, “Five Questions With The Champ” where he answered fan questions. If you were to send a celebrity five questions, who would it be and what would you ask?

Harrison Ford:
In 2023, Indian Jones 5 will be released. When you signed for the first movie, did you ever stop to think that 42 years later people still want to see Indy?

Flying or floating?

Coffee with or without milk?

Early riser or burning the midnight oil?

What are the five greatest songs ever written, according to you, Mr Ford?

5. The San Francisco 49ers have won five Super Bowls, with their last one coming in 1995. What is something from 1995 that you wish we still had and/or did in 2021?

In 1995, I was 12 years old. I wish we could be that carefree again.

6. When you type, “Where are the” into Google, what is the fifth autocomplete option?

Where are they situated?

7. The TV show, Breaking Bad, had five seasons. What is your favourite TV show and how many seasons does it have?

Brothers and Sisters. It has 5 seasons.

8. The PlayStation 5 has experienced supply issues due to a chip shortage. What are your top five potato chip flavours?

Salt. Salt and pepper. Paprika (not sure if that exists over there). Cheese and onions. And salt.

9. “Remember, remember, the 5th of November” is a line from the movie, V for Vendetta. What do you remember about November 5, 2021?

On the 5th of November, I remember I remember inviting someone to my home for Christmas. 

10. How would you explain the “high five” hand gesture to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

Both parties raise one of their arms and clap the other’s hand mid-air. (If you look at the elbow of the other’s raised arm, you can never miss a high five, it’s true. Try it!). It means, agreeing on or being happy about an outcome.

💛

BONUS QUESTIONS

1. If you could be five-years-old for the next 24 hours, what would you do?

I would throw a tantrum because I would have to follow rules and obey adults and I would not like that. I would play with my toy cars, jump in puddles (which I do as an adult too), refuse to eat anything green, and ask for cuddles while watching TV with my parental figure. 

2. How many five-letter words can you type in two minutes? Do it, but don’t share the words with me. Your answer to this question will only be the number of words.

Seventeen.Tell me the story behind th

3. Tell me the story behind the fifth photo in your phone (or camera, computer, photo album)

It’s a picture of my youngest daughter folding a burrito. Once in a while, we eat burritos, all made from scratch, with lots of vegetables and lots of fun. Amalia packed so much into hers that she almost couldn’t close it. She was laughing the entire time. (If Amalia was not on the pic, I would have shared it)

💜❤️🧡💛🤍

Thank you, and have a great evening. xx