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

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…

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

Imagine…

A mom had a bad day. She was in pain, and her established plans for the kids to help with household chores were ignored. She did everything on her own and in pain. She made dinner. Watched a movie with the kids and an episode of Alf, and while her older daughter chose to go to bed, her younger daughter needed more cuddles. And the young ten-year-old began talking about death and how hard it is to lose people. Mom had a couple of drinks with dinner and didn’t approve of the girl’s way of thinking. She reminded her daughter that every end is a beginning, and every bad thing that happens now is part of a journey and part of a bigger picture.
Everything happens for a reason; even the ugliest moments teach us lessons and help us evolve. And then mom said that the best thing that ever happened in her life was the birth of her three kids. Every kid came at exactly the right moment, and every kid made a better person out of mom, teaching her a lot about life, the world, and her purpose. The daughter listened with tears in her eyes, and mom got worried, telling her child that every emotion is always valid and should be felt, at least for a little while. Feeling is important. But the kid shook her head. “I am not sad,” she said. “I am just touched by your words.” And inside mom’s head, thoughts just exploded. She was overwhelmed with pride for her kids. “This is the best moment of my life,” the ten-year-old girl said and hugged her mom tightly. Mom was at a loss for words and close to tears herself. Everything was just very emotional and intense, but in such a good way. And mom knew when her daughter finally went to bed that they had just shared a life-altering moment. A positive moment where mom had shared some of her eccentricities with her youngest daughter, a young girl who needed to hear those words that moment, because: everything happens at exactly the right moment in time, even if we can’t see the whole picture yet.

It was the most intense parenting moment in recent times without feeling like parenting at all.

***

Matthew Ryan – maybe I’ll disappear (from the album “Hustle Up Starlings”, 2017)

Fatboy Slim – right here, right now (from the album “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”, 1998)

Facts about me

Taking a page out of Aaron’s blog –> http://confusingmiddle.com and following Paul’s –> captainsspeech.com recent share your blog event, I decided to share some facts about me. Questions are allowed and will be answered. So… fasten your seatbelts, let’s begin this Tuesday with a post about mememememe.

  1. I am a woman
  2. My birthday is in February (8th)
  3. It makes me an Aquarius
  4. I am also an INFP which stands for “introversion, intuition, feeling, perception” and is one of 16 personality types according to Myers-Briggs
  5. I write a lot. Every day. Everything that is not personal and about me is fiction.
  6. I am diagnosed bi-polar and my moods or episodes can sometimes be palpable in my posts
  7. I love music of many genres and like to share things that make me happy – music
  8. I was born and raised in Luxembourg – which is a very small but beautiful country in Europe
  9. i am fluent in four languages and always interested in picking up bits of new ones
  10. some consider me as being odd
  11. at work, I am often seen as laid-back and calm/quiet. That’s just a facade. There is a storm on the inside
  12. I work with babies and toddlers
  13. The only other dream-job I ever had was in drug-prevention, apart from that, I always wanted to work with little kids
  14. right now, I am on extensive sick leave because I have an issue with my shoulder. It should have been resolved a year ago, but it seems as if no one wants to perform a surgery and it is better to be sent from test to test anyway *sarcasm*
  15. I am deeply empathetic, which can be a course. I pick up on moods and sometimes internalise the pain of others – my writing benefits from that, my mental health doesn’t
  16. I am a good cook because I like spoiling people who come to my house
  17. did I mention that I will be 38 this year? Not a nice number. I wonder if it is time to grow up.
  18. I did not gain or lose any weight this year, even if it looks like it on my face. but my hair turns grey and greyer
  19. blame it on my three kids (15,12,10). I love them to bits and would do anything for them
  20. My son will be 16 next week
  21. my childhood was quite rough with emotional blackmail, neglect, and abuse and I had to do things for my mom no child should do for their parent at the age of 6. It influenced my entire life and I hope that I am a better parent to my kids.
  22. when i get very very overwhelmed, I fall back into old patterns and get the urge to cut my skin. I did that as a teenager, then stopped – without help for a decade. Since 2012 it happens again sporadically. (once in 2020)
  23. one of my biggest fears is being rejected and abandoned. that’s why it hurts so much when people become close and start ghosting me – which happens on occasion too
  24. I am a sensual woman and like to write sensual short stories that border on erotica
  25. most of my online acquaintances are male
  26. most of my real-life friends are male
  27. I lost a friend because of that – she counted my followers on Twitter and FB (!) and after a fight she decided that I violated the girls-code (whatever that is) and that I was toxic – I don’t miss her
  28. I have never met my best friend – she is in London and we are in touch daily.
  29. It is easier for me to be authentic and open online than it is in my real life
  30. i prefer to step back and allow others to shine in real life
  31. online is real-life too, I know, but it is different
  32. I published 4 books, they can all be found on Amazon and they can also be bought through my blog, but only one person ever chose the latter option and that book went to Wales
  33. In 2020, for the first time ever, I did a piece of spoken word poetry and it can be found on an official release – a compilation by diy artists – I am a member of a discord channel as the only (?) non-musician and don’t know if I even fit in there – but the creator of the channel added me and I won’t complain
  34. I used to sing in a band and two songs I wrote made it on an album – I was made to leave (kicked out) when hey decided they only needed one singer and it would be better to be an all-male band. I cried and was disappointed, but not for too long. I am still friends with the members of the band. A while later, they split up and went on to have families and careers…
  35. I have been sharing music daily on the blog for a while now. I always start with the intention of only doing it for a month straight only, but to be honest, I like that most don’t know the songs I share and I hope that you can discover your next favourite artist
  36. I like supporting people and I like taking care of them
  37. If I take care of you, it means that I love you. I care about you. I never ask “how are you?” without wanting a real and true answer
  38. I write romantic poems and stories most of the time, I don’t consider myself to be a romantic woman though. I don’t want flowers or jewels, I want the little things
  39. I can be selfish
  40. I think I am shallow, but I am told I am not
  41. can I brag? I have an IQ (official test) of 132
  42. I am horrible with numbers
  43. My life is quite boring. I am home a lot and don’t like to socialise.
  44. My head is filled with boring facts about music, movies and everything related to those two. I just seem to memorise these things
  45. I am a good listener and remember little things about people
  46. last October, I met a Dutch couple I met online. I drove for four hours, spent four days with them and drove home again. I had a weird weekend. It was almost like wellness and yet, it was apparent that something internal was not quite right – I had the urge to touch my fingers the entire time, and one big phobia reared its head – I hate eating in front of people. I was an even weirder version of my normal self. it’s embarrassing, really. I’m sorry.
  47. people step into our lives when we need them not when we want them
  48. I don’t believe in regrets. Every decision I make is the right one in that moment. And if it turns out to be a bad decision later, then so be it. It sounds weird but allows me to be confident about my choices.
  49. I believe in the Butterfly Effect: If one thing was changed in the past, I would not be where I am now – this helps a lot with my messed up childhood and adolescence – because I like my life right now and I like the people who are part of it – even if they have no idea how important they are for my well-being
  50. amor fati – love your fate
  51. I write daily. In December my mentor passed away, without him, you would not be able to read any of my words. I miss him. He liked lists too.
  52. I use social media a lot, but I am not hung-up on stats. But, once in a while I wonder “who cares” and consider deleting everything. Everything but the blog. And for the blog, I do like to see that there are constant visitors.
  53. as I am writing this list, I am sitting at my kitchen table with plugs in my ear. The song that is playing is heavy metal (Kvelertak – heksebrann) and it is hard to sit still, but my kid has an online class and she is sitting here with me – i need to behave
  54. I am not a usual mom – I am often silly
  55. I like sunrises
  56. I like to sleep in – it clashes with the fact that I like sunrises
  57. when I wake up in the morning, I need a moment until I am ready to talk with anyone
  58. I can be very moody (good moods and bad moods too)
  59. The only way I know how to think is to overthink
  60. I am made of emotions but only movies and music make me cry
  61. I don’t like to show my vulnerable and weak side – I try to make fun of myself instead – yes, I am that insecure
  62. powertools don’t scare me. I know how to do many things around the house – I am independent, but I like it if a man takes care of me
  63. I like long baths
  64. kindness, respect, and gratitude are not a luxury
  65. you are always the bad guy in someone’s story – that’s a fact of life
  66. I love spinach, it is my second favourite dish
  67. I don’t like it when someone looks over my shoulder while I am looking at my phone or writing on the laptop.
  68. I am afraid to be judged wrongly – but since I am secretive and insecure, that is often the case
  69. most people I encounter use the word “mysterious” to describe me and even though this has happened for years now, no one has an answer to what is so “mysterious” about me.
  70. I gave up pretending online – I am who I am.
  71. I don’t pretend in real-life, I just don’t show everything
  72. I know a lot of theory about exercising and healthy food – and yet I am overweight
  73. I am quite short (160cm – 5’3)
  74. my wardrobe is filled with black tops and jeans
  75. my best physical assets: eyes (brown), boobs, ass
  76. I am a bad liar and think it is disrespectful to lie anyway
  77. I am easily hurt but I easily forgive too
  78. there is a song for every memory and every situation
  79. one indicator that I am not well (mentally) is when there is no music playing – it means i am overflowing with emotions and cannot deal with anything else clouding my mind
  80. an explosion of emotions – I wish I had come up with that, but I did not. I just use it a lot and the person who said it probably just said it in passing without giving it much thought
  81. my favourite season is autumn (fall). In winter it is too cold, in summer it is too hot and in spring there are too many allergies
  82. always look on the bright side of life
  83. I like art – abstract photography
  84. I haven’t seen my mother since 2016 – it is a conscious choice to protect me, but if I am honest and if I was in her position it would hurt – all my talk about being abandoned and rejected and I am doing it myself – and yet… I cannot change it. I cannot go and visit – even calling her is hard for me
  85. I know my twin-flame. It is not the man I married
  86. I never had any surgery or broken bones and the only X-Rays I had ever taken was at the dentists
  87. the song that is playing now is Billy Joel – she’s only a woman
  88. there is only one podcast I listen to regularly: https://open.spotify.com/show/0ZjcbBn2GdfMosNptBzEkP?si=uXUfwv8oQI2YskABoDD2KQ
  89. I know that spotify is not kind to indie artists and yet it is the easiest way to spread your music these days.
  90. I never owned any apple device
  91. there is a very thin line between emptiness and overflowing
  92. I am not alone, but I get very lonely sometimes
  93. I get lonely because I know exactly who I want to be in touch with but they are unavailable
  94. it’s the expectation that hurts more than anything else – no expectations, no hurt. I tried living without expectations, but it doesn’t work for me – maybe I am too much of a dreamer
  95. I hate video calls
  96. I don’t often use the word “hate”
  97. I am not a negative person, it is just easier to see the positive in other people than it is to see it in myself
  98. I know too many songs, I am singing alone to Pat Benatar’s Hit me with your best shot right now
  99. I have been struggling to come up with more facts since fact 53
  100. Thank you for indulging me – you deserve a big hug.

Accomplishments 2020 – a small list

  • Published my first novel
  • Working on my next poetry collection – working title “push the clouds away”
  • Started therapy – stopped therapy, I did not feel it
  • Drove to the Netherlands all alone and on my own (4 hours drive) and stayed with a couple I met online
  • Did a handful things out of my comfort zone
  • Said “no”
  • Worked a lot and even though I was not always happy, I was successful
  • Bonded with people
  • Said goodbye to others
  • Made lots of time for music, supporting artists and investing money into my small but eclectic vinyl collection
  • Actually enjoyed lockdown and the time I had to focus on my mental health
  • Did something – or a lot for my pain
    • Acupuncture
    • Dry Needling
    • Subacromial injections
    • Physiotherapy
    • E-stimulations
    • Surgery 97% probable in 2021
    • Agree to be put on extended sick leave
  • Wrote a lot, but not too much
  • Some months, I posted a couple times daily on the blog, I don’t have a lot of reach or many reads, but I felt like it was okay. I understood that I am doing this for myself though I also enjoy that my words are seen/read
  • And because of that, it was the most successful year for the blog – ever
  • (…)

I woke up, we all do.

For the first time in a long while, I slept through the night. I didn’t wake up as rested as I would have liked, but I felt happy – lighter than I usually do. Maybe it’s because I spoke a lot about my family yesterday. I don’t know. And I don’t want to overthink. Here is a list, I wrote spontaneously, with things that make me happy. Would you do me a favour? In the comments, share one or more things that make you happy. Let’s spread some positivity.

  • Sunrise
  • Standing in the blowing wind
  • The smell of rain
  • A dish that turned out particularly well
  • Receiving mail – personal mail (emails too)
  • Looking at my books and flipping through them
  • Listening to music, singing and dancing along
  • A good book – with a story that is gripping
  • A memory that was almost forgotten and puts a smile on my face
  • Seeing myself through the eyes of others
  • Sleeping through the night without interruption
  • Seeing people I like being happy
  • Being good at my job
  • Hearing a song that touches the right spaces inside of me for the first time
  • Driving with the windows down
  • Seeing plants grow
  • Rainbows and soap bubbles
  • A long bath
  • Feeling loved
  • That look in the eyes of my kids – between awe and she’s crazy
  • Cloud watching
  • Waking up and writing a list of things that make me happy…

Now it’s your turn… What makes you happy or feel light.

Memory lane

Today, I saw that an old post from November 2017 was read a couple of times – today. I am not one who looks at the stats all day long, but I noticed this because it is a special post to me. (That said, I usually take a moment in June to reflect on the first half of the year on the blog… Expect a post about that soon)

I remember that particular post from November very well. I remember exactly when I wrote it and why. I know what happened before and what happened after.

https://wp.me/p2ZT5k-392

It’s quite painful to read all of these words again. They were at the beginning of a dark and depressive phase in my life and I am not completely out of the woods yet. I have been fighting and struggling for three years.

Recently, I discovered that I am actually a mediocre writer at best. I keep repeating the same words and phrases; I keep replaying the same scenes and moments. And my writing became dull. Unimportant. Irrelevant.

There are many many amazing writers out there. There are musicians who write lyrics so powerful that they make the listener tear up.

I am not one of them. Not anymore.

Not anymore.

I am sorry.

I lost my most important muse and stopped listening to the music that makes me feel. It is as if I am overwhelmed all the time, yet numb too. It is as if I am censoring myself and hiding behind the mask of the person I am expected to be.

I am exhausted. I haven’t slept properly in four days. And I can’t do it anymore.

untitled_20200416

Remind me to breathe, to make this feeling of imploding go away. Remind me to breathe, to let those dry tears leave my eyes. Remind me to breathe, to make this panic end.

Stop you beating heart. Stop you shaking hands. Stop. Just stop this agonising torture.

Close the doors and close your eyes. Close your blinds and close your mind.

Leave and left. No place for inner peace – bereft.

And as the anxiety vanishes, tiredness seeps in, I pull the blanket over my alien body and give in.

I don’t know this person, but she is me—my own worst frenemy.