here are my thoughts
63974 words

Note 68: Archives 3

Drinking: Lemon and ginger tea

Listening to: Read more, write more (soundcloud)

Notable songs: Yiruma, River flows in you; joe Hisaishi- Summer

Hello,

It's 7:53. I woke up to my alarm at 7 and since then, I read more in a biography of Peter Sellers and turned my phone back on at 7:35.

This marked the end of my 24 hour phone detox. It was a strange experience, but a recommendable one. Assuming that you can figure out a way to square your work commitments with it, it should be positive.

I specifically chose a day where I did not need to leave the house so that I don't have as much anxiety about the risk of not being able to call anyone if I need rescuing.

Most of the day was spent rather nicely. My dad wanted me to go with him to a weird old store that would be interesting to me. As I didn't have anything better to do, this option shined in comparison. It was a pleasant time there, even though due to corona measures we couldn't go in and browse the aisles as he wanted to.

Aside from that I whiled away my time with a nice combination of napping, reading and playing board games. My mum asked me yesterday if we could play scrabble and I agreed.

I have a rather nervous disposition and this seems to express itself in a need for stimulation and attention from others. Most days I want to be able to talk to someone outside of the household to get my fill of stimulation. However as my phone was unavailable for the day, this wasn't as easy as normal. Luckily a need arose outside of myself: my dad suggested I talk to my sister about an important topic, and I used his phone to do so. We talked during the return leg of the outing with him and that sated me.

It was strange not being able browse the internet as freely as normal. Although I hadn't set any rules against the rest of my devices, I specifically minimised my use of normal web browsers through the day. I felt a bit gross when I did browse for a short while. In addition to this I found it alien to simply sit with myself when in the company of my parents, without having my phone. I think this was the most alien to me. It was certainly most difficult in the first evening. I was not ready for it.

One unexpected result of this challenge was how much I wanted to look up words on my phone whilst we were playing scrabble. Another one was that I wasn't able to text dad after he had left to inform him on a dinner decision I had made. Both of these were challenging, but the second was more scary for me. I'm often afraid of what happens if I don't appease him.

Overall I enjoyed the experience. I enjoyed not having to check my phone all the time wondering if so and so had texted me back yet. I enjoyed being able to just laze about the house whilst feeling the time go by slowly. It feels a lot more luxurious when the grains run through your hand one at a time. I'm not sure what I'd change for the process next time. I suppose a bit of research is what the doctor would order, about how others have handled the same situation.

Fingers crossed and bis morgen.

Note 80: Archives 1

Drinking: Lemon and Ginger tea

Listening to: Soundcloud station based on Yasushi Yashida- Permanent Yesterday

Notable songs: N/A

Notable lines: N/A

Hello,

It's 8:21, I woke at 7 to my alarm and then returned to sleep until maybe 7:30. In the extra time I had a nightmare about being hunted by government agents for helping someone and then having to fight for my life. That was terrifying. But I'm happy I'm awake now, although my eyes are bloody sore.

Yesterday was a better day.

For breakfast I cooked another frittata. This time I tweaked it by using 3 eggs instead of 2 and leaving it on the heat for a long time on medium. This worked out a lot better, but there was still a layer of uncooked eggs at the top. I watched a Jamie Oliver video from his archives where a British family living in Spain showed him how to cook one. They simply put a lid on it to trap the steam which set the top of the fritatta. @What's the difference between an omelette and a frittata? Along with this I had a butter sandwich, an apple and some cheese. Mainly things that I can eat without thinking much or preparing much. Grazeable foods.

I started the morning shift at work by sanding down and painting the back door frame. I began with p80 and moved onto p240 sandpaper. This helped but many of the problems in the current appearance would have been much easier sorted out if the wood had been sanded before the new layers of paint were added. Following this, I undercoated a section of what I had sanded. During the breaks I just sat there maybe taking some notes onto my iPod, but that was about it. The day before, I had a new book to read during the breaks, but this proved too difficult to tear myself away from and the breaks rushed past without letting me feel like I had rested. It was okay to just sit there, but it proved difficult to actually force myself to take a break occasionally. I tried out taking them once I completed a specific section rather than simply on the clock. This was easier for me to manage.

For lunch, I once again skipped eating anything as I was still dealing with the brick like fullness from the omelette at breakfast. Because of the combined stress of managing my guts and my teeth, the less food I eat the less anxious I am. Instead I read for half an hour, meditated for 15 minutes and prepared myself for the next shift. I was reading in a new book from a company called The Moth. It's a collection of short stories from a variety of people. I understood that there was wide variety of normal people, but most of those included in the book seemed to be major players within their field, so that was a bit annoying.

In the afternoon shift, I was still quite lethargic. I finished the shift by painting the back door frame with a top coat. I started the shift by painting the front door frame with a top coat. I'm not a very fast worker. But then again I was feeling like crap with my @heavy shoes, and fleece on, so I was surprised I did any work. I still can't imagine just bailing on work if feel like shit.

At 4:50, Dad and I played scrabble on his phone for a bit, it was quite engaging, but it felt like where you distract yourself from your own demise. I know it's dark, but these thoughts are often just below the surface for me. My dad rarely probes how I'm actually doing and what I'm actually thinking about, so in order to discuss things with him, I need to bring it out manually. I've been doing that more often recently, but not during the scrabble game. I was just happy that the work day was over. I was getting hungrier for the half hour prior, so the relief to be able to snack before dinner was exciting.

Whilst preparing dinner, I listened to the latest video from Harris O'Malley's The Doctor NerdLove channel. It was a video on the Nice Guy phenomenon. It was quite unsettling to listen to. And I'm happy about it. In the comments was a rather good quote from a book that I read a few years ago that I enjoyed. The book was called "Their Eyes were watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston. If I remember correctly she was the first African American woman to be published in America.

The quote is as follows.

"That man should be kissing your mouth, and he kissin' your foot. And a man stay down and kiss your foot long enough, you can't help but look down on him. But, come some day, he gonna look up, and SEE you looking down on him, and you ain't never gonna have another happy day."

This was a piece of the book that I had entirely forgotten. Mostly I remembered the tragedy of the floods. The quote struck a nerve within me and I am grateful to her for writing it. I think it's one of those lessons I'm going to have to relearn a bunch of times. I sometimes get so lost with how bad I have it, I just assume other people's lives are nothing but daisies and sunshine and they're doing great without a bad thought in their head. I logically know this isn't right, but it's really easy to do. And I want to do it, because if they're feeling as shit I do, then I can't feel that bad. But if everyone around me is having a marvellous time, but I feel like shit, then I can enjoy that. I get to feel righteous whilst suffering.

The food I cooked was bloody good. It started with Norfolk sausages and left over new potatoes, fried with garlic. After these had simmered together for some time, I added a whole bag of spinach, which wilted down pretty quickly. I then added a tesco mushroom soup to it. We had butter sandwiches to go with it. I'm trying to get better at only cooking as much as we need for that meal, but it's difficult.

After dinner, I felt more lethargic in a post-prandial state. However there's no rest for the weary, and we were to go to Tesco. Normally I would want to be clean by the time we get there, but I couldn't be bothered to have a shower. Instead I just cleaned my teeth, got changed and I was ready to go. @I would like to get better basic hygiene for these kind of situations, to have a higher baseline when depressed. Once we arrived, the main decision to make was what sort of meat we wanted to eat over the weekend. Dad suggested a large pack of pork loin steaks as they were a good price. We rarely have to make this decision in London because 90% of the meat we buy is reduced to 25% of the original sticker price. It was nice to have to actually have to consider the cost of the meat.

Once we arrived home we came up against another factor that we normally don't have to face. In London when we're lacking in freezer space or simply want to divvy up a larger pack of meat into smaller ones, my dad would repackage them into sandwich bags. This is a practice that I find fundamentally frustrating. However because I only remember the frustration when I open the freezer and see them, I never address it. The main reasons for the frustration is the lack of hygiene inside the freezer (frozen water touching the meat falling out of the open bag onto other produce) and outside (when trying to remove the meat from the bag, little bits of frozen meat water would inevitably spring out as the bag has frozen into crevices around the meat). @To address this finally, I would like to buy more silicone freezer bags, and store them in that instead. They're resuable, pretty and fully sealable. Once my small one is freed up, I would like to do so

After arriving home I was yet more lethargic. Very tired. I remembered that I still had my daily German studies to do. So I went ahead and did them. Right now I've been listening to Fabian Römer's album L_BENSLAUF while studying. I switched over from a lofi playlist as it was too romantic which depressed me when I thought of S. The problem with Römer's is that his lyrics are terribly distracting. I may switch over to the instrumental of a different German album. That way I would get the memory of listening to german music to prime my brain for it, but will also be able to focus on the task at hand, and not just focus on brute forcing my way through the session.

After this I read even further in the Moth book. What I found particularly exciting was how many coincidences there were through the pages for me. One of the authors was raised around Cape Cod, which A Keeper of Sheep was based in. In another by an American who's family is from India, I guessed the author correctly. It was Hasan Minhaj a comedian that I've become a big fan of recently. Yet another happened to be a poet and hip-hop artist that has collaborated with one of my favourite Australian rap groups, who no-one I met has heard of. The author was Omar Musa, and the group he's previously collaborated with was Horrorshow. This has made the book rather special for me.

To add onto that, many of the other stories were touching. One in particular was about 2 men that went on a quest to meet Chad Everett. It ended well but was still sad. @I would quite like to speak at one of these events. If not speak, at least attend. But preferably speak. I've always like the idea of getting better at story telling. And I'm in awe that people can tell a story that's like 5 pages long without notes. Maybe I can too one day.

Who knows.

Bis morgen.

Note 79

Drinking: Lemon and Ginger tea

Listening to: N/A

Notable songs: N/A

Notable lines: N/A

Hello,

It's 7:32. I awoke to my alarm at 7, but was still dead tired. I din't want to be grumpy and unhelpful at work today, so I returned to bed for 20 minutes. I then collected my phone from downstairs turned on my laptop and edited my post from yesterday.

Yesterday was a better day. I was in a low mood most of the day with low energy to boot. I was rippingly tired from when I first woke up. The adrenaline and cortisol helped cover it up from time to time, but it never really went away.

For breakfast I took dad's advice and made myself a frittata using the left over potatoes and my usual egg mixture. It didn't turn out well because I mixed the eggs with the veg whilst they were both in the frying pan. This meant that the oil got mixed in too. What then happened was the whole frittata stuck to the bottom of the pan as the oil wasn't there to protect it. @Today I'll do things differently.

It was difficult because our initial plan for painting was dashed by colour complications. Normally he would assign me to do a specific large area to paint and I would gradually work my way through it. I would take breaks accordingly and be well motivated by the steady progress and the fun breaks. However when the progress is halted by a conflict whereby the more I do of what's asked of me, the worse the outcome, I cannot work in good conscience. So it was a stop start day. We had found a few satisfying tasks to make tangible progress though. The back patio had accumulated a lot of items over the last 3 months and we were now in the tidying phase. Dad suggested that we tidy and clean it up. I carried rather heavy bags of decorative stones down the garden using a wheelbarrow. In the end it looked a lot better. I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks after it had dried completely.

For lunch, I didn't eat anything again. In addition I did not sleep. Instead I played shattered pixel dungeon for half an hour or more. I had allotted myself 1.5 hours for the day, twice a week. However due to my limited free time on a work day, this takes up a lot of time. It's not that bad, but it means I play it more than I really want to. In addition, I don't like rushing through my break and not noticing it go by me. @I'll have to tweak the times the next time I can.

For dinner, I fried up left over potatoes with garlic and celery and cooked it with a frozen portion of spinach and tomato dal that I cooked a few weeks ago. It all turned out really nicely and I'm looking forward to eating it again. I had a certain amount of flatulence probably due to the dal. @asofoetida

After dinner I had a chat with mum. It was fine but I don't know how to handle it when she starts monologuing on politics and how much our country has mismanaged their corona response.

I went to bed at 9:45 pm in an attempt to sleep earlier. I think this worked as I read for a while, but without any obvious clocks available to me at the time, I've no idea. @I really want to have some kind of analog, not glow in the dark clock that I can look at before I sleep. Also sleep tracking is still useful. I'm looking forward to the weekend, but I don't have anything planned. I'm afraid it's going to be stressful again.

Anyway, that's all I've got for now.

Bis morgen.

Note 78

Drinking: Lemon and Ginger tea

Listening to: SoundCloud weekly

Notable songs: Dustin O'Hallaran- Museum Nights

Notable lines: N/A

Hello,

It's 7:15, I woke to my alarm at 7 and walked downstairs to pick my phone up. Before the alarm I was tossing a few times waiting for it. A bit earlier I was feeling rather awake, but I was afraid that it may by 6am or earlier. I didn't want to get up before 7. My shoulders both feel fine, which is nice.

Yesterday was a better day.

For breakfast I had the remains of the pack of stir fry vegetables, cooked with a big dollop of the coconut and lemongrass dressing I had bought with them. There was no noodles that day, as I had finished eating them the day before.

During the morning shift, I split up my work into pomodoros, however that day had a change. Normally I'm just sitting on my thumbs or listening to a song during these points. To look forward to these points more, I tried what it would be like having the last 40 pages of the current book available to me during these breaks. I'd say it was quite successful. The plot was reaching a crescendo so it kept my interest going and gave me something to look forward to during the work time. @How to fill time in the pomodoros during writing?

During the lunch break, I chose again not to have lunch. I get very sleepy if I do and normally I'm not terribly hungry at this point. I only felt the first bit of hunger at 2:30pm but that subsided quickly. Instead during this time I read the last 25 pages of the book. I was rushing it a bit, but not too bad. It was a satisfying ending. It also had a good amount of breathing space after the intense crescendo of the plot. People putting their livess back together, taking new directions toward horizons anew. Overall it was a satisfying book. One of the most surprising things for me was how well a male author could write a female protagonist; I have no idea how I could write a book from a woman's perspective without it being utterly contrived.

During the afternoon shift, I had moved to focus on painting the bathroom. I slowly and carefully touched up any questionable points where the colour was thin or the darker tone from below was showing through. Over time, however I started to get anxious that continuing to do so would be a mistake. I had noticed that the paint on the walls was a different tone to the surrounding paint. It looked lighter and this depressed me. I had the idea that I shall have to repaint the whole wall and the other two rooms I've spot checked. It was dark due to the rain clouds at this point which didn't help my or my dad's mood. The helplessness and depression washed over me. Especially after dad worked to fix the paint by mixing it back in with the extra pain. When I repainted the same areas they were just as light as before. In the end we decided that I'm to paint the room again.
As luck would have it the other two rooms colours looked fine.

Whilst this was happening, I had a few stronger hunger pangs. They also went away. For dinner we had a nice collection of food. Local new potatoes that dad scrubbed to get the excess peel off and boiled in plenty of water, 2 ostrich steaks and a bowl of local broccoli and cabbage that I microwaved with butter and salt and pepper and allspice. The potatoes turned out nicely, but the real revelation for me was how satisfying the microwaved veg was, especially the cabbage! It tasted lemony from the seasoning. @I'll definitely do that again.

I had a shower whilst the potatoes cooked, which was the first itme in a while that I stuck to the once every 2 days rule. It felt good to be consistent with myself.

An hour or so after dinner I got terribly anxious as I didn't have anything to distract myself with. I chose to meditate. I hadn't done so in a few days now. I went for 15 minutes using a meditation song I found on soundcloud. It felt good to complete the time without opening my eyes. I'm not very good at keeping the mind on the breath yet, but it's better than before. @One thing I haven't sorted is when something comes up that I need to write down. I sometimes forget it if I don't commit it to paper during the meditation session.

Later on I finished reading Bring on the Empty Horses by David Niven. This was a gorgeous read, full of real people in a painful city, that nonetheless had a lot of heart in it. I look forward to reading it again in a few years. The book also had a wonderful vanilla aroma.

I was really tired during a lot of the day. To try to improve this, I made an effort at going to bed earlier. I went to bed at 10:10pm with the aim of being asleep by 11pm so I could wake at 7 and get 8 hours. @I really should include contingency time

Alright, I've got to see about my breakfast.

Bis morgen.

Note 77

Drinking: Lemon and Ginger tea

Listening to: SoundCloud weekly

Notable songs: Yann Tiersen- Comptine d'un autre ete, Aoi Teshima- What is a Youth, Rachel Lander Daft Punky Get Lucky Cello

Notable lines: N/A

Hello,

I woke up at 7 and that was quarter and hour ago. I'm still bloody tired.

Yesterday was a better day. I talked a lot about things that were on my mind and made myself vulnerable to dad about topics that I have never mentioned to him before. This took guts on my part and understanding on his.

For breakfast I had the usual of stir fry with wheat noodles and a 2 egg and yoghurt omelette. I snacked on cream that I had been thickening recently.

I began work around 10:40. My work was to trim the hedges back and front. I find gardening terribly stressful because I never have the reassurance that what I'm doing is actually good for the plants.

I chose not to have any lunch because I was sick of eating when I'm not hungry. I just went upstairs read a bit and napped. It felt good, and surprisingly enough, I wasn't starving afterwards. I was pleasantly hungry come dinner too. I also noticed how I was pretty full after the stir fry alone at breakfast.

I came down early from my room and we finished the lunch break earlier than normal. For the afternoon's work I began by tidying up the upstairs rooms and preparing them for being carpeted. After this I tidied up the through-lounge. This was satisfying to do as tidying up and organising things is one of the areas that I'm best at and have the most experience. To end the work day I was to give another layer of undercoat on the front door frame. It was also satisfying to do because I'm competent at most painting tasks. These tasks both acted as a foil to that which I did before lunch

For dinner we had leftovers from the penne bolognese I cooked yesterday. Both the leftovers were forgotten to be put into the fridge after dinner so they were out in the kitchen overnight. I was concerned how they would turn out, but they tasted fine upon reheating.

After dinner I did my German studies and then talked for 47 minutes to mum about a lot of intense topics. It was good to open myself up. I finally mentioned my friendship with S as I had specifically avoided telling her.

The chat with dad happened after the one with mum. I think bringing things out with her helped to encourage me to do the same with him.

I went upstairs to bed around 10:38pm. This was 38 minutes later than I wanted. I was still watching videos trying to persuade myself to buy the punkt phone. I'm a bit anxious about what it would be like to go out without being able to use whatsapp or access the interenet at all. But I'm excited too. This is quite a contrast to my mood 2 days ago.

Maybe I'll feel like shit in 2 days time?

Note 76

Drinking: Lemon and Ginger tea

Listening to: SoundCloud weekly

Notable songs: "Studio Ghibli" Medley (Cello and Classical Guitar) - Nicholas Yee & Shawn Gan; Last Carnivval Norihiro Tsuru; Improvisation #2, Milana Zilnik

Notable lines: N/A

Hello,

I just woke up 30 minutes ago but it feels like 5. It's 8:16 now. As it's a Tuesday I can play up to 1.5 hours of shattered pixel dungeon. It unlocked at 8am, but I still haven't figured a time in the day to play it. This annoys me as if I don't use the time, I feel like I've wasted it. @

Yesterday was a difficult day, with many high points and a few lows.

As I woke up I once again felt my head sore from itching and as I ran my hands through my hair, there were loose hairs in group of 7 or more at once. @I think getting something to track my sleep quality would be good. I've been really tired the last week or so, but without any record of it, it just blends into the past and I've no idea what causes good or bad sleep for me.

For work we were to fit an aerial. I had never done one before so I really didn't know what to expect. When I look at them on roofs it doesn't look particularly impressive or cumbersome to install. But it is. Especially when you get up close and personal. They're a lot bigger than they look from from the ground. The one we fitted was a 10ft pole. It was incredibly stressful to be up there and maintain both my personal safety and not drop anything important. About 1 and a half feet to my left was the edge of the roof so I had to focus on keeping steady footing a lot of the time. We also didn't have anywhere easy to leave tools@, so that added another layer to the stress. A toolbelt would be good for roof work. Or at the very least a box that sits well on a roof, to hold screws and other detritus.

I still find it difficult to express negative emotions in the present. I'm OK with saying I was depressed in the morning today. But it's harder to say I feel depressed right now.

After dinner, I was sitting and reading in the book A Keeper of Sheep. I should have been having a shower, but I really just wanted to read and go sleep. I didn't want to feel anything. I hadn't had a shower at all over the weekend. I normally aim to have one every few days. But it often drags over to the third day. What normally forces my hand is that my scalp is doing worse, becoming progressively itchier and more hair comes out. So I have a shower with shampoo and conditioner and my scalp feels great again. Sometimes, if it's straight after waking up there's still open wounds so it's painful. I still have no solution for it and as I cannot walk away from it either, it can be truly deeply depressing.

In the evening I texted S. This was after no contact for 2 weeks. In between I had been stressing and suffering a lot. Part of me didn't want to text her for longer, but most of me just wanted to talk to her. I've found that it feels good to talk to her when I'm really stressed about something. It took a lot of umming and ahing to admit in the opening salvo that I'm not feeling too good. She offered to call straight away. It was good to talk to her. I'm not sure when I want to talk to her next. I hope it's not just when I'm terribly wound up about something because it feels dysfunctional to wait till I'm broken for her to put me back together. One thing that she said that stuck with me was that everyone becomes a different person every 12 years. I looked it up and found this article from NPR. It was quite reassuring to be honest. I often get stuck in depressed thought loops that tell me that things are only going to get slowly worse. But when I look at what I was like at 15 and compare that with present day me, aside from my teeth, hair and guts, I would say I've excelled in every metric possible. This isn't to say I'm going to keep on excelling, but it's reassuring to think of how my life has changed and how many of my opinions on the world has changed. The crack in the wall of depression for me is the following.:

If things change, then with chaos comes opportunity. There are so many ways that my life path can improve. Little things can raise my tide. She told me I have time to change small things. And I agree.

Note 72

Drinking: Cinnamon and licorice tea

Listening to: N/A

Notable songs: N/A

Hello,

I first stirred to my alarm at 7am. I then promptly went back to sleep until 8:10. It's now 8:30 and I'm starting to write. I don't like writing later because eeverything else gets pushed forward and I feel guilty for being late for all the things in the day. Like I'm constantly playing catch-up. In addition to this I'm still ridiculously tired and nothings happening in my head yet. So far this week I've written every day for the necessary half an hour however because of difficult times between my friends and I, I've left the posts unpublished. This was out of respect for them and so I don't cause them to suffer. I'm not comfortable not publishing every week day. This is because if I don't I'll feel like I've lost the ball with the writing habit because I've made a commitment to myself and now I've slipped on it. Previously I had already reduced the burden from publishing every day to only on weekdays whilst the weekends are for mixed works and more sensitive topics. I don't want to continually ratchet down my commitment until it reaches homeopathic levels.

Yesterday was a better day.

In the morning before breakfast, dad and I travelled to the local farm shop to top up our lacking collection of vegetables. I was a little hungry but not overly. However the main factors that bugged me when I was there was my mouth smelled from the sandwiches I had before leaving the house and I was still bloody tired. The latter meant I was just working off of intuition and what I fancy in the moment. @Next time I would like to bring a list.

Due to the visit to the farm shop, our work day was more truncated than usual. Nevertheless I plugged away. I gave both doors their second coat of undercoat and gave a few wooden beams a coat on all sides too. The beams were fun to paint but the work station wasn't helpful. I had to impromptu figure out how to paint it when it rested on an unstable side. After doing so I placed it on the floor absentmindedly. This meant that detritus stuck to it. @address this somehow

For dinner I was feeling in less of a funk and had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to cook. I made a cabbage and sausage soup with haricot beans, green pepper, celery, onion and garlic.@ Next time I would add more leaves of cabbage (7 leaves +) .

One of the things that bugged me throughout the day was Shattered Pixel Dungeon. I had 1.5 hours to play it in the day. However I was getting sick and stressed from it after less than an hour. @I felt stressed because I didn't have an allotted time of day for me to play it so I felt like I was taking away from more important things and had to play it secretly. In the end I played it for most of the time but I didn't like the constant weighing up of choices. I'd prefer things for me to just be presettled and I could go through the different stages of the day.

I've continued reading the book from David Niven. It's been a rather compulsive read all things considered. I started reading it on Tuesday and by Thurday evening had already read roughly 250 pages. It helps that each chapter is a self-contained short story. This allows me to get the accomplishment feeling quite often for finishing each section as I go. It also gives me closure to individual characters in a satisfying albeit often tragic way. The book is called "Bring on the empty horses" and I highly recommend it.

In the evening a friend of mine was kind enough to shine a light on a rift that had grown between me and another friend. Prior to the conversation I had been terribly stressed, upset and angry. Afterwards I'm more at peace with it. Like with maladapted relationship, once a partner decides that the current situation is untenable, no amount of pleading, guilting needling or demanding will change their perspective. The only true apology is changed behaviour.

As this conversation started late, it ended later. What began at 9pm ended at 10:30pm. Afterwards I had a heart to heart with my dad for half an hour and we discussed more on the topics that came up. This was namely about what I can do outside of our work. That I would like to try my hand at a few jobs. His advice is that same as the last 10 times we had this discussion: that I should get a qualification in something. I think this is important but it depends on what the job is. I think I should bring Alexander Heynes 3:90 method to what job requirments actually are. It simply consists of finding people who work in fields you're interested in and having a few regular conversations with them to see what it's like and what paperwork I would need to begin working.

At 23:07 I went upstairs. I was still reading 40 minutes later. For the last 5 minutes, on recommendation of my dad who just retired to his bedroom, I switched to a different book I had already finished. The book was Entre Nous. It was pleasant as I no longer felt like I was rushing it and it meant I got to revise what I had quickly read on the first pass.

I slept well, but woke to an sore scalp and many loose hairs.

Oh well

I'll see you tommorow.

Note 70

Drinking: Lemon and ginger tea

Listening to: Fabian Römer, L_BENSLAUF

Notable songs: Münztelefon (1/3), Anders Schön, Infinity Pool, Mit dir langweilen (feat. Namika), Bevor ich dich kannte

Hello,

It's 8:18 and I first woke to my alarm at 7 and slept until 7:40. I then read further in Peter Seller's book. It's been rather difficult not to read it.

Yesterday was a better day.

The day before there was fallout amongst my friends. I was in part guilty and did my best to express an apology to the friend who suffered. He rung me in the morning and explained what happened to him. As we have certain parallels in our lives currently, I deeply emphasised with him and could understand the anger he held. I said what I thought would help him at the time. And I reflected on the similarities in our situations. It went well, I think.

After this conversation I returned to the work desk to begin my writing for the day. A few days prior, my mum and I went round the living room and tidied it up significantly. This improvement is still tangible and has benefited me significantly. This is because I turned what was a dumping ground for detritus and flotsam into a fully functional writing desk and charging station. As I looked to write that morning, there was a problem with the writing software that made the process utterly frustrating: the text wouldn't autowrap to the next line and would simply continue along the line. I couldn't handle this so I restarted the computer in an attempt to solve it. This didn't work. Although in the meantime I made use of my time by transcribing some of the most important notes from scraps of loose notepaper to a notepad for posterity.

I then went off to my room to ostensibly pack my bags. However this didn't happen for a few hours yet. Instead I read more in the Peter Seller''s book. It's like watching a car crash. One that feels oddly familiar. After doing this for a while lunch happened and we reheated the leftovers from yesterday in the oven. The potatoes survived unharmed, however the chicken turned into a dry stringy ghost of its former self. I'll learn from this.

I then went to actually pack my bags. As many of the items I needed to pack were never unpacked a week prior, this was an easy process. It took a bit of poking to remember what I was missing last time I was in Norfolk and adjust accordingly. It felt good that I actually remembered, although I was kicking myself that I hadn't written it down.

After this I felt rather anxious, so I did what worked last time and meditated for a few 5 minute blocks. My mum asked me if I knew how to which I interpreted as an insult, but checked myself after expressing this to her. I know that I look for insults to my intelligence so it's often little to do with other people's statements, but rather what I want to hear. I meditated for 5 minutes twice. Each time specific useful thoughts bubbled up, which I made a note of before I forgot them again. This was satisfying.

Around 4pm, after my mum left I had a nap. I recognised that my body would be ready to sleep because I was nodding off during the meditation process. It was a very good nap.

Upon my dad's return we had a long chat with my sister about my mum. Afterwards, we looked to prepare dinner as it was coming up to 6pm.
With dad's reassurance, we cooked a simple dinner of leftover chicken, ageing broccoli, frozen leftover pasta and onions and garlic.

After dinner I did more of the meditation. I was still anxious so I figured it would be a good idea. It seemed to be so. I remembered a few things that I had experienced only a few hours ago, but had already left my conscious mind. I also thought of topics that I want to research further like what meditation is like for people with ADHD.

Following the meditation process I looked to read up on the topic. It was satisfying to do so. I read a single article on it that gave me great reassurance on the matter, that it was beneficial and highly recommended. With this in my back pocket, I went ahead and wrote down some specific techniques for doing so.

Later on I touched base with the friend who suffered. He seemed to have found solace in his situation and sought advice from others in his life. Because the conflict within our friend group was a canary in the coal mine it served a purpose. Whether it was good what happened I can't say.

Right before bed I finally bit a bullet that had been bugging me since a few days. I had recently bought a mouthwash on recommendation of my dentist. It was a new and powerful one that's popular in America. However I've never used mouthwash before so the prospect of using this one was pretty terrifying. My mum's advice still rings in my head about a hard-line cynicism toward most professional medical products, but I chose to act differently and try it out. It was OK. It wasn't as nauseating as some of the standard mouthwashes. In fact it hardly had any smell at all. I'm happy I did it.

See you tomorrow.

Note 67: Archives 2

Drinking: Lemon and ginger tea

Listening to: Read more, write more (soundcloud)

Notable songs:

Hello,

It's 8:27 and I was first roused by my alarm at 7. I then slept until 7:30, read Moon Palace for half an hour and then got up to start writing. Once on my laptop, I edited yesterdays post in preparation for Monday and now I am writing for today.

The topic for today is one that I tabled in my head yesterday. It is the topic of a phone detox. The idea for it was given to me by an article I read in the evening, when I researched ditching one's smartphone. The article came from a man a few years older than me, a man that works in media in New York City. He was averaging a usage of 5 hours on his phone and checking it 101 times each day. I don't know my own statistics to compare with his, which is annoying. But nonetheless I would like to try what he did.

Upon learning of the sickening amount of time he spent on his device, he sought the help of a woman who wrote on the current epidemic of excessive mobile device usage. He asked her to coach him for a month to reduce his compulsive phone use. She agreed and their journey started. I don't remember what the first few stages of his process was, but come the end of it she had one final task for him. That task was to go without using his phone at all for 24 hours. Because he wanted to do it bigger, he made a weekend of it.

As typical of those that can afford to dream of minimalism, his way of doing this weekend was to leave his phone at home and rent a cabin in the woods an hour or so out of the city. He spent his time cooking, thinking, writing and reading. He watched the fire in the evenings. He greatly enjoyed his time there and even enjoyed the heavy friction on the way: he had to ask for directions and got lost a few times.

By the next paragraph, he implores the reader to have a similar experience, he says

"I cannot stress enough that under the right conditions, spending an entire weekend without a phone in your immediate vicinity is incredible. You have to try it."

So with romantic ideas of Thoreau walking through my head, I decided to do so 2 days after reading it. At first I rather wanted to make a weekend of it as well, however now that I am doing it, I think 24 hours will be a challenge in and of itself. I will likely spend most of the day at home for obvious reasons, but I will still be limited by my lack of a mobile.

On a normal day, I would have 1 or 2 chats with friends. Recently it's been 0 or 1. Today it will be 0. Luckily my parents will both be home so I can talk to them. Yet I still yearn to talk to others sometimes. I don't know why.

As of yet I haven't laid any ground rules for general internet usage for the day. I still have my laptop available to me and my iPod and of course the desktop PC downstairs. However in the spirit of the challenge I would feel icky if I were to while away large swathes of my time on these devices.

There are already 4 things that I have planned for the day: go for a short walk; play scrabble with my mum; have a shower; cook potato boulangere. The last item in the list is a relatively simple potato dish that I've been planning on cooking now for 3 weeks. My dad suggested roasting a chicken to go alongside it, however I nixed the idea as it would be too much effort for me and too heavy alongside the potatoes. As it turns out he won't even be here for dinner that day as he will be attending a barbecue hosted by an old friend of his. Such is life.

So I shall now attend the rest of the day and see how it goes.

Bis morgen

Note 66

Drinking: Lemon and ginger tea

Listening to: Jackie Onassis, Holiday EP

Notable songs: Smoke Trails, It Goes (Uh Oh)

Hello,

It's 7:19 and I woke to my alarm at 7. I stirred a few minutes earlier and got it into my head that the alarm will be soon. For once I was right.

Yesterday was a difficult day. I was verbally abused by a neighbour of a customer.

We arrived there with the intention of having a nice break from being at home. Once we got there we had a chat with the elderly customer and another neighbour from down the lane. Once they were talking to each other we began the process of measuring the current fence and considering how we could replace it without any gaps underneath. Not long into this process, the muscle bound son of the upstairs neighbour began talking to our customers from the window above the garden. It seems the plan to replace the fence was news to him.

Over the course of the next 40 minutes he became more and more upset and angry at us and our customers. At the beginning I was on his side. He didn't want a new fence to be built. But naturally because of the situation I couldn't voice any agreement because that would reduce our income. His main argument was that the new fence would impede the light coming into his garden. This made sense to me as we had a similar problem with our neighbour in Norfolk.

My goodwill promptly stopped when he laid into my character and out of the blue started calling me a gimp-boy. I didn't feel much at the start but it was sad. I felt hurt. I was rooting for him 5 minutes ago. I think it's one of those times where the pain of the insult doesn't land for a bit because of Adrenalin. I'm happy I voiced this upset to my dad and the customers. But not as clearly as I could have.

After a few more close calls with the son, the mother came to the window. Initially no-one else was willing to talk to her. I took it upon myself to do so, to let her feel human, be listened to and to respect what she has to say. I think it helped as she mentioned things to me that the customers hadn't heard before. We left shortly afterwards as the ball had begun to roll and I was still afraid of getting decked out by the son.

Once we returned home I sought escape from the pain by playing video games. Cocoon myself from the hurt. It seemed to work. I played shattered for an hour. For the remainder of the day my conscious brain had forgotten about the stress from the morning. By the time my dad mentioned it a few times later, I had forgotten about it entirely. He suggested to my sister that she give me a ring. She did so and it helped. I explained what happened and we talked about the reward that I've missed for the 50 day mark of my writing. She gave good suggestions about where to go with the idea that I initially had.

We came to the conclusion that instead of hiring a professional organiser for 1 hour for £50, I should look to see what other people in my life think of improving my room. The wisdom of crowds. I was apprehensive about going through with the conversation with the professional and I prefer this idea. I suggested we could use video chat to bring a better picture to them. She suggested that I could use a scaled drawing of the room to give only an abstract of the room so that those looking at it won't be overly influenced by the current content of the room.

I'm excited.

See you tomorrow.

Note 65

Drinking: Lemon and ginger tea

Listening to: Lotte, Querfeldein

Notable songs: Auf Dich, Flucht reflex, Wer wir geworden sind, Anders als geplant

Hello,

It's 7:58. I woke up at 7:29 when I went to the living room to pick up my iPod expecting the alarm to go off later. Only when I picked it up did I realise that I slept through the alarm. Oh well. I'm still tired, so it doesn't seem to have made much of a difference.

Yesterday was a basic day. I woke up too early and went straight to the living room to my work station. I started with editing the post for the day and publishing it. I then worked on the post for tomorrow. Afterwards I read a few articles out of the Readers Digest. One in particular stood out. It extolled the benefits of walking regularly. I had just read the book from Kate Humble called ??? a few weeks ago. It really went into that topic in depth. With these together, I felt duly enthused to give it a go. I told my dad, and got a nice outfit on for a walk. I initially planned to just walk round the block in my PJs. However as things go with me, I quickly fell into a greater plan.

I decided to walk across the park and hit another town, then take the bus back. As I walked through the park I really enjoyed myself. At certain points it feels more like a forest, which is even more magical. I've been walking this park ever since I was a kid so coming back to it feels good.

Once I hit the town, I wanted to see how their high street is during the current iteration of lockdown. A great many shops are closed. Many of the restaurants tell of their offerings in takeaway and delivery. The estate agents had created an impenetrable wall consisting of their office chairs; a line in the sand. The charity shops had donations gathered in the alcove of their doors as if they were carried in by the wind.

People were as friendly as the city allows. I didn't make much of an effort as I too felt reserved; to greet others would feel strange here.

Once I returned home I was tired. I did not notice this much so I did not act upon it. I accidentally had a rest whilst watching videos. But after that I simply continued aiming to be productive without considering the toll that my body had taken today. It would be nice if I were more in touch with myself.

I only really came into awareness of my tiredness once I was in Tesco. I felt more on edge because being there stresses me out. There is nowhere to sit as I have to stand the whole bloody time. It's tiring. We have to stay there for so long because my dad insists that we go there for the reduced items. The whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

In addition, I think next time I won't undertake such a massive walk. Although it wins me sympathy from my parents, it doesn't help me. It goes against the aim of walking consistently. By the last stretch, my sandals were hurting my shoes so I walked barefoot. That was painful too, but different . I would like to plan out a nice loop I can walk in 20 minutes or less to make it less of marathon.

See you tomorrow.

Note 64

Drinking: Lemon and ginger tea

Listening to: Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes- What Kinda Music

Notable songs: The Real, Lift off feat. Rocco Palladino

Hello,

It's 6:46 and I woke before my alarm, at 6. I then laid in bed trying to sleep until 6:29. My room was really hot so it was difficult to stay asleep. I just checked and it's 23 degrees Celsius.

Yesterday was a better day. I still had a fair bit of tension with my dad, but overall we got along well.

The night before, I clarified a rough schedule of the morning so that we can be on the same page and both aim for getting to specific milestones at the same time. We aimed to leave by 11:30, so we should be ready by 11, for the inevitable last minute things.

In the morning I packed up my belongings that I want to make the return trip with me. There's more things that I'm comfortable leaving there, including various articles of clothing and a small collection of books. It's nice having something to look forward to upon my return.

We made the deadline with time to spare. As we were both ready by 11, we left 15 minutes early. My part of the drive back was rather pleasant, all things considered. I learnt from the last few experiences driving the van and chose not to listen to a video whilst driving. This is because the cabin of the van gets very loud at motorway speeds which make it difficult to hear what the video says. In addition this make it difficult to talk whilst the video runs. At one point I missed my turn off before one of the main roads, where we switch drivers, so I had to go for a short distance further. This wasn't really a problem.

Once we got home, we quickly unpacked. I was trying to be efficient by running bags upstairs upon receiving them. This was done as a quasi covert contract, whereby my dad would appreciate my efforts and the difference between that and the usual way we do things in which the whole hallway downstairs is filled with bags and boxes. That didn't happen. 10 minutes in to my heroic efforts I was asked to stop and just do the normal process.

We then sought to find something to eat for dinner. I was sad because I hand't used up the various old freezer items whilst we were up in Norfolk. In response I announced that I would use an old Tesco ready made gravy as a component in dinner. My dad was apprehensive and didn't want me to. He didn't say it explicitly so I had to figure it out via negativa. Afterwards we found a few alternatives.

After that stressful process, we had lunch and I got to fulfil a promise to myself. I had declared that I wouldn't play Shattered Pixel Dungeon until I got back to Ilford. This was because it felt wrong to play it when I should be preparing to leave. It was difficult sticking to it as I hadn't had any blocks that stopped me. I stuck it through and got to play the game for the full 1.5 hours in one sitting upon getting in bed. It was satisfying as I remember from experience that my adrenaline is too high post-driving to actually have a rest. Even after all of that, I was surprised when the game autoclosed. It was a good feeling to stay true to myself.

At 5pm, I started preparing dinner by rendering down and drawing out the salt from a pack of bacon. It was a recipe where I had the grob pieces in my head however I still had a fair bit of space along the way for intuition. I plan to write down how I made it

At 8pm mum came round. I was finishing my German as she walked through the door, so after greeting her I returned to my studies and stuck with it. In a decidedly relaxed manner I went about getting myself to the dinner table. As I had prepared everything else before hand, I knew that we could take our time. The dinner I had made was a green soup with aubergine, courgette, onion, bacon, butter bean, pasta and garlic. There's more to it but that will do for now.

After dinner, I helped mum send off a medical form per email. Then I showed her and my dad the phone that I want. I was cheekily roasted by both of them as I tried to explain why it's a good idea to spend £300 on a phone that does less than another half the price. It felt frustrating but I knew it was all love.

Afterwards I showed her a few songs from Fynn Kliemann. I liked to show it to her, and she appreciated me doing so.

Following this we returned upstairs as I was getting cold and it was getting late. When I was ready for bed I explained it to my mum my current sleep schedule of being in bed around 10pm. I also explained the work station that I have planned for the living room table to both of my parents. They were both receptive and understanding. It felt good.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Note 63

Drinking:

Listening to: Fynn Kliemann- Pop

Notable songs: Alles Nur Geliehen, Frieden mit der Stadt

Hello,

It's 8:07 and I woke to my alarm at 7. Inzwichen I've edited and published the post I started on Sunday, and troubleshooted my iPod.

Yesterday was a brilliant day. However most of it I was stressed and on edge. Dad noticed this and thereafter I noticed it. I tried to manage it, but it came to a point that I snapped at him because I felt overwhelmed and unappreciated. I stormed off to have a break. This came after a mixed day of work and breaks. I wasn't used to the ambiguity.

Prior to this, he decided that I should help him clear out the whole other place. I was to drive the van and reverse park it twice. It was bloody stressful. It didn't help that I didn't have much of a choice in what was not supposed to be a standard work day. It was frustrating.

Later in the day I had a break in which I read further in Way of the Peaceful Warrior. It was frustrating to read it as it shone light on parts of myself I didn't want see. Specifically it implored the reader to live in the present using a visceral situation where demons and temptresses represent the dangers of the past and future. It specifically said the following

"Your sorrow, your fear and anger, regret and guilt, your envy and plans and craving only live in the past or in the future."

This threw me. I haven't recovered yet tbh.

I was also thrown because I've fallen into another trap of coveting a digital product. I rather want one of the new minimalist phones like the Punkt mp02. I'm apprehensive because it was beset with bugs upon it's initial launch a few years ago, and I can find very few people talking about the progress made on the bugs since. It would be a lot easier if their tech was open source and I could just see the github repo.

One of the reasons I want it is because it would look so cool getting a woman's number on it .

In the evening I found my own path to recovery by going for a walk and having a talk with my best friends. We had a video chat which was awesome. It was so different to the usual chats because I was outside and walking for the first 20 minutes as I talked to Chris. I updated both him and Rashid on the current situation with Steph, but as of yet Adam doesn't know. It's like an inside joke. It's nice. The four of us talked for more than an hour; we pulled many weird faces. We also organised a day out for the lot of us for when I'm back in London. It feels good to have something settled upon my return.

Afterwards, I said my goodbyes and made my way downstairs in order to study my German. I had planned to make progress on the poetry class but the unexpected chat took precedence. After the German, I played some word games with Dad. Danach I went to bed.

It doesn't feel like I'll be travelling back to London today. It just feels like another normal day. I'm certainly more tired than before. I'm still processing what I feel about the situation with Steph. Like we're keeping steady on our friendship, but how often should I call her. I think I'll have to make that decision for myself.

See you soon

Note 56

Drinking: Lemon and Ginger tea

Listening to:

Notable songs: Salsa Celtica- Quieres Bailar, Los titanes- merecumbe, Celia Crus- La Vida Es Un Carnaval

Hello

It's 7:53 and I woke to my alarm at 7. In the time since I posted today's post that I wrote yesterday, exchanged some messages with P and went for a much needed piss. My toothache from yesterday has explained itself. My impacted wisdom tooth has come up, impact and all. It's gone through the side of my gums with makes it more painful. Anyway, I need a dentist, like yesterday.

It was a basic day. I had a low level pain from headache and toothache most of the day and we had difficulty in getting the lawn mower back together. We spent an hour trying to get the replacement drive belt back on to the mechanism but things just weren't working out.

Before that we went to Dobbies gardening centre to pick up wildflower seed mix. Whilst I was there I also bought something I had been planning on buying since a couple of weeks. In the freezer cookbook, I learnt about a brand of silicone freezer bags called stashers. They are supposed to be very good quality and very easy to use. I have yet to use this new acquisition but I'm excited about it. A big reason is for freezing meats like chicken breast. Normally they come in packs of 500g+. One of the suggestions in the book is to cut it down to strips when you buy them, flash freeze them and then decant into a stasher. A big improvement of this over the current system we use is hygiene. Normally we simply move the whole chicken breast into open sandwich bags which are then put into carrier bags. It's simply not hygienic as we do it now. So I'm excited for a change.

One of the topics that came up in my head recently was how I'm getting complacent recently. Prior to hitting the 50 day mark, the implicit reward felt crucial for building up to the moment. Now that I've hit the milestone, it feels more like a suggestion. In order to retain my power and because my brain "needs proof not promises" (quote from bradicus, austrlian pick up artist), I shall organise the consulting call with the firm come next week. It probably makes sense to organise it soon in order to make it happen when I'm in London. I still haven't considered what I want to talk to them about as it hasn't really felt real to me yet. Furthermore, I have recently hit 100 days for my German practice. Because I hadn't planned any rewards into that structure it feels incorrect to retroactively give myself something to do so. Or to shoehorn something that needs doing into a "reward" because I need one. Instead I will set up a reward for 150 days. That feels big enough to do something about.

After getting back from Dobbies, my lower right wisdom tooth had been playing up somewhat. Over the rest of the day it stressed me out with low level anxiety and pain. I mentioned it to my sister and she recommended I use a salt water rinse to reduce the pain. After umming and ahing for a while I did so in the evening. It seemed to help a bit. I also used floss for the first time in a couple weeks.

I haven't talked to S at all in the last week. A lot of the time I'm not thinking about her, but conversely a lot of the time I do. It's normally when I'm lonely or hot and bothered. I sometimes feel greedy for her in a way that I haven't felt before with other women. I know that it's cliche, but I think it's because I've rarely been in a situation where I'm in such an open and intimate situation with a stunning woman. One who doesn't shut me down when I'm thirsty. So it feels more normal for us to be together and sometimes I think about what we would be like. This has stopped in the last week. Ever since she told me that she's no emotionally available for a relationship, I've felt myself emotionally detaching from her, for self-preservation purposes. I haven't decided what to do about it. I'll probably get over her when another woman walks into my life. I guess. I'll believe it when I see it.

Note 61

Drinking: N/A

Listening to: Fynn Kliemann- Pop, Sonreal- One Long Dream

Notable songs: Alles was ich hab- Fynn Kliemann

Month end review

Hello

It's May 31st. As it's the end of the month I'd like to do another month end review. I'm still figuring out what I want to do with these and how to work out what works best for me.

Good decisions- 3

Answered the question's the Xbox gave me.
It was a frustrating process of figuring myself out and unpacking my motivations. Over the course of a weekend I had settled turbulent thoughts that had plagued me for more than a week. I quelled my desire to purchase an xbox.

Talking to my neighbour
Another longstanding source of anxiety for me, my dad has been losing sleep and always talking about the stress he has found in opposing a neighbours decision to redevelop their house. Paranoia within me whispered about the ways in which the neighbour could lash back at us. Scenes from the myriad of spy shows shone through my minds' eye. This deeply unsettled me because I had already become attached to the guy and thought him decent. One day I bumped into him after work and sought to mend the bridge between our houses. I firmly believe that communication heals most wounds. Sometimes one must communicate physically, however first one must talk and connect. We did, and good came of it.

Read more books.
I have always thought of myself as a reader. Even during the long dry spells of rotting my brain on the internet, I believed that I shall return to my books. They are a safe space for me; A library, a castle. However over time, these dry spells increased and my focus grew dimmer as internet companies such as reddit, imgur and youtube took greater hold of my mind and thus my time. In response I set up blocks on my laptop and phone, limiting my access to those materials. This made it easier to fall into the habit of reading more as they shone greater now. In the past month I have read the following books: Meditation: theory and practice (64 pages); Warrior woman, Laurie Paige (260 pages); The Running Man, Stephen King (317 pages); Entre Nous, Debra Ollivier (242 pages).

Bad decisions- 3

Over the past month and a half I pretty much stopped using my floss. I know this is a bad decision as it's a foundational part of keeping teeth clean, especially cramped teeth as I have. I don't know why I stopped. I just did.

To continue this theme, there are two more aspects that I'm concerned about. My dentist has insisted that I shouldn't rinse my mouth with water after cleaning my teeth; I should just spit. However no-one in my family has ever done that. It also seems unsafe to swallow a fair bit of toothpaste when you next drink something. Especially considering all the fears my mum has given me about fluoride. So I stopped doing that and just resumed my normal process of cleaning my teeth.

And finally I've been drinking a lot of apple cider vinegar in my teas recently. I enjoy the flavour and I like the idea that it's good for me. It falls in line with the idea of small doses of dangerous things being good for me. This all said, I'm still concerned about it's impact on my enamel. My mum (again) has railed against it in one of her few times that she stands with the dental community. I haven't mentioned it to my dentist yet as he would likely bollock me.

Unexpected events- 3

On the last day of the month this happened. I had a conversation with S that I had been afraid of. I had come to terms with not speaking to her anymore. I felt that that would be the safest for me. I didn't want to break it off. But it felt like the correct decision. The day before this conversation, I had scheduled another chat with my cousin to prepare myself for it and seek counsel from her. She had gone out and forgotten her phone at home for a spontaneous trip with her boyfriend. They only came back to the house shortly before they had guests. We had our prep convo the next day at 7:30am, a few hours before the chat with S was planned. She reminded me of a few foundational things that I would like to clarify that could open up new options between 0 and 1.

With these new options in my head I waited for the appointment with S. It came, I rung and no answer. I texted half an later to prod her. After being cooped up until 12, I decided to go on a walk. I didn't want to have my phone with me in case she rings back. Seeing as she hadn't seen the whatsapp message and didn't answer her phone and had no indication of disinterest in the conversation I took it that her phone was left at home. She only texted me back at 5pm. I was surprised that I wasn't upset at the gap. There wasn't the usual petulant self pitying posturing that accompanied her lack of attention. That was the first surprise.

The second was uncovered through the conversation. I learnt that she would be busy for at least 6 months. She would actually want to go out with me. It's not just a smoke screen or a nice way to say hard no. And she's got nothing against me seeing other women in the mean time. Damn. I did not expect any of that. I had already come prepared with the eulogy of our relationship. So now I'm okay with keeping steady contact with her (though less often). And I can actually look forward to returning to salsa with my whole body. For me, the light flirting and learning better how to is part of it. The sexual tension adds sublimity to the dance.

On a different tack, the third surprise is how satisfying Entre Nous was to read. As previously discussed, this is a book for women to learn from the culture and mindset of french women. Various facets of daily life are included in the analysis: La Tete, Le Corps, Le Coeur, La Cuisine, La Fete, La Maison and La Travail et Le Loisir. For the time being I don't have google translate to help me put these to English. I picked it up because I thought it might be funny. I finished feeling invigorated to turn a new leaf in many facets of my own life.

Mile stones hit

50 days of publishing on my blog

This one sort of crept up on me. A week and a half prior, I was aware that it would happen soon. However since I took a break on weekends my schedule changed a bit so my knowledge was out of date. I only realised that the day happened after I wrote a post for the day.

50,000 words reached on my blog

This one crept up on me even more. Unlike the daily posts when I'm aware that progress is being made (is X a weekday? Then progress = true) with the number of words, it was vaguer. In addition, I hadn't looked at my blog for a few days, so the number jumped forward inzwischen. When I saw I'd hit 50k I was a bit flustered. I've planned to reward myself with something for it, but I haven't pushed it into reality yet.

100 days of studying German vocabulary with Anki

Until I had a readjustment I hadn't considered this one a milestone. Although I was greedily looking at the progress being made, my protestant work ethic mindset considered it simply part of my life now, so I shouldn't be celebrating it. Like celebrating getting dressed every morning. This isn't that healthy or realistic. Considering that I've only been doing it for just over 3 months compared to the 250+ months of my life so far, it's not hit critical mass yet. So until it hits a year, I'm gonna check myself for complacency. As that's when I run the greatest risk of falling off the horse.

Plan for next month

Today I have meditated twice. Two blocks of 5 minutes. I was inspired by 2 books to do so. The first is a book called The way of the peaceful warrior by Daniel Millman. I find it very satisfying to read, and although I find it difficult to read such a mix between biography and fiction, I see myself clearly within the main character; I look forward to reading further. The second was a book on meditation that was first published in 1936. The edition I have is the eleventh edition published in 1981. It gives some structure but not enough for me yet. I may need to revisit its contents to better come to terms with it. I imagine attending a class would bring benefits, however my life already feels so full. I need to consider all my options.

Upon light research and exploration of the topic of phone usage. I re-remembered that it is recommended by many smart men and women to not create a home in your bedroom for your phone. I would like to focus my energies on this, as I have found great pleasure and contentedness in using my phone less often.

For the immediate future, I can see that I can use my ipod as an alarm. This will allow me to let my phone live downstairs in the living room. I mentioned to dad that this is best when the whole household participates with it. He was jokingly apprehensive, but we shall see whether he jokes were in earnest.

By Winter, I plan to purchase a light therapy alarm clock to assist in regulating my sleep schedule whilst the days are shorter. This will also benefit during the summer time. Although I could purchase other curtains to use in my room come next summer.

So that's the whole of May. It had ups and downs but I enjoyed it. I don't know what there will be come June. Whether the lockdown will rise or lower. But I'm more hopeful now.