Monday, July 15, 2019

Oversharing

also known as "spilling the tea"

Recently, I had a conversation about different coping mechanisms with stress or rather, about the fact that some people get physically ill when under stress. When I reflected on this loudly and said that I was not really prone to these reactions myself, my friend replied "that's because you just post on Instagram"...which really is a good explanation! Take this blog, for example. Since 2005, back in the heyday of blogging, this has been a good, semi-anonymous (now most of my very few readers actually now me in person) platform for venting, self-pity (yes, we have had plenty of that here) and pep-talks to self. Now, Insta Stories (well, hello, #storytime) has become my favourite outlet. So far, I have never regretted (over)sharing even if it happened without having slept over it before. 
Back in 2015, when I took a 3-months leave from work I began writing a book. I deliberately told lots of people (who mostly have politely refrained from asking about progress a long time ago) I would start writing a book to put some pressure on myself and I actually finished 9 chapters rather quickly. However, I soon realised that unlike my social media posts this actually would have been something with the potential to find very #cringe in the very near future that I would want to disassociate myself from quickly. As I did not want to become known for an #epicfail I just put that project aside and decided to not berate myself about the aborted project. In retrospect, I see it as a therapeutic measure that contributed to gradually getting over very bad company that had emotionally drained me at that time. It now feels like a century ago and I have actually been quite proud of myself for some pretty "adult" behaviour lately. I have also learnt to deal with some things with myself and to quietly high-five myself for them without feeling the urge to communicate it to the world. For the little daily joys and frustrations I'll gladly enjoy my 5 seconds of Insta-"fame". #sorrynotsorry
Unrelated, but even more effective: not using your work phone as your private one as well no matter if your employer sponsors it. Unless you're a heart surgeon or head of state, that is. Since I am neither of these two, switching off my work mobile and stressing in my OOO-reply that I am not available until my return (sounds obvious, but is the exception in my company) is a great stress buster.

Monday, July 08, 2019

School's Out or Second Hand Summer Break

It is no secret that water is my element and I spend a lot of time in pools, lakes, rivers and the sea any chance I get. Swimming and (responsible) sunbathing aside, I really enjoy the communal aspect of it and actually don't mind the noise of squealing children and smell of sun lotion mixed with deep-fried snacks in the least. This soundtrack and scent put me in an instant summer vacation mood. As soon as the school summer holidays begin (=first Monday of July) I am infected by the summer break vibe. Buses have longer intervals but are less crowded in the mornings. There are lots of free parking lots in my neighbourhood. My teacher friends are mostly MIA and it will be a few weeks until they begin pitying themselves that they only have three, two, one week(s) to go before the school year begins again. Yeah, you guessed it, my pity is minimal. I am slightly envious but don't begrudge them their summer break since I enjoy it in a second hand way and Vienna in summer actually makes everyone feel as if they were on vacation a little bit...

Monday, July 01, 2019

Hedonist and Proud of It

Last week there was a terrible explosion in Vienna where a huge hole was torn in a building and some people even lost their lives. After I had read about the incident on my way to work I suddnly remembered that I knew someone who both lived and worked in that very street. I messaged her to ask if she and her husband were alright and she immediately replied that they were, but "isn't it incredible how soon everything can change, which is why we should all live with a carpe diem mindset". My sentiment exactly! 
You really don't know if you will be hit by a truck, be left by your partner, learn that you have a terminal illness or lose your job the next day. Therefore: make sure that today is as pleasant as possible. Treat yourself and your loved ones if you can afford it with time and/or money and enjoy what you have. I really don't believe in depriving myself (and others, for that matter) of things that make me happy.
The older I get, the more this hedonistic attitude is also reinforced by the fact that I don't have anyone to "pass things on to", i.e. there's no point in saving money or things for generations after me. I might as well enjoy life and what the money I earn can afford me while I can. This does not mean that I want to have everything all the time, as I would not be able to appreciate and enjoy it anymore. If every day was a holiday, or even a Saturday, these days would not feel special any more. Just try to enjoy life as best as you can and treasure what you have. Every day. 
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