Monday, December 06, 2021

Self-Care

 

I have mentioned before that - surprise - I was/am somewhat underwhelmed by the lockdown situation with a generous sprinkling of new virus variant for good measure. Among the things that keep me sane is the fact that I don't forget to spoil myself and to do things I love and that invigorate me. This could be undertaking a new kitchen experiment that is appreciated by Highflyer, a relaxing soak in the bath tub with a luxurious bath gel and a good read or getting 3 advent calendars (one with "gourmet" food items, one with cosmetics and one from IKEA filled with chocolate and gift cards) for myself. There are few things I enjoy as much as finding gifts for loved ones that will bring them joy, but one of those loved ones happens to be myself.

Monday, November 29, 2021

No News is Good News

Don't know about you, but I prefer Greek-style frozen yoghurt to Greek letters for virus variants...

Seriously? In addition to this shitshow of full ICU units, lockdown and foiled plans, there is a new virus variant scorning all efforts. I have reached that stage again where, after frantic refreshing of news pages, I am prescribing myself a little news detox in order to keep my sanity and otherwise indestructible optimism. It's not that I'm in denial, but I am in desperate need of good news. If there are none to be had, well, then the only "literature" I'll stick to for the next weeks is baking recipes and lightweight women's magazines. Amen.

 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Well That Escalated Quickly...

I can't believe we're back in another hard, nation-wide lockdown as of today. I am absolutely for this measure in order to prevent our health system from collapsing and yet it is infuriating as it seems like something that could have absolutely been avoided. Incompetent politicians who ignored warnings from (real) experts paired with irresponsible and gullible citizens makes for an explosive combination. Personally knowing people who got infected even though they have had 2 (or 3, even) jabs makes the seriousness of the situation more relatable as does knowing real-life believers in conspiracy-theories who are of course adamant anti-vaxers. I sometimes wish I could press some fast-forward button to spring or summer 2022 when, judging from the past few years, things will be more hopeful and maybe those in charge will have learnt from past mistakes. Until then, I will be the good and compliant citizen I have been for the past 1.5 years and occupy myself with my favourite lockdown  hobbies. It's not that we don't all have a routine by now.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Lost Innocence

I am writing this before going away to Budapest for the weekend in order to redeem a hotel voucher before it expires (I was supposed to go there last May with my mother and am now travelling with Highflyer). So far, we're still allowed to be out and about but in view of the recent explosion of infection rates in this country and many others I am very close to becoming a recluse who will politely decline invitations. Even last week when I attended a workshop with a large group of people (our vaccination and test status got checked so we didn't wear masks) and met friends 3 nights in a row, I felt I was challenging fate a bit. At some stage during the weekend (I usually switch off my work phone) I thought "What if someone from the workshop had tried to reach me to tell me they got infected/were a contact person. Should I check my phone to make sure?" I didn't, in the end, but I am quietly weighing the pros and cons of each potentially risky encounter and a train journey and hotel stay are probably not something I would have booked for November if there had been other options. Then again, I keep telling myself that worrying yourself to death is not a sexy option, either and as long as I do everthing I can to stay safe, this already makes a big difference. One of the friends I met last week called me a few days later and - since she doesn't call me that often - my first thought upon seeing her caller ID was "OMG, she's probably calling to tell me I'm a close contact now" and her polite "how are you?" even reinforced my paranoia. It really made me think that many of us have lost their innocence when it comes to certain social scenarios and hearing someone cough or sneeze nearby will always make you flinch and look at the "offender" with suspicion. At the moment I can't imagine enjoying a live concert or other event with a really carefree attitude, but I am confident that some day, this will be the case again.
 

Monday, November 08, 2021

We're Getting There

It's getting cold and Covid infections in Austria are rising to a very unpleasant peak. Unlike many people among my friends and family I never actually thought that getting vaccinated meant the end of this pandemic and therefore am not really surprised about the current situation. It seems like a long and exhausting hike more than ever, with the summit in sight and yet some new obstacles always obstructing the path. It sucks, but for some reason I am confident and not in panic mode. At least some of the stubborn anti-vaxxers are trotting to their nearest vaccination centres now that they will be excluded from a lot of social and other activities. There's no point on berating the fact that these measures might be too little too late. At least they have some impact now and I'll gladly take that. As somebody who likes walking uphill and prefers to take the stairs to elevators, always, I'll just walk on and hope we'll reach some kind of nice observation plateau, if not the actual summit.

Monday, November 01, 2021

Oxygen

One thing I heard constantly from my mother when I was a child was "go and play outside in the fresh air". It was an absolute no-go in our household to watch daytime TV and like many other habits (always have a side salad with your meal, clear away dirty dishes immediately...) that are deeply ingrained from my upbringing, I still feel that a day is not complete if I have not been outside even for a short walk around the block. This is particularly true for weekends or days off and I almost feel guilty if I don't me it outside before sunset...which rarely happens anyway. I don't consider myself a sporty person and don't have the urge to push my body to its limits...ever, but I do feel the need to "air myself" on a daily basis. The weather has to be absolutely horrible or I have to be super sick that I don't venture out of the house at all. Thankfully, Highflyer is no couch potato either (unlike me, he IS sporty on top of that) and will gladly "walk me" when I've been in one video conference after another all day. 
 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Everyday Awesomeness

 

I am writing this in Klagenfurt where I took this picture on a walk in the neighbourhood on Sunday afternoon. At the moment, autumn is presenting itself in its prettiest colours and while this is nothing new, we agreed that the leaves are particularly beautiful this year. Like this tree that reminds me of my first trip to Japan 12 years ago and which I suspect was just as beautiful in the past already. I have the theory that having had our wings clipped or horizons brought closer made us take closer looks at what is in front of our doorsteps and appreciate it more. Not the worst by-product of a global pandemic.

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