Body Betrayal

Three weeks of glorious vacation time. Three weeks of planned nothingness, perfect laziness and enormous amounts of not-anything-to-do.

Except for dinner with friends. Kayaking. Bowling. Theme parks. Good food. And all of the boyfriendly fun. FUN things. Delicious things. Awesome things.

And with my second vaccine jab about to kick in – all of that with a much safer feeling than the past year and a half. A recipe for success, you might think.

My body disagrees.

The last 7 days I’ve found myself fighting a stomach bug and befriending my white porcelain throne. Gained 30 years when I bent over and practically broke my back to be reduced to a limpy grumpy mess. Had headaches. Sniffles. And a thorough feeling of ‘WHY BODY WHY’ throughout all of it.

It’s a sign that I’ve worked too hard for too long, I think. That I forced myself to function on high levels without respite for months on end. Scared to stop and breathe. Unable to check out even slightly. So now that I’m free from workly demands – my body is caving in.

All of the stress and battles and tiptoeing on the edge of strength is converging into me being a wreck of yuck. Stupid body. Can’t you have me get sick on the bosses time instead?

I wanna enjoy my man and vacation to the fullest. Not survive on ibuprofen and sobs. You suck body. You suck.

Saved FROM the bell

There’s one thing I hate more in life than pretty much all of the things I hate (which are plentiful). It’s alarms. Alarm clocks. Sirens. Anything that makes unnecessary shrill sounds that elicits immediate action. I hate it.

Having to get up in the morning, knowing that you’ve set your alarm to an indecent time-that-you-don’t-really-wanna-get-up-at has me going to bed annoyed. Ruins the usual happiness that I experience when I get into bed. Ruins the snuggles with the blankets, and the cuddling with the pillows and the joy of drifting off to the tunes of a Relaxing Spanish Guitar Spotify playlist. I hate alarms.

So much so that I’ve evolved enough as a human to outsmart mine. When I set an alarm for the next morning…my body knows. And I magically ALWAYS wake up five minutes before it’s bound to go off. So that I can turn it off without ever hearing it. It’s a great deal. Always works. Doesn’t solve the hatred though.

BUT.

You see – ever since corona struck…the working-from-home thing became my life. And I, as a natural morning person, usually wake up around 7/8-ish unprompted. Which means that, in order to start my workday somewhere before 9 at the latest – I am no longer in need of alarms. I wake up when I wake up, and start working once I’ve done my morning routine. It’s friggin ideal!

This is one of the things that (I know I shouldn’t be saying this, but fuck it) I have loved about the whole Corona-crisis. COVID-19 has saved me from alarm clocks. Entirely.
Although – it kinda also made it worse for when I DO have to set an alarm. Or even worse, when the boyfriend does it while I sleep next to him so that I hear an alarm and DON’T have to get up but still wake up. Or eveneveneven worse – when he sets the alarm during your vacation so he can get up and go to a theme park at the break of day AND doesn’t turn it off before it goes off EVEN though we were already awake pre-alarm. Damn it. That’s just pure evil right there.

Amirite?


Resolutionizing – July

People – HOW is July over already? What happened to the summer? I swear we hardly had any! I need more sun. Swimming pools. Spare time. Cocktails. Although, honestly, looking at the grand scheme of things – I can’t complain.

Now that July is over I find myself another year older and wiser (or so they say) AND in the midst of a three week vacation (fuck yeah). To say that was needed is the understatement of the year. This past month saw me trying to cope juggling tree huge deals (and just barely making it through). BUT fingers crossed for great results in that regard. Here’s hoping!

BUT it also saw me enjoying a lot of fun baseball matches and drinks with friends. Fun BBQs. Loads of quality time with the boyfriend and just generally a lot of YAY things. Including visits to a theme park and a zoo, which I hadn’t done in FOREVER and some crazy Cards against Humanity and ‘never have I ever’ nights. Good times all around!

However – since a LOT of the items on my resolutions list are also blog-related…the simple fact that I managed to only post 1 (!!!) blog is officiously horrendous. I apologize. Although, not really. Between way-too-much-work and a whole-lotta-fun – finding time to write is…hard. And feels like a chore. And I don’t blog because I HAVE to, but because I can. So yeah. Go figure.

Buuuuttt, with work finally seeming to calm down, my second vaccination being jammed in my arm last Friday, two more weeks of vacation AND the ambition to pick this back up – let’s see if August brings improvement. But for now: here’s what you missed about July!

Wanna see the previous recaps?
Find them here:
– The original list
– The January overview
– The February overview
– The March overview
– The April overview
– The May overview
– The June Overview

And only this one…sad…little…blog. SAWWY!
– Think Twice

Outside of commenting on the Resolutions I feel need some backstory – I am going to keep it simple: Green are the resolutions I’ve (already) checked off the list. Fingers crossed you’re going to scroll and find some greens, right?!
Orange are the ones I’ve totally started on, attempted, am working on or have otherwise made some progress on. The unmarked ones…well. They shall not be mentioned. Until they’re mentioned. If they’re ever mentioned. Who knows!
And red. Well. Red are the ones that I’ve already failed. In month one. BUT (there’s always a BUT) will probably still be (re-)attempting for the remainder of the year ;).

ONWARDS – to full green! (Who am I kidding)

WORK-O-LUTIONS:

  • Land (at least) 5 >10m. deals successfully.
    No wins OR losses returned in June. Just a whole lotta work on running deals which WERE handed in halfway through. Positive results (hopefully) in August/September
  • Get three additional certificates on relevant topics OR
  • Follow six non-certificate-yielding relevant work courses.
    These three weeks of vacay I’m currently in will hopefully empty my head for new knowledge to be attained in the months to come!
  • Do whatever is necessary (and actively check this with management) to get the needed functional grade for the 175% bonus in 2022.
  • Wear a costume in a Teams-call on Carnaval. And Christmas. And possibly Easter (I’d totally look awesome in bunny ears).
  • Donate the 2021 Christmas package to charity.
  • Don’t get a burnout. Or fired. Or in a fight with colleagues for no other reasons than them sucking (luckily, so far, all of them are pretty damn awesome).
    SURVIVED. AND ENJOYING WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING NOW. I never needed a vacation as badly as I did this one. Luckily it’s a FULL THREE WEEKS OF NOTHINGNESS!
  • Start writing a book. Or collect blogs to add into a column-bundle. Or do something anything whateverything to get published work in book-form out into the world.

BLOG-O-LUTIONS:

  • Keep. Blogging. In. 2021. (as in: the entire year!)
    Yeah. Lets’…uhhh…forget about July, ok? We all have our weak moments. Muahahaha! I did renew my WordPress subscription in July though – so the ambition is there!
  • Write (at least) 200 posts
    99…because only 1 post in July isn’t really making a difference in the totals. Buttttt, there’s more than 100 days left in the year, so this is totally still doable. Right? Right.
  • Find a way to ALSO make sure old content gets some luvvin’ every now and then.
  • Get to 5.000 followers. Yes. Really. Gotta be ambitious, right?
    2633 is actually pretty much a decent rise, seeing as I barely posted. I can’t complain. But that 5000? Ain’t happening!
  • Get to 500 unique visitors in 1 day at least once.
  • Make a person laugh hysterically with a post. Or cry. Either works.
  • Do a monthly Resolutionized-update so I don’t ‘forget‘ that I’m supposed to be doing this.
    With a one month lapse – still going strong on this one!

DATE-O-LUTIONS:

  • Fuck dating altogether for the entire year and take a Zoë-year OR
  • Do NOT ‘date’ any of the old-stale-already-done-douchebags EVER again.
    AND (if I do end up dating)
  • No beards. Seriously. Just. No negotiating – no beards.
  • Stop downdating AND/OR downplaying myself just to appear acceptable and not-be-lonely.
  • Stop settling for soul-crushing limitations or demands and instead go for compromise-less loving.
  • Don’t opt for an imaginary boyfriend for lack of actual people potential. Pillows do not count.
  • Don’t drunk-booty-call any of the old-stale-already-done-douchebags. Really. Don’t be that girl.
    No. slips. anymore!

SOCIAL-O-LUTIONS:

  • Make a new (group of) friends that DON’T all live at least an hour away.
  • Spend more time with the far-away-bunch of friends.
    Theme parks, barbecues, EK-watching parties. They were all there in July. So much fun! So yeah!
  • See actual people IN PERSON at least once a month. No hermitting.
    This resolution totally got PWNED this year. I’m doing so awesome. Much yay!
  • Write a letter to a friend telling them how much they mean to me. Try not to include swearwords too much.
  • Post something non-selfie-related to Instagram every now and again.
    Does posting some pics on the very last day, and one or two stories count? If so: then yes!
  • Host a dinnerparty and actually COOK.
    That’s it. I’m inviting people over. PLANNING TODAY!
  • Do something wine-knowledge related (a workshop, or tasting or high wine) so you’re not just downing bottles but actually know something about their contents.
  • Do NOT. I repeat: do NOT install Snapchat. Or Pinterest. Ever. AND
  • Do not start Tiktokking. In any way, shape or form. You’re too old Zoë. Really. You are. Resist the temptation.

LIFE-O-LUTIONS:

  • No more alcohol (during weekdays, and in the weekends only when in company).
    These limitations weren’t working for me. BUT I can say that I’m happy with my current way-more-responsible intake-style. So still happy here.
  • Lose an additional 9.1 kilos to finally end up at a healthy 22.6 BMI.
    Well… The numbers ARE going down. Marginally. But still – I see progress in my future!
  • Get a ton of exercise. Or at least – a bunch. Or you know – try to go walking for an hour at least once a week.
    With the pain caused by two active days this week comes the realization that exercise with my current crappy body is just a tad ambitious. Buuuut, I did do A LOT compared to other months.
  • Get my account balance/savings up to that number I internally discussed and at least stop spending fortunes on Thuisbezorgd.
    Vacations and passionate clothes-shopping are murder on a bank account. But necessary. So boo.
  • Don’t start smoking. Or get 12 cats. Or take up skydiving. Or become a vegan. Seriously. Don’t.
  • Actually finish watching Arrow.
    And with NOT A SINGLE ONE WATCHED…this is still stuck at 45. Oh god. I’m never going to make it through! I DID finish Z Nation (one of those I was also expecting never-to-finish type of series. Pat on the back deserved!)
  • Keep the Christmas tree up year round. IT’S HAPPENING! Gotta make it to August!
    D-O-N-E. I still don’t wanna take it down though. BUT IT’S BEEN UP A YEAR. I’m Insane! And insanely happy!
  • Learn a new language
  • Play Zelda Breath of the Wild. Whether it’s at a friends or whether I manage to convince myself that I deserve a Switch. It must be played.
    And gods, I played the crap out of Witcher 3 too. It was awesome! Now I need a new fancy game to dip myself into!

Anyway – even though blogging-wise this month totally sucked balls….I can honestly say I’ve not been this happy in a long long time. You’d almost start wondering when shit’s gonna hit the fan again, right? But as it stands – I’m just enjoying the crap out of 2021 so far!

Think twice

It’s not often that you get smacked in the face with a truth so profound that it makes you swallow a whole lot of words you have carelessly said in the past.

But it happens.

As it did to me, last Friday, on my way home from a match with my carpool buddy. We’d closed down the club, as we usually do, after a pitiful loss followed by a night of merriment with the team now that the big C is letting up a little. And under the light of the moon, in the dead of night (2 a.m. is one of those times that the world just seems a bit alien, amirite?) we were walking to his car.

Man. Dyou know it always makes me happy knowing I have someone to walk me to my car round here?‘ I said to him, while glancing at three or four cars standing at the far end of the parking lot.

He looked at me questioningly.
Puzzled.
Confused.

It was only then that I realised…
Really really realised…
How much that weird kind of fear is a part of my life. That strange kind of fear of having to go anywhere. Alone. At night.
Because I’m a woman.

You see – I’ve always kinda shrugged at the whole women in charge movement. Sort of held my hands away from the heat of #metoo. SJWs. Lifechangers and people making noise.

Not because I think they’re wrong, on the contrary. Just mostly because I tend to not agree with their methods, most of the time. Not that I’d know a better solution. A way that would be wiser. A quicker path. Not at all. But even when you don’t know what is right – you can still have an inkling about what feels wrong, I suppose.

The anger. The passion. The urgency. I never really connected, I suppose. I don’t have the heart of a world-changer. I’m well and good living in the confines of my head, most days. But I admire them all their quest. Their mission. And the justness of their cause.

Because as we were walking to that car I found myself explaining to my 6ft-plus strong Iranian teammate (who, I suppose, might look intimidating to anyone who doesn’t know his kindness) that I was glad not to be alone because of the cars on that lot.

Cars belonging to the standard night-population of our specific parking lot. The type of loud-bassed-big-mouthed-small-dicked small-town gangsters dealing in even smaller misdemeanors and filthy attitudes. Nothing to be particularly scared of, in general. The types of gangly youngsters with a bark way worse than their bite.

Unless it’s 2 a.m. and you are a woman walking to a lonely car on an empty parking lot with a small crowd of slightly criminal onlookers.

They’re only there because the cops sort of allow them to be. Figuring they’re better off on an off-site sportspark parking lot than at the local McDonald’s. Or the town center. Or wherever else they’d park their stupid asses.

And though they would not stop me from attending matches, or closing down the club, or walking to my car when I’m alone – there’d be anxiety gripping my heart none the less if I had to.

The ‘what-if’ fear. The ‘are they going to…?’ uncertainty. The ‘this might be a mistake’ surety.

Thoughts I had to explain out loud to him. Feelings so familiar they’ve been a part ofmy life so long that I usually don’t even pay them any mind. Fear that is so standard to me as a girl. Because he never had, and will never feel any of them. Because he’s a guy. And he doesn’t have to ever think twice about walking to his car alone at night.

And suddenly all of the girls up in arms started making a whole lot more sense. Because when you really really think about it?

That shit be crazy, man.

Resolutionizing – June

Oh man – How is it time suddenly flying so fast?
With the lockdowns and mask-terror ending and work getting EVEN busier (when that shouldn’t be humanly possible – it’s scary to see how little time is actually in a day!
Plus, I can honestly say that things are just. going. great. I ‘blame’ most of that on loverboy, because having this thing called love in your life makes all the bleak dramas of daily life seem so much easier to cope with, withstand and turn around. I’m a happy girl. Even though I’m horribly overworked, angry at the numbers on the scale and generally not-in-a-blogging-mood (aka: happy!).

But hey. I’ve (hopefully) made it through the whirlwind of work – I’m ending the coming month with the start of a three week AND SO NEEDED vacation WITH the loverboy AND hopefully returning to a workplace that is less hyper in a world that is no longer under lock and key. Fingers crossed.

But – in the spirit of ‘better late than never’ – here’s the June recap I totally forgot to write:

Wanna see the previous recaps?
Find them here:
– The original list
– The January overview
– The February overview
– The March overview
– The April overview
– The May overview

And there WERE a couple of blogs. Not a lot. Granted. But some!?
These were (mine and your) 5 favorites from the past month:
– On happiness – in general, in particular and in total and utter honesty
– A jab of truth
– I should know better
On the job
– Road to success

Outside of commenting on the Resolutions I feel need some backstory – I am going to keep it simple: Green are the resolutions I’ve (already) checked off the list. Fingers crossed you’re going to scroll and find some greens, right?!
Orange are the ones I’ve totally started on, attempted, am working on or have otherwise made some progress on. The unmarked ones…well. They shall not be mentioned. Until they’re mentioned. If they’re ever mentioned. Who knows!
And red. Well. Red are the ones that I’ve already failed. In month one. BUT (there’s always a BUT) will probably still be (re-)attempting for the remainder of the year ;).

ONWARDS – to full green! (Who am I kidding)

WORK-O-LUTIONS:

  • Land (at least) 5 >10m. deals successfully.
    This is definitely going to get crushedcrushedcrushed this year! With three wins already down (EZK, CJIB, VD) and one of the lost deals currently under review since some of the winners =possibly= cheated AND a whole bunch of other ones handed in – it’s safe to say that I’m expecting this to pan out just fine!
  • Get three additional certificates on relevant topics OR
    Oh. right. This was a thing. Whoops! Might have to look into this after the vacation!
  • Follow six non-certificate-yielding relevant work courses.
  • Do whatever is necessary (and actively check this with management) to get the needed functional grade for the 175% bonus in 2022.
    Gettting therrreeee!
  • Wear a costume in a Teams-call on Carnaval. And Christmas. And possibly Easter (I’d totally look awesome in bunny ears).
  • Donate the 2021 Christmas package to charity.
  • Don’t get a burnout. Or fired. Or in a fight with colleagues for no other reasons than them sucking (luckily, so far, all of them are pretty damn awesome).
    Made it through THE toughest month in my entire working career. AND alive. If I make it through July, I’m golden!
  • Start writing a book. Or collect blogs to add into a column-bundle. Or do something anything whateverything to get published work in book-form out into the world.
    Yikes!

BLOG-O-LUTIONS:

  • Keep. Blogging. In. 2021. (as in: the entire year!)
    Uhoh – with the dwinling numbers of post, I’ll have to climb back into the pen asap! But…I’m just so happy. What do happy people write about?!
  • Write (at least) 200 posts
    Uhoh! again!. I’m at 98 posts now, and with the current rate of posting…this might be getting tricky! BUCKLE DOWN I SAYS!
  • Find a way to ALSO make sure old content gets some luvvin’ every now and then.
    Did you read my top 5 yet? Which was your favorite?! :O:O:O:O
  • Get to 5.000 followers. Yes. Really. Gotta be ambitious, right?
    2600 people hit that follow button in June. Sick!
  • Get to 500 unique visitors in 1 day at least once.
    Never!
  • Make a person laugh hysterically with a post. Or cry. Either works.
  • Do a monthly Resolutionized-update so I don’t ‘forget‘ that I’m supposed to be doing this.
    Does this one, even though it’s way late, still count? I say it counts. I promise to do better!

DATE-O-LUTIONS:

  • Fuck dating altogether for the entire year and take a Zoë-year OR
  • Do NOT ‘date’ any of the old-stale-already-done-douchebags EVER again.
    AND (if I do end up dating)
  • No beards. Seriously. Just. No negotiating – no beards.
  • Stop downdating AND/OR downplaying myself just to appear acceptable and not-be-lonely.
  • Stop settling for soul-crushing limitations or demands and instead go for compromise-less loving.
  • Don’t opt for an imaginary boyfriend for lack of actual people potential. Pillows do not count.
  • Don’t drunk-booty-call any of the old-stale-already-done-douchebags. Really. Don’t be that girl.
    IT was still only the start of the year that saw me failing this a bit,.

SOCIAL-O-LUTIONS:

  • Make a new (group of) friends that DON’T all live at least an hour away.
    I’m too old for new friends. And corona ain’t helping. Boooo!
  • Spend more time with the far-away-bunch of friends.
    I am doing so much better here than expected. Social butterfly cocooning!
  • See actual people IN PERSON at least once a month. No hermitting.
    Aaaand yasss!
  • Write a letter to a friend telling them how much they mean to me. Try not to include swearwords too much.
    This is just gonna go to red at that end of the year. I was probably drunk when I thought this was a thing!
  • Post something non-selfie-related to Instagram every now and again.
    Ehh…right. Instagram exists! Oh dear!
  • Host a dinnerparty and actually COOK.
    Must, plan. party! Although – I did host an awesome bbq. But I made the guys cook, so I guess that doesn’t really count…
  • Do something wine-knowledge related (a workshop, or tasting or high wine) so you’re not just downing bottles but actually know something about their contents.
    HOW have I not checked this off yet?!
  • Do NOT. I repeat: do NOT install Snapchat. Or Pinterest. Ever. AND
  • Do not start Tiktokking. In any way, shape or form. You’re too old Zoë. Really. You are. Resist the temptation.

LIFE-O-LUTIONS:

  • No more alcohol (during weekdays, and in the weekends only when in company).
  • Lose an additional 9.1 kilos to finally end up at a healthy 22.6 BMI.
    eurghlblrurghltfucks!
  • Get a ton of exercise. Or at least – a bunch. Or you know – try to go walking for an hour at least once a week.
    You may call me couch potato.
  • Get my account balance/savings up to that number I internally discussed and at least stop spending fortunes on Thuisbezorgd.
    This is not really looking like a greaaaat month so far, is it?!
  • Don’t start smoking. Or get 12 cats. Or take up skydiving. Or become a vegan. Seriously. Don’t.
  • Actually finish watching Arrow.
    I watched a grand total of 0 Arrow episodes in June., Not. a. single. one. So still at 45. Damn it!
  • Keep the Christmas tree up year round. IT’S HAPPENING! Gotta make it to August!
    SO CLOSE!
  • Learn a new language
    😦
  • Play Zelda Breath of the Wild. Whether it’s at a friends or whether I manage to convince myself that I deserve a Switch. It must be played.

June was an awesome month. Just not when it comes to this list. Priorities can shift, I suppose! Butttttt – I’ma still get a bunch more greens in there before the end of the year! On to July!

On happiness – in general, in particular and in total and utter honesty

I hail from the Al Bundy era.
Something that I’m simultaneously proud and secretly ashamed of, I guess. Those were the days, folks, those were the days.

These days that show, to many, is a desperate reminder of all that was once wrong with the world. Or still is, in many ways. A shining example of misogyny, capitalism, the American way of life and love gone wrong.

I still think it’s fucking hilarious.
And accurate.
And spot on.
And still very very hilariously amazingly so wrong that it’s right.

You catch my drift, right?

Married with Children was awesome. Period.

But what’s always stayed with me the most, as it was both a huge part of my upbringing as well as a subconsciously ingrained into my mindset is the thought that lies at the very core of that show – and my understanding of life:

‘It is someone elses job to make me happy’.

Me being a ‘mere’ woman like Peg. A wife. Spouse. Trophy. Or eternal ball and chain. Call it what you will.

It was interesting, growing up. Because even when I was watching that show and clutching my sides from laughing too hard at Pegs shenanigans and Als hopeless mean attempts at sputtering back – I sorta knew that her expectations were so wrong. Unrealistic. Unfair.

But I was taught the same exact thing myself. From a mom that was a classic ‘victim’ of the world. Of men. Of life. From a mom that was, probably, a classic mix of damsel in distress, barbie doll and golddigger that is ideally attractive to always-the-same-wrong-men. A Peg, to the core.

And it is there that I was infused with these thoughts…these beliefs…these undeniable ideas of how relationships should be. How love worked. How a life together should look, and feel and be. Because in the world of Peg, and my mom and that time and this current age still, sort of – it is someone else’s responsibility to ensure my happiness.

They are in control of doing the things that give me joy. So they should do them. They are capable of providing happiness. So they should give it. They. Them. THEM.

Me being unhappy? Their fault.
Me not feeling great? Their problem.
Me not getting all I want from ‘us’? Their fix.
Me having needs that are unmet? Their responsibility.

It’s how I always treated my partners. How I always felt it WOULD be. How I was always taught it SHOULD go. No matter my own opinions of the matter, of course. That’s what your childhood is right. Fitting that certain drawn out mold, regardless of how well you fit it. You do things the way you’re supposed to do them because that’s how they’re done.

And I know you’re reading this KNOWING how wrong it is to feel that way, right? I mean, we’re a strong, progressive and independent bunch around here, are we not. Or, at the very least, we’re very familiar with all of the selfhelp books and power-Instas slinging quotes our way on how we’re the captains of our own ships.

I knew it was wrong too. Like. The way you can sometimes feel something’s wrong without knowing why it’s wrong or how you should be fixing it. Just wrong. Still did it. I still DO it, actually. Expect that. From them. Freakily.

Admittedly – I HAVE gotten better at it, over the years. Providing my own happiness. Fixing my own shit. Owning my own (and our) issues. But the damsel in distress mode is still programmed into my brain. I’m still wired to be the poolbunny waiting for her cocktails. I’m still Rapunzel waiting for her prince to make everything right. It’s still my go-to-move. And I somehow kinda still sorta maybe want to be…too…if that makes sense.

This ‘job’ of theirs is still my first expectancy and first disappointment in any new connection. That need for them to MAKE me happy. Sense my needs, tune in to them, value them, uphold them. Preferably without me telling them how to. It’s still how I’m built to love.

Even though I KNOW it’s not their job to make me happy. It’s mine. It’s MY JOB to BE happy, and do everything I, myself, can to make that happen.

And, if we’re lucky – it’s our PRIVILIGE to share that mutual happiness. Together. Not work at achieving it for the other. THAT’S how it SHOULD be.

But let’s be honest. That new mindset is a whole lot harder to achieve than it is to admit. And that old way of living is a whole lot harder to lose than to complain about. Because sometimes I wonder how much of these types of faulty wirings we can still fix at this point.

Maybe it’s easier to find someone exceptionally good at doing that job that shouldn’t be a job. Just kidding.

A jab of truth

Life…

Is returning to normal.

It might be slowly, but it definitely is surely.

And as survivors of the 2020 pandemic (doesn’t that sound dramatic), we can definitely say that we made it through all of the 5 stages of grief at one point or another:

The grief over the loss of life as we knew it. The loss of life-before-COVID. The loss of our taken-for granted freedoms and happiness and pretty much everything that came with our era of advancement.

They were all there. For me at least. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. And now, now that the world is at the precipice of opening…and the corona-era hopefully at a close: hope!

But still. Those 5 stages?

They were all definitely there.

Denial – when we first tried to reason away the ‘just-a-flu’ disease gripping us. Or, if you’re one of the anti-vaxxing crowd…still in that phase.

Anger – when we reared up against the doctors, the government, the rules and limitations and the general unfairness of our lives suddenly changing. Not to mention the working hours. Sudden changes. Deaths all around. All hell breaking loose. Really good time to get really really mad, right?

Bargaining – when we tried to find our way around rules. Looking for excuses why they wouldn’t apply. Why we felt ok taking the unnecessary risks. Why it was acceptable to break covid-regulations to keep our social lives intact. When we tried to explain thingsto our advantage. Bending and shaping rules so they might fit. Even though they never did. There sure was a lot of bargaining.

Depression – when, at some point, we all realised we’d have to buckle down. Actually grit our teeth. Take in the burden of obedience to make our way back to whatever this new normal will turn out to be. Forced into our houses. Our zoom environments. Our isolation and our own devices. When loneliness and hopelessness really got a hold and the light at the end of the disease-numbers-tunnel seemed impossibly far away.

Acceptance – When the vaccines where approved. When regulations were in place long enough for the most of the rowdy crowd to give in instead of fight. When we got used to living regulated and boxed in. And more importantly: When the invitations were sent. Limits lifted. Numbers went down. Quick.

Now my first vaccination will be jabbed into my arm on the 25th. The second one a month later. Now my country is opening its doors and borders again. Now all of the harsh rules and regulations are being lifted next week. Now I get to shop without a mask again. Play sports without a watchful eye on law enforcers showing up. Invite friends over without the curtains closed and return to life like it wasn’t derailed for over a year.

And now that final stage is here.

Hope – when we see the darkness winding down and the shimmers of light pointing us towards another round of taking-normal-life for granted. And though I hope we’ll be back to normal soon, with COVID as a bleak and distant chapter and memory of life…

I also hope we remember. Cause in the end. We’ll be the ones in the history books making it through all of those stages of grief. And thriving in spite of them.

I hope.

Still here

I miss you.
But you're still here,
And that feels kinda silly...
So I'll punch your shoulder and call you a weirdo.
See?
Who's vulnerable now?

I miss you.
And you're still here,
Which totally feels stupid...
So I'll gnaw your thigh and get you a new drink.
See?
Who's needy now?

I miss you.
Even though you're still here,
And no matter how stupidly silly that is....
I love how you make me miss you when you're still here,
Almost as much as I hate you leaving.

Wait.
Who am I kidding.
I totally hate you leaving more.

But I love that I get to miss you.

Oh. And you.
Just sayin'.

I should know better.

Every day – and I literally mean every single day – I do things that can only be qualified as ‘stupid’. Actually, plainly and undeniably stupid. For no other reason than me, apparently, being a stupid person. Yet, every time I undertake one of these stupid endeavors, I am well aware of the fact that it is – in fact – stupid. Which (if you’re being honest) makes the whole thing even more stupid.

Stairs, for instance. Stairs are one of my weaknesses.
My multitasking tendencies mean that I often think that I can combine my time spent walking up and down stairs with other tasks, so as to save mere moments of time. Now, if you grew up in a household that had any respect for safety – you will have been brought up on the wisdom that you shouldn’t run with food (or lollies, or forks or scissors) because you’ll totally fall and hurt yourself. Same goes for stairs. Don’t go up or down stairs too fast, or while holding evil objects or while unfocused.

Yet, now that I spent some time in loverboys house, who is the proud owner of a set of stairs, I see myself casting all of this wisdom aside. And internally yelling at myself for doing so, while still doing it.

Chargers, for one. I have this thing about taking chargers with me from the top floor to downstairs and the other way around. But I can’t be fucking bothered to pick up the entire cable.
Aka – I walk up those stairs with a cable dragging behind me. Which, as you might suspect, makes it an easy risk for tripping over said wire. And, seeing as I’ve already took a tumble down these stairs on that exact reason, is something I should NOT do. Yet still do. I’m stupid.

Clothes, even worse! Somehow my brain thinks that getting dressed halfway down the stairs is a smart move. It isn’t. Especially when you’re trying to survive a heatwave by slipping on a tiny dress, grandly nekkid, and getting stuck while throwing it over your head while taking the stairs. RISQUE!
Can you just imagine the scene if that goes wrong? I can. It ain’t pretty.
Yet after said incident I still found myself doing THE EXACT SAME THING this morning. Being acutely aware or the stupidness of it.

I should know better.
But I never learn.

Einstein would call me the stupidest of stupid.

On the job

Have you ever had the type of job where you lost track of reality?
Not in an ‘constantly- hallucinating’ kind of way, but in a way where you’re so focused on your own goings-on that you forget the bigger picture?

I have (obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing this blog).

My job mainly consists of (as I subtly put it) making money for my boss. Which I do by winning deals, as a bidmanager. Or tendermanager. Or dealmaker. Whatever title works for you. And the deals that I win tend to be either result-based or people-based deals with public entities. Aka. I make sure that we’re allowed to do projects or place people within the companies that we do business with. Yawn. I know.

The thing is – my job works with big numbers. They’re big deals, with big revenue, big capacity requests, huge demands and humongous effort-to-win. Which makes them both challenging and awesome (to win). BUT. AND IT’S A BIG BUT – They’re VERY separate from the day-to-day-lives of the colleagues of my 20k+ worldwide company.

They don’t see what I do. They don’t feel what I win or lose. They don’t know what I achieve, or fuck up or whateverthefuckIdowithmytime. UNTIL. UNTIL it hits them.
Which is a very thin line of understanding. You (or at least I) often lose track of what effects my work ACTUALLY has in the heat of the moment.

It works like that with every job. At McDonalds, for instance, my interaction with a customer ended the moment I handed them their food. My targets were met, my script was done, my mission completed. But that’s only when things started for them. They still had to see, eat and judge their orders. Yet, I never really considered that part of their experience. Wasn’t my job.
My job at a clothes store? I checked out after the customer interaction. Advising them on their choices. Ringing up their purchases. Done. But that’s when their lives continued. Fitting clothes at home, actually wearing them, all that stuff.

Today I was confronted (or challenged, to put it positively) to look beyond. In my own part-of-the-process I was responsible for writing a bid. A bid that included a person. Well, multiple (12) people actually, which were part of the team we were offering to a client. And in my silo-of-peace which is our bid, I only recognised these people as input-items in a text I was writing. Until one of them accepted a different offer for a different project.

Suddenly I was confronted with an actual human being who made an actual choice who took him to an actual place which was beyond my scope. And my world crumbled.

The thing is – we very much are eager to forget that our actions, choices and thinking are only of import to the things we do for ourselves. And just as this real life human being choosing something different was an inconvenience to me, my choices might be the same for others. But I didn’t realize, because of the routine-that-is-work.

But every choice I make reflects on ALL the people that either get (or don’t get) a new job because of me. Get new opportunities because of me (or have them taken away). It determines the path of the company and MANY of the people within it. And all I register is that I need to write 2 A4s of text to win a bid that is just a bid to me. It’s insane. Stupid. And irresponsible to think that my only effect on this world is my direct environment. Because everything I do causes its ripples in my company.

And everything we do in life, causes ripples for those around us,

If only we were more aware of the profound effects we can have on the world.
We’d live in a better one.