A sketch and random thoughts

Posted from my WordPress blog and cross-posting it to my blog on the blockchain.

Hey everyone, I hope you all continue to be good and are getting your vaccinations in. David and I have #1 behind us and in a week or two will be going in for the second shot. I will say that I am not looking forward to it. The shot I don’t mind, however, the possible or should I say probable side-effects after the second shot… not a fan. Have any of you had your two shots yet? Care to share your experiences?

I am having a hard time grasping how different countries around the world are responding to the pandemic, especially these days. My family in Germany is still pretty much in lockdown, Canada or at least Ontario, too. And then there’s us here in New Jersey. Last I heard or read there are still some restrictions on capacities indoors and (smallish) limits to gatherings, but apart from that? Yes, we are still wearing masks and ‘social distance’, but that has become almost normal, hasn’t it? What is it like in your corner of the world?

Speaking of ‘hard time’ – last Friday I had one of my currently in-frequent trips to my office when basically one bad news followed the other that day. I actually should have known, because while I am an early riser these days, I actually slept in, almost overslept and only made it to the office at 9 am. Right on time for my appointment with an IT guy. But from there on it pretty much went downhill all day until I finally pulled the plug and packed up. It was 7 pm on a Friday night.

For those who don’t know me I am a pretty hard worker and have had many, many 12+ h days (not only) this past year. I work in international food and logistics. Pretty much what everyone was after in 2020. No complaints though, I am still counting myself lucky to have this job. But there was definitely a form of burn-out after the worst of this pandemic. It is that time when you cannot switch off. At all. At times I am still finding it hard. Not necessarily the switching off, but to go back to my normal off-work activities. I frequently find myself just sitting here and staring. I have even been caught lying on the couch during the day for no good reason – so.not.me – which, of course, prompted a worried ‘are you o.k.’ from David. Yes, I am. I am just trying to find my normal self again.

It proves to be not that easy. Do you know how often or for how long I have wanted to write a blog post? Way too long. It all seems so meaningless. Why would anyone be interested in my babbling? But maybe that is not the point. Maybe  the point is to just bring my thoughts to paper and write for myself? Yet that completely goes against my productivity driven nature (as does the couch, obviously). Maybe that is what I need to start doing, the writing for myself, not the couch. And why not here on my blog, especially since I have pretty much weaned myself off of Facebook and Instagram.

Where was I going with this? Oh yes, last Friday – full of stress, 100 % work from 9 to 7, no break, head down all the time, video meetings with the boss, with co-workers and with customers and in between dealing with bad news. A fun day – not.  By the time I got home I was seriously fried. And worse, it carried into Saturday. Even while I was driving home I was thinking to myself ‘I don’t want to go back to this kind of life, I have to change this, I don’t want to live this again’. To be clear, it is not as if I am working less when I am working from home, in fact for the longest time it was to the contrary.

Yet when I am working from home, I am also getting up early, but instead of showering, getting dressed and ready for the office, I will instead go downstairs, skim through my emails on the phone, possibly answer really urgent ones from Germany (6 hours ahead of me) and then – I will go for about half an hour of a morning walk. Because I know that once I start my work day, I am dedicated and will have a hard time breaking away from it. Just like last Friday when I was in the office non-stop while I could have gone outside for a stroll, but I just don’t. I just don’t – sigh.

When I’m working from home David might ask me if I want to take a walk around the block. Or – I might ask him. I guess that is what training or accountability partners are good for, right? I certainly have come to value my time working from home, yet I will say that I do enjoy a day here or there in the office as well. LOL – I mentioned to David the other day, when I sit down at my office desk it feels ‘right’. You know, ergonomics etc. As good as my little work area at home has gotten over the months, my desk and chair in the office are still much better. But having the option to use both the office and the home-office is just the best. And I am going to fight for it with my company. I hope that they will agree for us to transition into a hybrid office environment in the future. After all we have proven that it is working. Our department had the best annual result of all, in no small part due to my team’s dedicated work ethics, no doubt. 

But you know what, I bet you didn’t even notice that I got totally side-tracked by all my babbling. What I actually wanted to show you is a painting I am working on. Finally. I haven’t touched my watercolors, ink or acrylics in – hmm – well before our October OBX trip last year, so, more than 8 months. Crazy, right? But what I have discovered is that I love oil-painting on my iPad in Procreate. You most likely know that I have been using my iPad and Procreate to paint for a while. But they had a major app update last year (?) and now the brushes and everything else is even better. It feels so unbelievably real, I can even mix colors right there on the canvas or on the pallet, just like IRL. It is amazing!

So now I am trying to recreate my workflow for one of my mixed media art pieces. You know sketching, then coloring (acrylics/watercolors), shading and then refining with ink. All on 1 (!) layer, not a gazillion layers to choose and undo from. So far I am really, really happy with the outcome. And since I created it in Procreate I will be able to share a time-lapse with you once it is done, but for now a few screenshots of the sketches and a few colors will have to suffice and you will have to take my word for it. I hope you do. After all you know I am loyal and trustworthy like a good ol’ German oak :).

Till next time – stay safe and healthy and enjoy life!


5 thoughts on “A sketch and random thoughts”

  1. So good to hear from you again! The sketches are great and WOW! On your Ipad!! I hope you can keep your hybrid workspace. Even though I was already somewhat of a hermit, the pandemic took its toll on me also. Very hard to be motivated to do much of anything. I have lots of art ideas and supplies ready to go but find I have to force myself to start. Once I start though, I am in a very happy place. So it is weird. I remember being driven by work, long days and weekends too. The crying jags and then the guilt of thinking that I should be grateful I have a well paying job when others are in need. Soul scorching. In a way, becoming disabled saved me, but the plague sure put a damper on stuff. I think the pandemic stuff has taught us how much we really and and how much we really do not need. Given the industry you work in, I can only imagine the stress you went through given the supply chain issues all over the world. Gah! Enjoy your walks and let yourself heal. Sometimes we need to just sit on a sofa and drool. Hugs to you and David!

  2. Loved reading about how you’ve been. I’ve had both doses of the vaccine and the second one definitely packed more of a punch. For me it was mostly being tired, a bit of a temperature, headache and general malaise. It lasted for a few days with the second day being the worst. All in all not too horrible. Good luck!!!
    Hope to see you around a bit more. Definitely miss my old blog “family” some days. ❤️

  3. SO happy to see this pop into my email! It has truly been a weird year and half almost! So crazy. We will get out second shot in a week and like you, are dreading it and prepared for the worst. I have made no plans that weekend knowing I will more than likely feel like poop. The first shot actually made me feel kinda poopy as well. Low fever, tired and just achy like a mild bug got me. Anyway, fingers crossed that things this week are proving to be a little calmer than your Friday and that you find yourself lost in some doodles! I love these pieces that you shared!

  4. I had the Moderna vaccine, early February and early March. I parked so that I could walk 1/3 to 1/2 mile each way. I didn’t feel the needle the first time, but I later checked by pressing the site. It was tender and then swelled somewhat. I thought I should not raise the arm much, and it was at least two days before my range of motion was normal. No other reactions. The second shot was given by a less skilled technician.I felt it going in, a second or so of discomfort. Again, I could feel the swelling and the tenderness. I did not baby the arm, and the range of motion was not an issue. Neither shot produced fever, headache, or general flu aches.
    I wonder if expectations influence the side effects of the shot. Our minds and bodies are connected, you know. But the influence has to be limited.
    Some managers are encouraging employees to schedule a day off after the shot just in case.
    Each of us is different.
    One had 103 degree temps for at least two days, headache, general aches, pains, fatigue.
    Others, a doctor and her partner, had the virus several months ago, and it was really bad. He got it a few hours before she did, waking with a 106 degree fever. She told me she had never had such terrible headaches. They used an oximeter frequently and would have gone to emergency if the blood oxygen dropped too low. Several months later they took the vaccine and had 24-hours of Covid hell. She said it was the body summoning its immune system. Now several months after the vaccinations, she has a headache about once a month. Both have reduced senses of taste and smell. They traced their contracting the virus in a grocery store that had other shoppers without masks. Probably bad ventilation too.
    My county is unique in this area in that we can’t get out of the red category. Too many heedless mask-free people gathering indoors. Most of our new cases are people ages about 18 through 49.
    I’ve had a few social events, all outdoors. Two meals at restaurants in the last couple weeks, outside with others also fully vaccinated. I am able to have lunch with my sister, and coming up next weekend will be a couple days with her daughter, my niece, and her husband.
    I’d like to comment on other aspects of your email, but my schedule is crazy. No time. Hope to write more later.

  5. Love seeing some art again!! As usual, you know I love the colours you use and really loving it with the big flowers in her hair. Wish my garden had such blooms! So far I have not even got ONE shot, and as you said Ontario still in another lockdown until June 2nd I think it is this time. Kids back at home virtual learning since before Easter and it’s doubtful they will return to in-class now for less than a month to go. It’s sad for my middle daughter because it’s her last year of public school and she will have no Grade 8 Graduation to celebrate. We’ve been doing as well as can expected up here I guess. Oddly, with the slow down and halt to many of mine and the kids extra curricular activities, I have more time to do the things I enjoy. Which includes writing, which I have been doing, but don’t feel the overwhelming need to post or share always. (though I did get active in the blog recently with some writing prompts) Of course there’s still plenty of work to do around home and with managing the schooling. But, we aren’t dashing here to there several nights of the week or the weekends. I’ve caught up on so many TV shows that I never had time to watch lol. I’ve had time to do my yoga or take walks. It’s been an interesting chance to show how I would like life to continue after all this is done. A new normal I guess. I’d like to keep all that, and bring back having mimosas on the porch and kayaking with my friends. And travel!!! How I miss going places that don’t sell food and toilet paper lol.


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