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!