Tuesday, June 30, 2020

bye june, hey july 2020

årstiderna organic #vegan food box, june 2020 -

I'm thinking about challenging myself to actually write a little blog post every single day in July. Because there isn't much else one can do these days, other than walk, cook, eat, drink tea, read, cuddle cats, watch movies, meditate. Life continues to be very restricted for most of us, who don't own or have access to a car. I think most of us feel life is on hold, the waiting game prolonged.

I've struggled with setting the tone of this post, will I keep it light and positive, or will I simply tell it like it is. Life is made up of both, even in these troubled times for all of us. And I haven't exactly shyed away from the difficult stuff before...

So, even if I'm grateful to be an intro/ambivert, and ever so grateful I'm not of an addictive nature, this is *starting* to take its toll on me too. Even if I enjoy my own company, and solitude, I also feel lonely. People with loving partners and good families probably don't get it. Nor do people with friends they have deep and meaningful relationships with. To be quite honest, I don't think I have anyone like that in my life anymore. There, now that's said and out there.

During these months, no one has gotten in touch to hear how I'm doing. And vice versa, after the first few weeks I have felt zero inclination to reach out myself. The energy levels are limited. People are working, from home or wherever they feel comfortable and safe to be, they're only interested in social distancing contacts with people close by. If anyone with a car was interested to meet up in my neighborhood, for a take away lunch and a walk and talk, I'd be happy too. But few people seem to have cars and the ones I've asked have said "sure, but maybe later", and that later never happened...

I'm not the least bit interested in having more Zoom- or Skype talks than those which are work or pro bono-necessary. They're just stressful and unproductive, they never fill me with joy or inspiration. The only contacts I have with people these days (apart from darling little mom, grocery store clerks, the neighborhood's dog ladies and such) are via short comments on social media. Which on the one hand feels quite insufficient, on the other hand quite enough for my current energy levels.

The times we're living in are traumatizing for most us, so maybe this is the new normal (at least for us not prone to alcoholism or violence...) and perhaps that also means we only have just enough energy to focus on the immediate close circle.

I know I feel that way, but at the same time I feel lonely. On the other I don't have the energy to spend on a lot of interactions. And if I start reaching out to more people, perhaps I'll feel it's a bit overwhelming in the end? It's enough to cope with my own thoughts and personal issues. Weltschmerz as well as personal worries. And even if meditating does help, it's only as much as that can do to keep the demons away. One day at a time, one day at a time. Reading, cat cuddling, cooking, walking, repeat. Who said it was without complications?

I found June to be a particular bad month, on a personal level. (Because we all know what a shi**y month it was for the world, so no need to dig into that. And this is after all, my little world within the world, so...). It began with a plantar fasciitis from hell in my left heel (not had one since 2009, but this past year I have been wearing more sneakers than usual and I find that sneakers generally give much less support to my feet than regular shoes. Sure they are seemingly comfortable and kind, but overdo the walking in them, there will be a hefty price to pay...

So I had to spend a couple of weeks resting, stretching and hobbling out to the garbage bin regularly  (in different shoes, just to see which ones would work best for a painful heel). Finally last week I did my hobble in the vegan wedges I got in March, and they felt very promising. The next day I did a longer walk to the grocery store, and it was painfree. Huzzah!

Taking it slowly, but so far two walks this week and I'm hopeful to be back on my usual walking track within a foreseeable future.

The job processes I was recently positive about, didn't lead to anything. And others haven't either. It's absolutely crazy that it is this hard to find my kind of people, my kind of company. I'm weird and wonderful, but apparently too many companies and organisations find me weird and incomprehensible. No matter how qualified I am, no matter how much potential and visions I have. That in itself is deeply disturbing, and depressing. Maybe I should just give up finding a job in Sweden, and find one abroad that accepts and encourage remote working?

But all in all, I'm really at lost on what to do now, where to look, where to find, at last. When you find yourself, after much work and effort, in this position, you kind of have to truly trust that universe has your back...

Last week's depressing heatwave didn't exactly help the mood either. I'm grateful for cooler weather and two days of several rain showers now though. But nature is in desperate need much much more water, more rain.

Before the heatwave I immensely enjoyed my little, shabby, green haven of a garden. Lilacs, honeysuckle, rhododendron... Roses, mock orange and now clematis. I wish they could blossom for a longer time though. It's fleeting time of immense beauty and calls for intense appreciation of nature's little wonders.

One of the cats passed away last Friday. He suddenly got poorly and rapidly lost weight after Midsummer. Over the years I've gotten (too) well versed with cats and cancer, and its often very quick process. I used to dash off to the vet, and followed by painful procedures with always poor outcomes. After those times I decided to never again submit 10+ years old cats to that stress but keep them comfortable at home and if possible let them pass away in the comfort of their well-known surroundings and alongside friends.

He drank water, didn't ate very much, enjoyed cuddles, slept a lot and kept to himself. On a very warm and humid Friday evening he fell into the final sleep on the veranda. As the vet was closed by then I had to wrap him up and keep him in the freezer over the weekend. That's how you have to problem solve things, even the very sad things. On Monday morning I put him in a box, walked to the vet, and paid a hefty price for the cremation. And that was the end of Waldemar Warwick.

He was a fun, weird kitten and young cat, but as a grown up, older cat he wasn't one of the cats with big personalities, but a more subdued fella. But still, he was part of the cat puzzle in this residence. He had never been sick once, always a healthy sight in shiny, black fur so this came very unexpected. He would have turned 13 in a couple of months.

With a cat gang now between 8 and 16 years old, most of them never having been sick a day in their lives, I guess you can never tell which one will be next. It feels a bit like being in the Agatha Christie novel "And Then There Were None".

I can't imagine my life without cats, but with the immense joy, gratitude and furry love comes sorrow. There have been countless of tears shed over cats lost, over the years. And well, this experience didn't exactly add anything positive and joyful to my current mood. But there you are, life.

I had high hopes for June, those were really put to shame. I'm not even sure what lessons I've learnt from it. Life is rough, but there are always people who are worse off, be grateful for the good things you have, have had and will have?

Now half of the year is gone. And EVERYTHING is topsy turvy, can you please, gorgeous July, turn into something positive, uplifting, beautifully solution based and inspiring? I need it. And I'm not alone.

See you tomorrow. One little post at a time.

Monday, June 01, 2020

first guest at hedgehog drop-inn 2020

first guest at hedgehog drop-inn 2020 - may 24 ❤️ and Siri

Another post second day in a row. Not something you should get used to though. But when I realised I had done a blatant mistake and not mentioning the news of the first distinguished guest at Hedgehog Drop-Inn 2020 in yesterday's post I though s/he deserved a post of her/his very own. And what better way to start a new month, than sharing an adorable, mood-lifting sighting?

If I've done my calculations correctly this is the 18th year of summer hedgehogs visits and stays, but I first wrote about them in 2007. I am so honoured they've find sanctuary here ever since. Even if there are probably new guests every summer, they might be a family that tell stories through generations  about the magical garden with plenty of food, water, sleeping places and curious fluffsters.

first guest at hedgehog drop-inn 2020 - may 24 ❤️

As they usually turn up in late July/early August, I couldn't believe it was actually a persistent wee hedgehog that was trying to get in through the garden gate, when I heard the noise on May 24. but there s/he was, strutting down the garden path. I know they're little clever pricklies and can get through and in via very small openings, but I'm surprised at their ingenuity every year.

As I've done my best (or succumbed completely to my inner garden gnome of laziness plus the garden elder weed that invaded some years ago... for a good reason though!) to let the garden be as it is, to offer a haven for biodiversity, they might hibernate and live somewhere inside here too.

first guest at hedgehog drop-inn 2020 - may 24 ❤️

From feasting on luxurious kitty food (the only I had at home at the time, I usually buy cheaper bags when hedgehog season begins) it was time for a stroll and a cat nap. Because this is just how much the cats looovez when the hedgehogs appear for the season. And sights like this makes my heart explode of cuteness overload.

Just what one needs to see and be in in these worrying times, wouldn't you agree?

PS After letting the garden grow wild like this for some years now it has become just what I wanted, much more popular amongst bees, bumblebees, butterflies and other insects. My little humble contribution to biodiversity. My very own green green mess of home. DS
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