OK, time for an update. Admittedly, I have had some awful moments since my last post, particularly over the weekend, but there have been some positive developments that I’d like to report, in no particular order.
- I bought some cosmetics yesterday. The one and only loyalty card I possess is for a cosmetics company that has a shop in Freiburg, and since they’d sent me a special offer card in advance of my birthday later this month, I thought I’d take advantage of it. So I stocked up on my favourite face cream, got some new body lotion and some face pack, plus I got money off, a free mascara and a birthday gift of a pendant. The pendant is, admittedly, HIDEOUS, but I can use the cord for something more to my taste.
- When I was feeling particularly awful yesterday morning, I mustered up the courage to phone a friend and simply to say “I feel dreadful, can we meet?”. I think I’ve been tending to wait too much recently for people to contact me, and then when they have, I’ve often felt guilty about moaning or being depressing. Anyway, said friend was available and we went for lunch (more about that later), and I felt a great deal better after a pep-talk, some food and getting out of the house.
- I have eaten healthily. Yesterday’s lunch was a fabulous salad with turkey bits, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And later in the day I went shopping and stocked up on a load of fresh stuff, some of which I have eaten today. I have an unhelpful tendency often to eat badly when things aren’t going well, thus punishing myself further, but I managed to counteract that and felt good about it.
- I worked on my photography. The friend I met yesterday suggested meeting again later to take some pictures of a sort of ad-hoc mass pillow fight that was due to take place at 18:30. I took this as an opportunity to try out RAW format (having only ever shot in JPG until now) and have enjoyed observing that it is a format that allows more flexibility when it comes to editing pictures. There’s still a part of me that is sceptical, thinking that it allows more mistakes and is more forgiving, but in my present state of mind I actually ought to appreciate those features in life in general, I know!
- I bought a self-help book. Yes, it does perhaps sound a bit sad, but it was something I felt I needed to do. After initial frustration that the apparently relevant bookshop section was labelled “relationships / couples” rather than “breakups” and that most of the books were about how to save / make the best of / enhance your relationship, I found one called Lovesickness: First Aid for Broken Hearts. I’m looking forward to starting it.
- I went to church. (Yes, I can perhaps hear the agnostics / atheists groaning!) I have not suddenly had an epiphany, but this is part of my search for new ways to occupy my weekends, and I do actually have a history of going to church, even though it’s been many years since I was an active churchgoer. Actually I’d been thinking about trying this for a while, but weekend plans always got in the way. In any case, I went last week for the first time, after arranging with an acquaintance to accompany him and his family. I went on my own today, and although I found myself getting a bit upset at times during the service, I was glad that I had gone, and I met some more regulars, including a couple of people I already knew vaguely and / or had something in common with. It’s all a bit different from the church I knew in my youth, but I guess I’ll be going along there next week as well, by which time there’ll be plenty of people to say hello to and have a chat with.
- I’ve know that I’m not alone in feeling sad. I met up with a friend on Friday who I hadn’t seen for a while, and I felt good being able to sympathize / empathize with what she’s been going through recently, and I hope I was able to encourage her a bit. I’ve also received updates from other people I know who’ve been going through truly awful situations in recent months, and it has been both humbling and positive to put my own woes into perspective.
- I hope to see my cousin towards the end of the month. She sings in a choir that is going to be in Switzerland for a few days, and if things work out, I’ll go down for a weekend and go to one of the concerts, see her and her husband, and enjoy a change of scene and maybe some sightseeing.
- I’m planning a trip to London in June. I’ll be meeting up with some photography friends, and probably also visiting family.
- I’ve put my family tree online. I’ve been researching it for over ten years, and I have finally found a platform where I can present and update my results. I’ve spent a lot of time this weekend uploading my database of around a thousand individuals, I’ve had to make some laborious manual changes to it after the software and the website interface had a few problems communicating, but I can now finally contact various family members and show them what’s there. This is great, as it represents a stronger contact point with my family and an easier way of communicating about this topic than simply relaying bits and pieces.
OK, before I sign off I’d like to say how much I’ve appreciated all the comments people have made on my previous posts. I’ve learned a lot, been able to appreciate the situation from different viewpoints, and I feel I now have a much better idea about what I’m trying to do here. Many, many thanks to my friends and family for support, and I hope to be able to give another positive update soon. Watch this space…