Day 17 – Once more, with feeling

As I will depart from the city soon again, I used day 17 to reflect on my time in the city (again, I know, I know, get a life, girl!) and to meet with my step-dog and his owner. Step-dogs are a thing, you guys. A very nice thing. In this case, his name is Paul, he lives with his owner relatively close to me and we are in love. I used to walk him a few times a week previous to the breakdown and he even spent some weeks in my flat, when his owner was away. I love dogs. I really do. This one is a special case. His owner is a friend of my mom and consulted me with dog questions when she first got him one year and a half ago. So naturally, we bonded (Paul and me) and we met up more often (his owner and me). I didn’t see him at all in the past 9 months, I couldn’t just leave without seeing him once at least. We set up a date for the afternoon. Great incentive for me, to really get up, have a shower and to welcome the day with determination. Although I love that dog, I usually do not feel comfortable enough to sit around at his owner’s place for hours, just chatting. So I was prepared to leave after an hour or so. But guess what, I stayed for almost 3 hours. It was a nice day, we sat on the balcony, the dog was sleeping at my feet, and I didn’t feel uncomfortable. I didn’t have problems with talking or listening and I even just sat there and listened to the birds. In many ways, the breakdown made me more calm. Inside. I always was more of an introverted person, but I lacked the inner peace and calm. I always counted the seconds, striving to do 100 things at once. This was different, it felt different. That was nice.

When I left, it was almost time for dinner, I love it, when I don’t have much resting time in between reunions (I am totally aware, that this sounds super odd after the first sentence and all that inner peace and rest stuff, but it does make sense to me, just roll with it). I don’t get tempted that way to stay at home. My friend and I treated ourselves to a dim sum feast (I just had breakfast, but I am getting hungry again, just thinking about it) and after dinner, I did something spontaneously. I invited her over to my flat for a night-cap. Just like that! I am getting better at this social stuff! Although I almost fell asleep after the second homemade nut liquor, it was a nice evening. One more day, then it’s back to the countryside-time. I have mixed feelings about this.

Day 3 – old habits die hard…

This morning, I woke up to a really gloomy weather, but my mood was as good as it could be under the circumstances. I already had my mind made up, that, after the past days, today would be a great day to spend without big challenges, demanding tasks or ambitious steps. Today would be a good day to maybe tick one or two little thing off my little book, to relax, unwind and think about what happened lately. I remembered some of my own words, that I mentioned in yesterday’s post; that sometimes it is a good idea, to let the world present us with challenges, to react different than usual and welcome everything that can happen. With that in mind, and a few little things from my list I thought were worthy of today, I readied myself to embrace a quiet day. I was a little bit upset, that I did not manage to make myself my usual breakfast smoothie (a habit I only started 2 months ago) or drink a cup of tea until well into the day, but no matter, little set backs happen, right? Not all days have to be good days. After having provided my body with some water (tea, I am sorry, I will make it up to you tomorrow) and a filling, but not very nutritious or healthy breakfast, I walked to my computer, ready to listen to a bit of music, maybe even my favorite radio plays for gloomy days ‘Die drei Fragezeichen’ and look at some pictures I took in the past years (with big breaks in between, of course, you know why) and maybe even edit some of the good ones. Gasp! Bold plan, I know! It won’t come as a surprise to you, that I am not very confident with the things I do. I like to take pictures, but I don’t think they are any good. I like to write, but I don’t like my style and I would never consider me talented. I love to bake and cook, but only for a very selected audience/tastience, since I don’t think I do anything out of the ordinary or special with food. When I take pictures with my camera, I pretend I am a pro and save them in raw-format, instead of jpg. I don’t use a camera, that would allow me to view or show my pictures instantly in an acceptable quality (colour, sharpness, light), I went for a good one instead. Oh boy. Oh boy! In the rare events, where I manage to bring my camera with me (depression is a fickle friend, you guys, depression lies) and take some pictures, afterwards I have to face the process of shaping the raw thing into something presentable. Naturally, all that work and effort was way too much for me to even think of, let alone, even starting to look at what I actually captured. But today was going to be that day. Or not?

After starting up my computer, I had a really stupid idea. Why not download a new antivirus software? I used two already, but I wasn’t happy, since they took up way too much space on my very limited hard drive. I researched a little online, decided on one program, downloaded and installed it – and that’s where it all went wrong. That exact point in time and space, will from now on forever be known as the day, where I lost a lot of my pictures. “Don’t you back up your files?”, the smart ones amongst you, will ask. Yes, of course I do backup my files regularly. I own two external hard drives! I know things, ok? Ok. The files I lost were all acquired in the last 14 months, shortly before the breakdown and in the time that followed. I only spent 3 months after my diagnose at home, then I sought retreat at the countryside, far away from the daily tasks of life, the stress, hectic, intimidation, the old job and the people. Where I didn’t have any electronic devices with me, apart from my phone and my camera. No wireless, no tv, no Playstation. (Try it, it is great for inner peace, calm and the luxury of being unavailable. Back to topic!) I did have a radio though! You see, where I am going with this, don’t you? I had no chance to save any of my pictures in that time. And these are the pictures and files that are now lost forever. Vanished into the black hole, that is my hard disk.

This is, when today’s challenge presented itself to me. Us humans of the modern age, living in wealthy areas of the world, are used to problems with technology. First world problems. We’ve all been there. I didn’t write all of this to complain about this wrongfulness, this tragedy, this bloody technology, that fails us from time to time. My challenge today, was to handle the situation differently.
I am no stranger to computer errors. I used to find them rather challenging and very satisfying when resolved. After I resolved them, I found them challenging and satisfying. In the hours before that, I raged. I cried, lost my temper, panicked, blamed everyone stupid enough to offer help or coming near me, behaved erratic, aggressive, desperate, violent. Not your ordinary nerdrage, no-no. I changed into something out of control, something frightening and impossible to deal with. Some guys (my dear readers excepted) might be tempted to giggle now and think “that’s a great description of all girls when encountering a problem – or their period”. Yea…no, not really. Trust me on this one.

At first, I tried my very best to recover some of the pictures. I googled, downloaded recovery software, I did what I could. Hours well wasted. What I didn’t do though, was freaking out. Of course I was, still am, sad and heartbroken about my lost pictures, but I remained calm and in control. I didn’t yell at my love, I didn’t tell him to fix it for me, from distance, while still at work (really, that’s not a completely crazy request, you guys. Right?). I didn’t cry, I didn’t smash any cups, the keyboard, my phone or the screen. I also didn’t smash myself, as you can tell. I did not let it out on anything or anyone, that/who was or wasn’t responsible for my loss.     So what did I do, you ask?

I made Granola. Lots of granola. And egg salad. And potato salad. And lentil-quinoa patties to go with the salads, not the granola, of course. I would have made cookies, bread and ice cream, if I had all the ingredients at hand. Going out to buy some, was, after all, not really an option anymore. Did I keep myself busy with baking to not lose it? Yes, definitely. Did I overdo it? No. Yes. Shut up. You’ll all receive a glass of Granola soon. Leave me your address, if I don’t know you yet. I overdid it a little. My urge to perform kicked in. I cooked for 4 hours. I am not beating myself up over it. But I do look forward to the wise words of my therapist about today – and  I look forward to better days.