Contains strong language

18 Aug

some days it’s strong

i could hurl myself

in front of the train

i could crash

into oncoming traffic

as if there was nothing

left

protecting

the black

and bleak

endless

– not endless

i know from experience

this shall pass

i will not crash

that fucking car

i will not scar

those who have no fucking clue

i will persevere

and

after crossing the chasm

it will be

fucking marvellous once more

(2015-07-05)

Still digging

10 Aug

Not just hanging in there, but also slowly digging myself out of the MEH.

Weapons of choice: Plenty of water – for drinking. More exercise – for endorphines and good sleep. As little contact to the outside world as possible – for me-time.

Admitted, avoiding contact with the world is kind of tough, as I spend at least 35 hours per week in a 12m² office I share with three other women. Plus the time spent in bus and subway, plus mandatory groceries. And for some really weird reason some of my friends tend to get upset if I don’t hang out with them regularly. Just saying, “I don’t feel like going out” usually prompts the “wanna fix it” debates, so I don’t bother beyond, “I’m in a bad mood, just let me be”.

(Fun fact: Last week when I did not want to go see “Magic Mike XXL”, the theories ranged from “Her boyfriend won’t let her” to “She’s a prude”. Guess I can live with that, as long as I get to stay at home.)

For exercise, I have stumbled upon a new challenge. Richard had originally planned to participate in a Tough Mudder and/or a Spartan Sprint race this year, and I have been mulling over doing a Strongman Run for a while. These are all, if you are too budy to click on the links, obstacle races where you get pretty dirty and exhausted. Originally I had planned to watch Richard race and eat ice cream, but then he fell ill three days prior to his obstacle race this summer, and everything had to be cancelled.

To cheer him up (and egg him on, maybe), I suggested doing an obstacle race together next year. Now, running is kind of my thing. I am not too fast, but I can do up to 10K without too much trouble. But I seriously lack coordination and strength, which are needed for the obstacles. Who’d have thought? And as a girl with a plan, I have decided to try this:

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The book describes the most usual obstacles, including information on which kinds of exercise are especially useful for mastering the obstacle, as well as a giant collection of exercises you can do at home or at the gym with little equipment – and three different training plans, 8 weeks each, based on your starter fitness level. I have chosen to start at “dead bird” and plan to do “paralyzed slug” after that. (Note: Those are not really the names of the levels.)

Mind you, these plans are tough. 3×3 hours of strength training per week plus at least three running sessions – optional walking or running on the strength training days. And after just two training sessions I can barely move my arms OR my legs. Let’s see how long I can keep this up, right?

Now, this is not going to turn into a fitness blog. Let me just repeat that I think we as witches, pagans and generally nature-worshipping weird people should take as good care of our bodies as we do of the environment. Imagine having a pet (if you don’t have one, in which case I am slightly suspicious what kind of person you are) – most likely you would go into neat research to determine the space, exercise and nutrition needed to keep your specific pet happy. No cheeseburger meals for your cat, no matter how much they beg you – all that sodium would most definitely fry their tiny kidneys! And I think that the same care should go into your own body, especially if you profess to love nature. Of course this does not mean never having cheesecake anymore, just keep in mind that you are what you eat.

By the way, when I first started working out, I thought that my ritual energy levels dropped. It took me a while to figure out that my energy levels had indeed increased, but my body and mind were able to handle the energies better, with less post-ritual fatigue. Same goes for proper nutrition – it may be boring, but it really increases your energy not just, but also for magic. Plus all the health benefits people keep spewing at you …

So, I’m still alive, feeling slightly better after a weekend of doing not much at all, and ready to ignore the big circus. Anyone with me?

Stuck in a rut

4 Aug

For months.

I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t want to go out. The demands thrust upon me by work and society feel like too much. Going out? Having fun? Please, don’t make me do it.

This has been going on for several months. But last night, finally, I scared myself. A bit. We were talking about a heavy metal festival Richard has been longing to attend for ages. And suddenly we had the chance to buy tickets – I’m talking about Wacken, which tends to sell out extremely fast, although it is one of the biggest heavy metal festivals in the world, like, one year in advance – and Richard was getting all excited, and I thought, for the briefest of seconds, “Who knows whether I’ll even be here in a year!”

For the records, I really don’t plan to off myself any time soon. Can’t say I haven’t thought about it over the years, but I am pretty positive I won’t go anywhere unless they make me. All in all, I like life. It is just a little bit … much. And not enough at the same time.

Not enough sleep, too much responsibility.

Not enough time to do the things I enjoy, too many people in need of attention and emotional support.

Not enough time spent in the sun, too many obligations.

I try to divide my time between the office, my writing, household chores as well as family and friends. I have to organize most of our outings, since Richard is neck-deep in work, sometimes for sixty hours per week or more. And it all feels like I am trying to run at top speed with a millstone around my neck.

I would like to spend more time greeting the sun at the edge of the woods. I would like to spend more time on the balcony with a book in my lap. I would like to spend less time around people, and less time scheduled away due to outside demands.

Thank the Gods we get two weeks off work in September.

What it’s all about

22 Jul

When we’re out for cocktails at our favorite bar – where the bartender loves us and the waiters are always slightly scared – we always end up discussing the Big Questions. Like, how much citrus does the week’s special cocktail need? Are fantasy books real books, even when you know the author personally? Why do Friend’s friends always drink more than her, yet she is the most happily drunk of the group? And why do guys on Tinder always start a conversation with, “Hi, how are you?”

You see, Friend has been Tindering for a while, and I like to watch people interacting with each other. And I really, really, reallllllllly think that, in order to stand out from a fuck-buddy platform, you need to up your game a bit and, I don’t know … talk to the other person as if they are actual humans? “How are you, where do you live, wanne make sexytime?”

I tried to explain this to Richard later, quite drunk – that’s the state of mind where I am most passionate about stupid ideas like this. At the bar we had collected the guys’ best and worst chat-up lines, and most of them were lacking exactly this realization: No matter whether you want to sleep with the people you are talking to or not, it pays off to treat them like a real person. You know, fake interest in their hobbies, ask them questions about themselves, discuss books or movies. Be a real person yourself instead of trying to impress them into making sloppy love.

(I am rambling. I know. I had less than four hours of sleep. I still think this concept is worth exploring.)

Richard, “If all you have is a picture of another person, how are you supposed to start a conversation?”

Me, “I don’t know – maybe comment on something that is in the picture?” (Referring to Friend’s Tinder profile:) “He could write: I see you like 50s dresses. Or: That green dress looks really pretty on you. It’s not exactly rocket science.”

Richard, “But what is so wrong about writing: How are you?”

Me, “It’s only half a step about going to someone at a party and asking them whether they are at this party, too.”

Yeah, I did not get the point across. I also tried to explain that, when we first met, I was under the impression – or maybe under the illusion – that he considered me a real person. And that this was what made our dates fun: That we could talk about all kinds of topics and be hilarious together and share childhood stories and plan outings without trying to get in the other one’s pants. (This happened to be on the third real date, which is a coincidence, because I totally do not believe in the magical romance of threes. Basically I made him dinner, dragged him out for a walk and then threw myself on top of him until he kissed me. I am subtle like that.)

Of course regarding people as people helps not only when you are flirting. Everyday interactions become much easier and rewarding when you think of the baker not as bread-machine-man but as a guy who may have the occasional bad day, maybe hate getting up early and fearing that his wife does not love him anymore. Even if he never tells you about it. Even if on the outside he is just this guy who never smiles and does not talk much. (It is possible that he is just an asshole, yes. Or he has a deep personality and Thoughts All Day Long.)

I think I am going to stop here and weep into my tea mug because the day is just so damn day.

Boundaries, not just for witches

6 Jul

I have always had problems setting boundaries, no matter whether with family, friends or random people I meet on the streets. Partly it stems from back in my childhood, when we children were not allowed to set boundaries with adult relatives, such as, “No, I don’t want a hug from grandma today” – instant punishment would follow. As a consequence I struggled with what I really wanted or did not want for many years.

As I grow older, fortunately, I have less time for bullshit. And more intimate knowledge of the things I want. I am still rather quiet and, as long as things are not important to me, quite likely to just go along with whatever plans and ideas people around me mention (which movies to watch, which pubs to frequent, where to eat, … ).

When it comes to the important stuff, however, I have become a fierceful guardian of my personal boundaries. And this has led, in the past year, to repeated trouble with family and friends.

You don’t get to complain to us about the dirt on our car. If it annoys you so much, you can borrow the keys and take it to the car wash. The same goes for our flat. You don’t have to visit.

I will not be bullied into giving up me-time to hang out with you because you are bored.

Being friends with me does not give you permission to take out your anger or frustration on me. Also you don’t have right to a certain number of interactions per week.

I am not a teddy bear, to be touched whenever you want. It doesn’t matter how long we have been friends. Ignore this statement at your own risk.

Trying to manipulate me, if you get caught, is a sure way to get into trouble.

It is kind of sad that some people are not ready to accept these simple rules – it all boils down to “Don’t be an asshole, play nice.” Usually I give one warning – as I did with crazy e-mail guy (who hasn’t contacted me in a while, thank the gods!) – and then make them face the consequences. Don’t get me wrong, it is not impossible to rebuild trust … but it takes plenty of time and effort.

One of the worst things about these confrontations is when the other party won’t accept my boundaries and demands explanations. Like, what do you mean, you can’t accept that I find some interactions inacceptable? Why do you need a reason for not treating me like property, or an employee? And even better (or worse, as it is) is when they refuse to accept the explanation – for yes, of course I *do* give explanations, where necessary (can’t expect everyone to go around reading minds).

After plenty of work, I can say I barely hold a grudge against people. They can’t be anyone but themselves. But I refuse to let anyone drag me down to a relationship I am not comfortable with. Getting up and leaving gets less scary the more often you do it.

(Witchy note: If you have trouble enforcing boundaries, make sure to have a cerulean item on you – a scarf or a necklace is perfect, but a string of cord in your pocket or your favorite worn-out light blue socks will work as well.)

The lady doth protest too much, methinks

23 Jun

And I will keep telling you – I am not dead yet! But since there is no time for real blog posts and stuff, I’ll leave you with a quick update on all the things I may or may not have been up to.

* I lost another 2kg and rewarded myself by buying a new running T-shirt and a book with freerunning exercises. Had anyone told me I would look forward to buying that kind of stuff ten years ago, I’d have thought about punching them and abandoned the idea because of the effort.

* Last Saturday I participated in a “Race for the cure” 5K and finished in 27 minutes (give or take – but definitely less than 30!).

* I remembered to think of summer solstice! Not that I did anything special besidses lighting a few yellow and orange candles and complaining about the rain, but I remembered!

What else is new? We have a new boss with new ideas and rules and complications, but that should settle within a few weeks. And I have been writing and plotting and scheming, and I have wonderful ideas for weird stories. Circus, monsters, prostitution – what’s not to love?

I’ll leave you with a picture of Ronja trying to summon a cat demon.

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Honestly, I can’t sit down for a ritual without having cats all over the altar. But they are cute. ^^

Full days – full of magic and tentacles

9 Jun

Time flies by when you are having fun. Or when you’re busy trying not to drown in all your plans, actions, appointments, must-dos, …

As usual, I am busy working, writing and running. Also, I am eating tons of strawberries and planning more stories to tell – as soon as I have the time for it. One of them will contain this funny fellow:

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This is Bob. He is a tentacle alien from another dimension – and a stand-up comedian. I hope to find out, over the course of the next months, how he and Lusty Andrea are trying to save the world from a tentacle invasion.

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