I went into this year fresh on a positivity kick. Feeling pretty confident that the minute I gave in to negativity, I would get the urge to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head again and I emotionally and financially cannot afford to do that, I was all hurrah, let’s look for all the bright spots in my life so we can keep functioning even after not having seen the sun for 183 consecutive days.
It helps, in that regard, to have a kid. Because kids, if you let them, will remind you of every damned little beautiful thing out there in the world. They get excited about dandelions (weeds) and puddles (mud) and, hell, Diva even lost her shit because the rain coming down on the walk to Kindergarten one day was maybe almost cold enough to be snowflakes and with excitement like that, who can’t look at all the little things and smile?
Knowing that post-Christmas was going to be a mental shitshow if I didn’t have enough to keep me busy, I scheduled an appointment with a career coach first thing Monday morning and got so many assignments to keep me busy building my “personal brand” (barf) aka, business, that I didn’t even know where to start. It was a great start to the New Year, but a little too great.
So I went for a run for the first time in ages (and by ages I mean days, although seriously, that habit needs to be regulated once again). Because that’s what I do when the going gets tough.
I not only ran, I lifted weights, which is something I haven’t been able to do since August because of a shoulder injury and the lack of iron being pumped is starting to show. My triceps look like a Basset Hound’s muzzle at this point so I’ve not been practicing any princess waves. Returning to the gym in January was not among the brightest things I’ve ever done. Seems everybody’s New Year’s resolutions were to join the gym and meet a new hottie and most people are trying to kill two birds with one stone so like 95% of the equipment at my gym is now taken up by dudes who can’t be bothered to buy real trainers and ladies who can’t be bothered to sweat making googly eyes at each other. Barf some more.
Although the sun actually made an appearance Monday, so too did anti-immigration assholes in the city of Cologne and so we skipped the pre-scheduled ice skating date in the city because there’s nothing I’m afraid of more than my daughter figuring out that people hate us for speaking English. Some dickhead alcoholic in a wheelchair cursed us out this summer, peeling off his wooden leg to throw at us when he heard me and Diva speaking English. It rightfully terrified her and me, and although I usually curse people like that out, because Diva was there, I just told her that I thought the man was ill and badly mannered and hurried on my way. What else was I supposed to do? I don’t know how my other immigrant friends (you know, the ones who “don’t look German”) handle all that hate. Actually, that’s a bit navel-gazing so I’m rewriting it: there’s nothing I’m more afraid of than having Diva realize the serious amounts of nonsensical hatred that exists in this world. I want her to remain innocent, even naive, for as long as possible. Which became a theme later in the week, when I was repeatedly brought to tears by what happened in Paris and spent most of my time with a tv off and offline.
Because I’m not Charlie. Those cartoons don’t represent me or my opinions, nor does the response to them. You can not fight hate with hate and that bloodbath was just, gah!…. But I have been a journalist and newswires have given me numerous breakdowns, and I am watching a few journalist friends going through serious breakdowns at the moment and so I bought Alain de Botton’s new book and spent that extra screen-free time cleaning up all the glitter that the unicorns have pooped in my living room while Diva and I got her Barbie Dream House ready for habitation.
In summary, this week I:
- ate a metric shit ton of chocolate.
- started exercising again.
- cleaned my house and got my 2014 tax documents off to the accountant.
- read the Brigitte dossier on “Krise & Konflikte: Wie halten wir dieWelt noch aus?” which was zero help to me.
- took the kid ice skating and her infectious love for the sport grew on me.
- finally declared myself a member of the Beyhive and resolved to dance around in my underwear more.