weeknotes #4: lockdown’s end, patience, and tomatoes 🍅

A view of the city of Sydney, Australia, seen from the top of a hill. At the bottom of the hill in the foreground is a sports oval with grass that is well trodden and no longer very green
Sydney – seen from a walk I took the other day

I keep forgetting what day it is. I took a couple of days off last week to give myself a proper break from work. The lockdown ended last Monday, and the vaccination rates in NSW are positively high, and I feel like I’ve settled into “normal” activities quicker than I thought I would. At the same time, I do wonder if I’ve been a bit too eager and need to recuperate already. 😅 I still get anxious about some scenarios and I’m still very cautious around people who have let their guard down already. I still think we can’t be too careful and I’m doing the best I can to be responsible. I think one of my main gripes is people throwing off their masks because the government removed the rule to wear them in certain scenarios. But it doesn’t bother me to wear one, so I continue to do so as much as possible, including outside.

I must admit it was a wise choice to take some time off for myself, including at the start of the lockdown ending. It really gave me the space to observe what was going on around me, and how people in public were behaving in different scenarios. I was able to notice even the smallest changes, and engage in whatever capacity I felt comfortable. A woman at the post office was chatting to a staff member about how she was out of town and finally able to visit her daughter; I was able to purchase takeaway from a hotpot place that had been closed all of lockdown (I could have eaten in, but I didn’t want to); Nick and I ended up eating at a sushi bar one night; I got two more ear piercings that I had planned for many months; we saw Nick’s family on the weekend; we ate out for brunch. I think I’ve reached my capacity for now.

I’m going to be a bit more considered and slow with making steps to whatever the world has to offer now. Even though it’s all familiar and things I should already know, I was enjoying the time and space alone and I definitely don’t want to feel pressured to hang out or do things. My capacity wasn’t mega even before the lockdowns.

A close-up of a woman’s ear. She has three lobe piercings, a rook piercing and a conch piercing. The lobes have studs in them with clear gems, the conch piercing has a leaf-shaped stud, and the rook has a stud and a crystal
My new rook and conch piercing, along with my three piercings which were there earlier

It was very strange getting on a train that was mostly empty when I travelled to the piercing studio. The train station itself was like some real dystopian shit. Empty tunnels, no sign of anyone else. The eerie feeling of being alone but also feeling like you are being watched.

The bus ride home was bizarre. I suddenly became anxious. There were maybe about ten people on the bus, but the card reader wasn’t working and it came up with the error message “card expired”. Definitely not true since I had just used my card to pay for my piercings and to use the train earlier that day! I decided to forget about it and not panic. It wasn’t my fault and was out of my control. I did feel somewhat “unsafe” on the bus, though, maybe because it was an unfamiliar environment that I needed to readjust to.

Something that did make me feel far less alone was talking to my piercer, who asked how my lockdown went and if I got up to much besides working from home. We shared a couple of stories and she said that some days were just really hard. I said that every month I’d hit a low point and just feel like crying for no reason, even though things were really just fine. I felt sad about the situation. She said she felt exactly the same. Nothing was really wrong, but it was just a sad situation and sometimes you feel like you need to cry about it.

The gyms opened to vaccinated folks. I started a new program that my trainer wrote up for me. It is four days a week and it’s quite fun but also pretty challenging. I am enjoying it so far. I’m still trying to find the days that work for me and whether I want to do Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and a weekend day, or have the weekends to rest and just train during the week. I have sessions with my trainer on Wednesday and Friday. I think there is flexibility in whatever I choose, though. I must say – after such a long time going beast mode six days a week at the gym, it is really nice to have this extra space and time to not only recover, but to not be training. I can use the time for other things I enjoy.

During the week we made cherry tomato pasta. We followed a video from an Italian Australian YouTuber whose channel is called Vincenzo’s Plate. He does great videos on how to cook Italian dishes in an authentic Italian way. I really enjoyed this dish, especially since I love tomatoes when they are really good. We bought the tomatoes on a vine which Nick was very convinced was better than cherry tomatoes in a punnet.

A white plate of curly pasta on a wooden table. The pasta is cooked with cherry tomatoes, basil, and has a slightly creamy texture.
Yum 🍅 I really enjoyed this!

I bought a few linen tops for my wardrobe, in light of summer, and am also making conscious choices about the more feminine looks I want to create. I am feeling a bit guilty about some recent second-hand purchases that suit the style I have now – I still like that style, and aim to have couple of different styles and looks in my wardrobe, but I am conscious of making that take up a larger percentage of my wardrobe especially when I am in a bit of a considered experimentation phase with looking for more feminine pieces.

My period was late, probably because I was stressed as shit a couple of weeks ago and my ovaries were probably refusing to let a stressed body deal with a cycle. Whatever it was, it was just really painful when it came on. I almost thought I got away with skipping a period out of stress (which has happened literally once before). It would have been nice to not deal with hormone-related stress for a while, but meh. Last night my symptoms were hitting me like wildfire. Hot flushes, abdominal pain, bloating, sudden onset of extreme fatigue, feeling like an ice pick is stabbing you in the uterus, and then the purest sign of my PMDD – feeling emotional as shit, wanting to cry for no reason. I maintained as much composure as I could, today seemed to be mostly fine after the fatigue fucked off.

I feel like I am still in a process of bettering my relationship with work and trying to find an equilibrium point. Doing what is a supposedly standard amount of work makes me feel a bit guilty, because in comparison, I was doing far too much before when I burned out. I’m trying to be patient with whatever this process is, because I know it’s not just a work thing, it’s a bit of personal progress and growth. The last thing I want to do is just slap bandaids on things instead of really giving myself the time to heal and feel OK.

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