Heavy Load


Back the gym today for the first time in 2 weeks. Normally if I have time off, my deadlift is unaffected, or I can even lift more – not this time. Oh well. I’m not thrilled to be back in hamster-wheel land (German classes, work), but just going to do the best job I can of it and be patient. Oh, my international sailing licence came in the post, so I’m all square if I meet the police again. Also, I got my flight refund and the bank details to pay for the damage to the other boat, which I’ll do today.

I felt close to tears again in the last phase of my workout, thoughts in the usual circle of feeling trapped by my own (past) choices and not being able to see how I can live the life I want, whilst providing value.

But I was full of energy with my new 90 day Roadmap challenge from Else Society – the only thing now is finding an accountability Buddy – we are all supposed to do this, but I have asked a few times, as have others, and very few seem to have actually managed to pair up – which I find a shame. I might have to be my own Buddy, or, since my BF wants to change his life (though he is not in any group/scheme), we can be each others. I just need the feeling that someone knows what I am doing to overhaul my life and cares – and to be that help and support for someone else. Don’t we all? I suspect I need a full-on Life Coach, I can’t expect the level of involvement and support across my whole life from anyone else. But that is quite a research task to find the right one…


Frantic Friday

So, today I dodged a scam bullet (what was I thinking? But did due diligence and came up sane, thankfully), spoke to some experts, who didn’t have to give me their time for free, but did, great conversation. As a result of that I got into action keeping my company open (it’s owed some money) and filing the proper paperwork, I’ve set up an address service for the company (why the hell I didn’t I do that last year?) and filled in the form to change the company address, so that I can then file the missing paperwork. The authorities were polite, prompt, and gave me 28 days to sort it (which they didn’t have to). A lot, for a company I plan to shut down as soon as I get back the money owed.

I’ve decided to get the refund on my cancelled flights, and confirmed that by email. Sad to not meet with my friends in Nashville, but maybe I can make a longer trip next year.

I also had the estimate for the repair of the other boat that I collided with last month – comes to about 2/3 of that flight refund. Guess I was right to take the refund!

I am at the stage where I have about 10k cash “burning a hole in my pocket” (even besides the stash set aside for lawyers!) so I am vaugely feeling around for 5 year-type investments. What I would like to do is the German version of Funding Circle, but without an auto portfolio manager (like the UK version has) it feels like too much work – manually setting up and managing 100+ small loans including reinvestment of repaid capital + interest). I am reluctant to increase my P2P lending as that would be too much in one basket and too tied to the economies of a few countries. I am not sure what else is on my radar … Not quite got enough to go for property (yet). Could do a “german small / med businesses fund” with the bank that looks like it has a solid track record… or a fund of the biggies… maybe a mix (REALLY shame I didn’t do that last year!!). I’m after a good mix of boring and decent profit. A property based fund was extremely dull in terms of performance low return (half of FC) – but totally linear over time. Super reliable.

Money eh? A nice problem to have, I used to say…not so sure now – but it is very useful – especially when used to buy training/expand knowledge…

Been browsing property in Spain (not yet found a good website with good places) and also summerhouses in Germany. One in Germany that attracts me seems to be in nature, no power, water only from the river :-). In the South East… Dirt cheap, but I’d need a vehicle to get there…. (Can hire, or get motorbike fixed or a new one).

I also phoned to confirm that my updated sailing licence is in the post, and phoned my mother to get my new telephone banking passcode. I got my 2 days holiday, so I’m off work (been going really well) till Wednesday! Whoo hoo!

A super busy day, but methodically sorting lots of my “problems”, and everything is rolling with me, the other people are all ( even the least likely), on my side, and I’m buzzing with possibilities. Thank you! Thank you!

Show me how to live

Right now, it all feels too much. A lack of sleep does not help, but I have issues with my ongoing investment saga, issue where either I or the accountant/investment managers forgot to do something really important, issues with online banking, a vauge bug description and no user reply. I am tired of thinking I will never get comfortable or confident enough in German to do what I do – any of what I do. Of feeling that I am not doing well enough for anyone. Ever.

I am tired of dealing with money, tired of having to know when to trust, and I am tired of working. “everybody has to work” but I am tired of it all. Of doing what other people want, of not having any idea what I would do if no-one was telling me what to do – not that makes any money, anyway. Of feeling inadequate because I cannot see how to turn the things I do want to do into money – I don’t want to do the writing about it, or dreaming up some course based on what I am doing, or some coaching, or teaching or any of that- and most definitely not the marketing, the chasing business. I want to do something I can *definitely* do. I want to be one of those people who does something(s) so well, they don’t have to look for work, it comes to them .- and they can do as little or as much of it as they like.

I am tired of sounding like a whiner.

But there is some fundamental problem with me, has always been there. I can bury it, and play along with the world, sometimes for long periods. But I have never solved this issue. I escaped, but could not stay escaped. And after that, the moment I had enough funds to maybe break it again – I got too greedy-lazy and wanted to pay someone else to do the work of making it earn for me – which is not working out as expected/hoped.

How do I live? Live, not chase money, not chase approval, not worry about what I can do, but live, just live…

Or do none of us get to do that? Are we unlike every other living thing on this planet? If so, why?

P.S. by the end of the day, problems were at least further forward, and I felt a bit more hope and light. Let’s see how it all turns out.

Round and round

Round The Island, rainy start, scorching finish. A holiday long weekend on someone else’s boat. Back on the sea, even if it’s only the Solent. Connected to the wide ocean, the routes to everywhere laid out before me. The lake at home seems even smaller, constricting. Boats are small, the possibilities huge. All the sky and sea.

Feeling trapped again on that bus to wherever, the one we’re all on, that doesn’t stop until it gets to the terminus. Staring out the window, at the other passengers, distracting themselves with the games on their phones, knowing those would never satisfy me. Just passing time, no aim, no meaning, just waiting, waiting to get off at the end.


This morning was the 2nd time in a row that I ended up crying in the gym. Not from a hard workout – just like last week, when the same thing happened, it was on my bodyweight-only day. I’m not sure what sets it off.

Memories of Dutch fishing boats in the sun, a misty dawn at Brunsbüttel, waiting for the canal to open. Surely that’s my real life? What’s this I find myself in here and now?

Or is it my one-legged Russian deadlifts really hammering home how damaged my body is, how slow and uncertain my efforts towards recovery are? My right hip, hamstring and calf are slack and weak (except the external rotator), and have always been prone to hideous cramp unless I’m careful. My left side is strong (except the external rotator) but stiff. If it’s getting better, it’s extremely slowly.

How did I let myself get into this state? Maybe that’s the common factor. Grief over all that I want to have again. Mind, body – a life lived free.

Whatever sets it off, there I am, lying on my mat in the corner, tears running secretly into my hair, or onto my towel, as I lie face down to do extension work. Fortunately, I am out of direct sight of anyone else, because what on earth do you DO when someone is crying in a public space – I would not want to inflict that dilemma on anyone. Or maybe I fear trying to explain, even to sympathetic ears, what I don’t myself understand.

Yesterday, I got up at 6, went to the gym (squat day), ate breakfast on the tram (flat peaches, plums, mixed nuts), read a technical book in German on the train (HTML/CSS/JS), walked past the big lake to work, where I got a self contained piece of work done and out to the test server, with a little help from my colleague’s deep knowledge of our data, ticking the “interact with colleagues and demonstrate that I value their skills and knowledge” box that is my refinement of the management’s wishes – as well as updating my documentation (tick another box). Ate well (leftover white bean Thai curry, and then later, kidney bean salad). Came home (reading fiction/bit of email/facebook), cooked and ate dinner (melon, then mixed veg stir fry with sprouted lentils), did a pile of dishes, put on a washing, did my Business German homework ready for class tomorrow night, checked in and downloaded my boarding passes for my trip to the UK on Thursday (Round The Island boat race), set up another washing, talked with my boyfriend when he got back about 9:45, fell asleep to an old episode of Game of Thrones – and woke up to hang up the 2nd washing (with help) then go to bed…

I can’t fault the day, I can’t fault my efforts. I would not say I’m unhappy, in general. So why the tears?

At least it’s feeling something, I suppose there’s that.

Looking forward?

There’s got to be more than this. Than getting by, than comfort – but no purpose. Than feeling formless guilt at not doing more to “save the world”, raise the group consciousness, fight the forces of evil that attempt to dehumanise us all – pick your worthy quest. Than then realising that’s ego talking and who am I , are you, are we to think we’re that important?

Planning for the future? Well, either there’s one or other imminent economic, environmental or social disaster, war and conflict, massive change … How can we? Assume “business as (pretty much) usual”, and grind away at earning and investing until we can buy ourselves “free”? If our time is shorter than we calculate – what a waste. Assume the opposite and recklessly and impatiently pursue the “now”, leaving us unstuck when we do end up much older in a world that’s really much the same – only now we’ve no material resources left?

Restless. Impatient. Needing an aim, needing to feel that there’s something do-able that’s worth doing. “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”, they say. But what if “good enough” just does not FEEL that, no matter the logical efforts of our minds? Take a spiritual path? Hope that raising our own consciousness works like “trickle down” theory in economics, and thereby helps the world, nature, the Universe? Thing is, “trickle down” in economics is kinda bollocks, it doesn’t seem to work (human nature gets in the way?). Is it any more valid in the spiritual realm?

I don’t know, I don’t know. What’s to look forward to? I feel disconnected.

Return of the Braingremlins

(Cuckoo Wasp | by jciv)

I’m terrible at Sundays. Especially German Sundays, where noise regulations mean you can’t use power tools and everything except bakers and restaurants is shut. Great for the shop workers, though, I do have to give it that. But an enforced day of “rest” is not a thing that sits easy with me. My German friends all tell me “but you need a day to do nothing, to relax and recharge” sorry peeps, I’m a different beastie, doing nothing is absolutely NOT relaxing for me. My brain goes into overdrive, and usually into the pit of me not knowing what to do with my life. :-(.  I don’t know why, it’s just a Sunday thing.

I’ve got ideas. I’ve got things I intellectually want to do – to be clear, we are talking Life here, not Sunday – but, but, but … Are they the “right” things? What I’m *meant* to do?

I’d love to go off on my wee boat (suitably “beefed up” in safety terms) for a year on the Inland waterways (probably from Germany down to the Netherlands, where there’s an extensive​ “mast up” route covering most of the way). Then learn to build a wooden boat, a proper small sea boat. Then build that boat. Then go exploring in THAT boat until I’ve had enough. Then build some off-grid self-sufficient place deep in nature and live there. 

Lots of time, expense, effort. Leaving everyone I know and love behind, disrupting their lives, in some cases materially. 

The first stage is absolutely do-able IF I’m willing to make those sacrifices. But doing that means running down my savings (not a huge issue), and disrupting my ability to earn. (rather bigger). It does not set me up well for the subsequent goals. It threatens (perhaps) my continuing residency in Germany – which may be vital in my quest to remain an EU citizen after Brexit. It most likely kills my relationship. 

Also – It’s the dream I already had –  that I had with twice the manpower and resources and half the expenses (because, now, healthcare, and possible huge investment losses) . I also had much more “go anywhere” boat. Nevertheless I did not last at that, back then, when I was much more practiced at sailing (but I’m getting back to that, this summer). So there’s doubt. Is it persistence – or the madness of repeating the same thing expecting a different result?

How do I support myself financially through all this? My braingremlins have a stack of negatives for every suggestion. Or reasons that I need further training before I can (maybe) have the means/abilities/confidence. They drive me with discontent, but then put up every roadblock they can. If I had it in me to hate, I’d hate them.

I’m tired of this all going round in my head. I long for someone who really knows me, and cares about my future, to help me think. Help me decide, help me plan. It would be a big ask, and I’m not sure what I’ve done that would mean that I deserve that help – from anyone. I need some belief, some buy-in, some positive feedback loop to build the small intellectual urge to a passionate excitement. How do I find that? How do I earn it? How do I feel that I deserve that?