A bit of a short one today.
I got my test results yesterday morning, or Wednesday late at night if you prefer, and I’m not infected with COVID-19. A lot of people have expressed relief for me, but to be honest I wouldn’t have been shattered if it would have been the dreaded virus. I was virtually symptom free yesterday anyway and I would’ve only had to be inside untill today according to official guidelines. It would have meant that I would have started making antibodies in my system which could have turned into me donating blood to people who are very bad off with the virus. But it turns out that it was probably a common cold, so there’s that. I went out yesterday to the supermarket. It was nice to step foot outside of my apartment again after 5 days of being “locked up” but otherwise not much has changed in my situation.
My two week vacation has come to an end and this Monday I will return to my working from home schedule. I have to say that being at home alone all the time at some point gets to me and as such I’ve been struggling a bit with a funk the past week. I miss real life interactions with people a lot, I miss going to the pool without all the hassle and to the gym without having to reserve a spot in advance. I just really wish that things would’ve been blown over by now but it doesn’t look like the end is in sight for a long time yet. It’s bringing me down and as a result I’m struggling with myself a lot these days. Which in itself is always hard to admit because I don’t want to bother others with my inner demons.
As result I’ve been really low on my energy, or spoons as some other bloggers call it, and I need to find a way to get out of this mood before it takes me over completely. Luckily one of the events I’m looking forwards to every year, the League of Legends World Championship, has started today and as such I will have my days filled with a lot of League of Legends the coming 5-6 weeks. So that should keep me atleast a bit occupied. For now though it’s time to enjoy the final few days of no work obligations before the horror starts back up on Monday. And what better way than to do so with some games?
They say that time flies when you’re having fun. It’s not a wrong saying but time seems to fly by in general these days. I blinked and my two week vacation was done. I went to my cabin in the woods. I’ve relaxed. I did a small project that was sort of related to work but not really and I’ve slipped back into the habit of reading a bit every day.
I managed to get my Warrior to level 80 in Final Fantasy XIV and I’m turning my attention towards leveling Dark Knight now. Being a tank aswell I’m sure I’ll have that up to 80 in no time and then it’s just Gunbreaker left.
I’ve been poking about in World of Warcraft the most on my Warrior. I’ve been diligently doing my dailies on her and managed to get the Uldum Accord reputation up to Exalted, which means I can drop doing those dailies (yay!) and only have the Rajani reputation left to get to Exalted… I’m only 5k reputation off that so I think I can get to it next week maybe.
With working on these reputations I realized I wasn’t too far off the 100 reputations to Exalted achievement. I went back to Desolace to bump up the centaur reputations to Exalted there and I’m working on the Sha’tari Defense reputation now that we have Warlords of Draenor timewalking up. If I can finish that up and get Exalted with the Rajani I only have one more reputation left. Unfortunately that one will require some grinding on my end since it’s one of the goblin town reputations (Gadgetzan) and I’m about 5k off there aswell… And the only way to get that up is to repeatedly kill pirates in Tanaris that give 5 reputation per kill. I kill them pretty fast but it’s 200 kills for 1k rep so that means that I’ll have to kill around 1000 mobs to get where I need to be. I could sit down for a day and grind it out but I’m not that masochistic so I’m taking 30 minutes here and there to dedicate to that grind.
I’m not sure how to feel about these two weeks off. I did what I wanted to do in regards to taking a weekend away from my house and I managed to read through two full books, but on the gaming front and on the relaxation front I’m not that happy. I do feel more relaxed than I have been in a long time, but I’m also still somewhat restless and dreading to go back to work on Monday. In the gaming world I’ve been mostly hopping back and forth between games but never sat down to play through something properly. I spent most of my time poking around on WoW and chasing silly goals and I did a light leveling bit on FFXIV but that’s mostly it. I didn’t touch Ratchet & Clank and I didn’t touch the Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
I didn’t even manage to keep up with my weekly planner, something I have been doing since I got it and it kind of stings. Luckily I’ll have a rematch next week which I will be planning out tomorrow.. But it still doesn’t sit quite right with me.
If anything it shows me I’m still far away from forming good habits and having a clear structure to my days. Going back to work may help a bit in that regard but I struggle with making “optimal use” of my free time. I tend to spend a lot of time just lounging on the couch and staring into the abyss or the tv while time ticks away and it annoys me. I want to be more productive and I want to have more fun doing things after work but I’m just struggling to motivate myself to get there.
For now though it’s time that I get a good night’s sleep and then have my final day of no work that’s probably filled with doing chores tomorrow… I can’t wait till my next two weeks off.
Vacation has been treating me well. It’s taken a few days to wind down and not feel completely exhausted, 5 to be precise, and I’ve been enjoying the stress free life. A part of me is curious how my team is doing without me but I need to learn to let go, so I’m doing exactly that.
I’ve been spending a lot of time sleeping, doing as little as possible and gaming. Especially World of Warcraft has seen a lot of love the past few days with me kind of abandoning the gold grind for a bit and instead hunting achievements on my Warrior. The army of alts that I’ve been using to grind gold have kind of worn me out and as such it was nice to put that on hold and just play my Warrior and not worry about running EVERYTHING because I feel like I have to. We still do our weekly heroic Ny’alotha clear and I’m helping people with some Mythic+ keys but overall I’m noticing that my playtime has gone down significantly and my focus has shifted to other things.
Like playing Final Fantasy XIV! The next patch, 5.3, is due to land on August 11th. I managed to get the Ixion mount that I had been wanting from the Moogle Tome Event today so I’m essentially done with that for now. My Warrior is sitting at level 78 and I managed to unlock two more Relic Weapons for my Dragoon and Bard respectively. I love that they only take 1000 Tomestones of Poetics to unlock since you kind of get those passively if you do roulettes anyway. After my Warrior gets to level 80 I only have Dark Knight and Gunblade left and then I’m done with all my battle jobs. I may turn my attention back to crafting instead then to get all those jobs from 70 to 80 and then I really only have Blue Mage left before I’m officially done with leveling everything.
However those plans need to be put on hold for a few days since I’m leaving for a cabin in the woods tomorrow for a long weekend. I have my bag already packed. I’m taking my Switch and an e-reader and nothing else. I just have to check the air in my tires before I go tomorrow and do a few groceries and then I’m all set. It’s going to be so nice to escape my apartment for a bit and have a “vacation feel” for real, even if it’s only for a few days. I’m planning to keep my phone off for most of the time when I’m there since I just really need to disconnect from social media and everything related to that for a bit. I’m planning on doing some nice walks and maybe dip into the local swimming pool but otherwise it’s just relaxing to the max. The cabin I’m renting is a bit of a luxury one which comes with a bath that also doubles as jacuzzi and a sauna and I’m going to use both. I even finally get to use some of the bathbombs I’ve taken home with me from work!
I’ll come back on Monday afternoon and then I still have the rest of the week off to enjoy untill I go back to work. For now though I’m going to get a good night’s sleep before I do the final round of apartment cleaning tomorrow morning and head off for a few days.
What are you doing this weekend?
This past week has been rough. I’m starting a two week vacation today where I don’t have to do anything for my job and can finally relax for the first time since March. And for longer than a week aswell!
I’ve been looking forward to this for a while because I could seriously feel the burn from work. It’s been crazy with everything that has happened the past four months. The pandemic hitting, suddenly being forced to work from home and having almost no live social interaction for weeks to finally being allowed back into the office again for a few days a week and getting a sense of normalcy back.
Not to mention that it feels like there was an even bigger amount of work piling up than normal and we were going stir crazy with all the projects and last minute jobs that needed to be done.
Two of my coworkers had a few weeks of in the weeks before this and as such a lot of the day to day work had landed on my shoulders since we’re a really small team. In my current position I’m a senior and even though I do help with the day to day stuff I often don’t partake in a lot of recurring work anymore since my focus has shifted towards other things. So having to do my current job and part of the “old” work takes it’s toll after a while. I could feel myself just not being able to care about the work anymore and having an increasingly harder time focusing on just getting stuff done. That’s usually the sign I really need a break so I’m happy to have the coming two weeks to rest up, relax and hopefully tackle some of my backlog of games.
I have planned to take a long weekend getaway to a different part of the country in a bit of a luxury cabin with a sauna and jacuzzi. I’ll be in a very wooded area so I also plan to take a few nice long walks and enjoy the scenery, but mostly I just need a few days away from my regular environment. Being cooped up in my apartment for the last four months hasn’t been the best on my mental health unfortunately, so being able to get away is extremely nice. I’m probably going to pack my e-reader and my switch and just spend a few days in an extremely relaxed state reading and gaming and not being available to anyone.
As for the rest of my vacation plans… I will be attending my cousin’s wedding, in my country the COVID-19 restrictions have been slowly lifted so this is possible again, and otherwise it will hopefully be a lot of sleeping in and gaming and then hopefully be all fresh and happy to go back to work!
I’ve been trying to get more structure in my life. When I was still in school and college I would keep a weekly agenda for all my lessons and homework and what not. They were fun and themed and I loved picking out a new one every new school year.
Ever since that part of my life is over I’ve tried to keep agendas but never seemed to be able to keep at it. They felt boring and the horizontal weekly format wasn’t working for me anymore and as such I stopped keeping track of my stuff on paper and instead opted to keep everything on my phone.
I tried keeping a bullet journal but it was a bit too free form. I’m not that creative and I felt like I couldn’t make good use of it. I try keeping a diary sometimes or just a daily note of what I did that day but those aren’t the long lasting type either. So I just gave up on the whole idea.
But then I saw this Youtube video by Chestnut and suddenly an entire world opened up to me. It looked so much fun to use a planner like that and it will finally help me get some planning and structure to my day so I splurged on a planner, a bunch of planner stickers and I made my first weekly spread!
It’s my first spread so I got pretty creative with it but I’m already thinking about what I can do differently in the next week. I also should have saved some of the full box stickers for another week but you live and you learn I guess.
I really like this planner so far. It allows me to track if I get enough hydration during the week. It helps me track habits that I’m trying to form, like taking a walk every day and taking care of my teeth better. I am planning my meals ahead, although I’ll probably move that particular box to the notes side next week. It helps me track important things and I can decorate to my heart’s content.
I’ll probably do a weekly “plan with me” post on Tuesdays, seeing as I want to get a bit more scheduled with posting here aswell. Then I can show off my spreads and fill you all in how I did with the old spread aswell.
So far I’m experimenting a lot and having fun with it so I hope this won’t be a phase but something that sticks for longer and helps me get a bit more of a grip on my life.
Mondays. Usually they are the start of the new work week and the harbinger of another five days of constantly having to answer questions. Not today though. Today it was a day of sleeping in, cooking a nice meal and starting the big spring cleaning process that I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of weeks now. The weekends are always too short to do projects like this though so it’s nice that I have more time now to really dive into all the stuff I’ve been hoarding and, hopefully, getting rid of a lot of it.
Today I started with personal hygiene and care products. Working at the head office of a big drugstore chain has gotten me a lot of free stuff on the make-up, shower, perfume and body care spectrum. A lot of stuff that I don’t use or that has gone bad over the years of not using it up. I dove into two bags and a crate of the stuff and ended up with two bags full of things that I could throw out. Body creams and sunblock gone bad. Perfumes that were free samples but smelled absolutely horrible. Hairsprays that didn’t really work anymore and the list goes on. It felt liberating throwing everything out and now I’m left with a crate of stuff that I actually use and keep in my bathroom. It’s mostly shampoo/conditioner, shower gels and foams, body care products and some toothpaste. I’m prepared for summer with two different types of sunblock and some after sun. I also own a ton of facial cleansing products since I like to clean my face before I go to bed and put night cream on so I feel clean and hydrated in the morning.
I notice that next to working towards a cleaner and less cluttered house, it’s also decluttering my brain. Not having to be annoyed at random bags in my bedroom anymore feels really nice. Being left with stuff that I know that I will actually use is even nicer. I don’t want to say that I’m a minimalist, because I’m really not, but I don’t want to take stuff home with me anymore that I know I won’t use that someone else actually will. So now I’m left with the necessities and it’s making me happy.
I also realized that I’ve owned Animal Crossing for more than 10 days on my Switch now which means that I can actually see how much time I’ve put into the game so far. According to my Switch it’s somewhere between 15 and 20 hours. Which means I’m playing a little over an hour each day and that sounds about right. I’m actually not really actively working towards anything right now. I’m mostly just running around my island and making sure I dig up my fossils every day aswell as find the money rock and do some fishing and bug catching. I guess I’m aiming to get the next installment of my house paid so I can upgrade again and start making some individual themed rooms instead of the one big room I have now.
I’m kind of amazed with how other people have shaped their island by all the pictures I see on Reddit and Twitter. I know a lot of people do “time traveling” to unlock stuff. Which basically means they’ve been tampering with their date and time settings on their Switch. Personally I don’t feel the need for that and instead am just doing my own thing. Which is fine aswell.
I’m not sure why I suddenly feel the need to blog so much. Maybe without my work I finally have the headspace to focus on other things. If I had more than one week off I would have considered joining Blapril as active participant since it seems like writing is coming much more naturally now that I have the time. However since I have only one week off and my work will probably be slightly crazy as I get back to it I’m going to shy away from Blapril and just do what I feel like in the moment. No stress. No commitment. It’s nice for a bit.
There’s currently so much stuff going on in my (gaming) life that I finally found the need to blog again, even if it’s just to write everything down so that it’s out of my head.
First off a small update about my friend. At this point we are still mostly in the dark. She’s scheduled for an MRI scan as soon as possible so they can determine the size of the tumor and whether or not it has spread. At this point in time everyone is hoping for the best but bracing themselves for the worst outcome. It’s been hard, especially because there’s nothing I can say to her that she hasn’t heard dozens of times already in the last few days. I guess this is where I thank Dutch healthcare and our healthcare insurance system since whatever happens it won’t ruin her financially on top of everything else. I’ll periodically post small updates like these since I mostly just need to get it out of my head before it drives me insane.
Now on to happier stuff. As I write this post I’m feeling absolutely exhausted but in a good way. I’ve been feeling sore all over from my workout session from yesterday and I’m enjoying having an evening off. It’s been a bit of a brutal week for someone who has kind of gotten used to just sitting down at night and not doing anything else. So far I’ve been to the gym twice (Saturday afternoon and yesterday evening) and I went swimming once on Wednesday. The swimming was actually more brutal than the gym and it showed me that I’m really extremely out of shape. For now the plan is to go swimming twice a week, Wednesdays and Sundays, and go to the gym twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays. The weekdays are going to be a bit more of a challenge to keep doing I think since I’ll have to motivate myself to drag my ass off the couch after long days of work. On the other hand it combats me going a bit insane just sitting at home every night and doing nothing but watching Netflix or Disney+ and playing games. So yeah, I’m starting to put down a routine and I’m very much motivated to see the routine through in the coming weeks/months. Atleast untill I’m off to Japan at the end of March.
Speaking of Japan.. That’s slowly edging it’s way into my thoughts aswell. I’m in the phase where I want to start researching what I want to see in Tokyo and Kyoto since those are the two cities where we will spending the most time. I know I want to atleast visit the Pokémon Café in Tokyo so I will make a reservation for that somewhere in the coming weeks. Akihabara is high on my list aswell but otherwise I have no idea where I want to go or what I want to do. I’m really interested in maybe visiting some retro game shops aswell as some gacha establishments but I’ll have to see. I stil have around two months to do some planning so that should be more than enough time.
In gaming land I’ve come to realize that trying out new MMO’s isn’t my thing. I just can’t get over outdated graphics, especially since Final Fantasy XIV has spoiled me with the pretty. I also just can’t invest the time to learn an MMO from scratch anymore so I’m going to retire Lord of the Rings Online. Instead I’ve resubbed to World of Warcraft, mostly because I crave comfort gaming right now and WoW has always pretty much been there to fill that need. I’m still deciding on what I want to do with my WoW time right now. I’m either going to explore the new content on my Rogue or level up my Warrior to 120 and get a refresh on the war campaign story before heading off to work on all the new stuff. I have enough time to do both, it’s just a bit hard to have to choose.
In my FFXIV adventures I’ve been doing trust dungeons here and there and my current group of trusts is about halfway there. I think I need to run Dohn Mheg two more times before I can move on to the next dungeon. This is mostly caused by Alisae and Alphinaud being behind on experience compared to Thancred or I would’ve only needed to do the dungeon one more time. Oh well. Due to me leveling via this Trust route I’ve kind of given up getting two more classes to level 80 for this month, instead I want to bring my Bard to level 80 together with my first group of Trusts.
In sidequest land I’ve made some amazing progress and I can officially say that I’ve wiped the map clean of quest markers in all zones now! I think I’m going to spend some time on gathering and crafting this weekend because it’s really relaxing and I’m sure I can get a few classes to 80 if I just sit down for a bit and actually gather and craft.
So yeah, that’s kind of what I’ve been up to this week so far. My mind is still all over the place but I’m trying to keep a positive outlook for my friend while my own life simply goes on. It’s weird but that’s how it is.
I got told today that one of my close friends has cancer. She’s my age (30), has her whole life ahead of her and now the entire world is turned upside down. It’s breast cancer and it’s aggressive. I don’t know yet what the treatment plan is and honestly right now everything is just sinking in.
I don’t really know how what to write down about this situation. My thoughts are nowhere and everywhere at once. It’s scary, it sucks. It makes everything else seems insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It makes me even more focused on getting my own health and life on track again because with one bad spot during a scan can shatter everything.
I want to cry and scream and throw stuff. It’s not fair like nothing in life ever is. Cancer is such a horrible disease. I’ve seen how much of a life destroyer it can be. I almost lost my dad to it in 2012 and it feels like any time I’ve had with him since is borrowed because it will come back at some point and then there’s no more treatment to be had. But I try not to think about that.
I hope against hope that my friend won’t have to give up her breasts. That they can extract the cancerous cells and leave everything else intact. That she won’t need heavy chemo therapy or radiation. That it’s been found on time and her chances of survival are good. But for now we know nothing except that it’s bad and treatment is needed. And now we wait.
As I’m sipping on a coke I figured I should sit down and write something.
Basically the past week has once again been super busy and chaotic when it comes to my job. My team is gradually growing smaller and as such we need everyone to be able to do everything. So my colleagues have been busy learning new tasks and I’ve been keeping an eye out for everything else that needed to be done. Couple that with a week with a ton of meetings and I was happy when it was finally time for the weekend so I could recharge a bit.
On Thursday I went out to dinner with a colleague/friend, which was really necessary to lift my spirits a bit. We had an awesome evening just chatting about everything and unwinding. Being in a warm and cozy restaurant enjoying a three course meal while outside it’s pouring has it’s charm. Luckily by the time we were ready to leave the weather had cleared up so I didn’t get home completely drenched.
Due to me getting home tired a lot I didn’t get much gaming time in. After I’ve finished leveling Ninja to level 80 and using Bard to level up my Trusts a bit I’ve been having a bit of a burn-out on FFXIV. I just didn’t feel like starting up the game at all so my Bard is still sitting at level 73 and otherwise I’ve not been making any progress. However I’m feeling the itch to log on again so I may do a few Trust dungeons today so I can finally leave Holminster Switch behind me and focus on the next dungeon in the bracket.
The game I did start up a few times over the week has been Pokémon Sword. I’ve been diligently working away at filling up my Pokédex and am currently sitting at 177 Pokémon registered. Only 23 more to get to my goal of registering 200 for this month! It’s actually gone surprisingly smooth. I’ve been focusing a lot on just evolving all the Pokémon I already caught and then I moved on to catching, and evolving, new Pokémon. I’ve also been participating in a lot of Max-Raids to try and obtain Pokémon that have Gigantamax forms, instead of just regular Dynamax ones. So far I’ve managed to catch a Gigantamax Snorlax, Butterfree and Coalossal. I’m still on the hunt for more!
In other Pokémon news, I haven’t actually watched the Pokémon direct but was nonetheless hyped when they announced an expansion to the Pokémon Sword and Shield games. Even though I wish that Game Freak wouldn’t be a sell out and just release a complete game from the start I can’t deny that I’m pretty happy to be getting more content to the game. As I’ve mentioned before I think the overall story of Pokémon has been a bit short this time around. Getting two new areas, with a lot more Pokémon introduced to the Pokédex, plus more story content, is exactly what I and others have been hoping for. As such I actually pre-ordered the expansion straight away so it will ready for me to play once June and November hit.
Finally instead of gaming I’ve been spending my time watching Netflix, specifically two documentaries: Don’t Fuck With Cats and Cheer.
The former has just been disturbing on all counts and I’m not sure if I would’ve watched it if I had known exactly what it would be about. It just goes to show that some people are deeply disturbed and should be locked away from society forever.
Cheer however has been a fun documentary to watch. I was a gymnast on a decent level from the age of 6-12. I never made national championships or anything but I was once in the top of my district for my age group aswell as making it to province (state for the US folks I guess?) championship. Where I was quickly desillusioned with my actual skills because my and our club actually performed pretty bad compared to the rest. Oh well. Anyway, Cheer is a documentary following the Navarro College cheerleading squad who have won a lot of titles. They pick out a few of the cheerleaders to follow more personally and basically show the preparation for the big National Championship that is held every year in Daytona Beach, FL. Cheerleading on that level is basically brutal. It’s gymnastics, tumbling, acrobatics and dancing all in one. Serious injuries happen, as shown on the documentary, and getting on the team that actually will perform the act on the championship is a struggle. Due to the stunts and acrobatics trust in your teammates is required. You need to be able to know that you will be caught if you fall. If someone fails to catch you the entire team gets punished. This sounds a bit harsh but is also understandable. You win as team but you also fail as team.
Watching that made me think of my own gymnastic days and give me a sense of missing out in a way. I think if I grew up in the US being a cheerleader would be totally up my alley, even with all the injuries. I think I would’ve absolutely loved it. Now however I can only look at these girls and hope they haven’t destroyed their bodies too much while doing what they love.
All in all it’s been a week of trying to get back into the work rhythm and giving myself plenty of time to rest up and relax after making long days in the office. Next week should be a bit more relaxed and with that I hope that I can get a bit more game time in when I come home!
Hello everyone! It’s me! Just wanted to do a quick post as a sort of checking in on my blog.
I’ve not really felt the need to write anything for the past two weeks. Mostly because holidays and work getting in the way and also because I honestly didn’t know what to write about without spoiling too much for my December in review post that I will put up on New Year’s Eve.
It’s been a weird few weeks with a lot of days off and people not being around. A colleague unexpectedly found a new job, effectively leaving my team with one person short. We’ve also been dealing with all the people having time off around the holidays and as such I’ve had a lot of time where I was the only person who would be around. It was great for a while since it gave me the opportunity to finally get around to cleaning up my overflowing mailbox, I went from 100+ emails down to 8, and checking up on aswell as preparing various projects for the new year. Work is still busy as ever but now that I’ve sort of “caught up” I’m confident that things will work out better in January.
I took January 2nd and 3rd off myself so I effectively have 5 days off starting Tuesday afternoon. Usually we go home earlier on New Year’s Eve so that’s nice. To keep myself entertained for this extended weekend I decided to pick up a hobby I haven’t touched in a long time: puzzling. I bought myself a brand new nice looking 1000 piece puzzle yesterday and I will take full advantage of my five days off to get it finished. I actually started yesterday evening with sorting all of the pieces and putting down the edges. It gives me something to do besides gaming and I’ve noticed that once I get into the zone of things I find the relaxation I’ve been looking for.
All things considered I’ve been relatively doing okay. I’m still very much exhausted although having days off around the holidays have helped me to kind of catch up on much needed sleep and relaxation. I’m still going strong when it comes to leveling stuff up in FFXIV, which I will tell more about in my December in review post, and I’m trying to find a set time every weekend to dedicate to single player games. I’m almost finished with my Pokémon Sword playthrough and it has helped tremendously to just pick a timeframe to start up the game and make progress in it. My best friend already beat the game so I can’t lag behind for too long and after that I may turn my attention to a new game or keep the slot for Pokémon for a while so I can work on completing the Pokédex. A feat which I’ve never accomplished in all the years I’ve been playing Pokémon. I think the closest I’ve gotten is in Pokémon Blue where I caught 146 out of 150 of them and maybe in my Pokémon Moon playthrough where I was on 2/3 of the Pokédex completed. Right now I’m around 80/400 Pokémon caught in Sword so I still have a way to go but it’s not the 1000+ Pokémon I would have to be staring down if they implemented a National Dex.
So yeah. I’m still alive. I’m still gaming. And a true gaming update post is coming up!