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I’ve been very quiet on the blog this month! I haven’t had anything to say, and I haven’t even taken any photographs – at least nothing worth sharing. But it’s the last full week of the month, so I guess it’s time to share how I’ve been doing with my word of the year, right?

So – how have I been doing with CALM?

Did I just say CALM? This February? 😂😂😂

Let me laugh out loud! And prepare for occasional bad language.

The month started with another somewhat upsetting “situation” that I had to be involved in. I was miserable for days, feeling “Why do people have to involve me in this shit?” I only want a quiet life, poking in my garden, playing some tunes, taking photographs, working. Staying out of drama. But I guess occasional drama is unavoidable if you’re involved in things that include… people.

However, if people involve me in discussions it must mean they think I’m someone of importance. That must be a good thing. Or at least it’s a good thing to think positively! Hahaha.

After this, the month was about mood swings, cold weather, too many projects (although I managed to convince myself that it’s all going to be ok in the end), three storms in a week, and then we hired a company to have parts of our roof repaired.

I expected them to come later in the spring, because the weather is more stable then. But they came this week. The weather was dry, so that was fine, although I worried about having people on the roof in such windy weather.

While I sat with my Italian class on Zoom, clouds came on and it started raining. A LOT. After a while, I started hearing disturbing sounds. Like if the Mississippi river was suddenly flowing on top of your head, over a roof of paper. Then, I heard a dripping sound. And I realised that water was dripping down from the ceiling onto the shelf behind me. Then I heard water coming down elsewhere. I left my Zoom meeting in half-panic and ran to assess the disaster.

Water came down in masses in the bedroom and in the sitting room. I was so thankful our musical instruments, computers, cameras, and whatnot were safe! But half of Ireland’s rainfall seemed to be coming down on my floor. I ran to collect pots, containers, and towels.

Apparently, when they opened the roof, the timber structure turned out to be very bad and they needed to replace it. One of the lads had to go away to collect material, and while he was away (and parts of the roof were open), the buckets of rain came. Nobody could have foreseen this – the only thing I have to complain about, I guess, is that they didn’t check the weather forecast more locally (the nearest town is NOT accurate enough in these areas!).

In addition, it turned out that the entire roof needs fixing, and it will take most of our savings for the house. So… calm? Not so much.

At least we’ll have a fresh roof. I guess, if this hadn’t happened, maybe a storm would have created an even worse disaster.

We will be ok but will need to reorder our plans for what to do with the house.

Yesterday, they took down an old chimney, and I practised the concertina to compensate for the noise.

Our garden this week

Then we have the Russia situation. The only thing I can say is that I’m ignoring news and media as much as possible because that’s the only way to remain somewhat calm.

Should these word of the year updates always be happy and positive? That’s possible, but then there’s the thing called real life. So let’s just say f*** off, February, and bring on March.

Having said this, I have done what I could to remain as calm as possible throughout this. It’s all added up in two words – sarcasm and music. While sarcasm may not create that true calm, it is a method to cope and to create some temporary calm while you’re still in the storm. Remember, you can’t control everything but you can control how you choose to react to things. So I laugh about the misery (what else is there to do?!), chat with like-minded people about it, and then sing about it. Isn’t it a great thing that I’m into bluegrass? There is a song for every sort of misery in existence!

Finally some things that gave… calm!

I’m happy to be back at the concertina, and after my intense month with learning Tony Rice solos, I’ve now once and for all learned how to focus on practice, and learned that it can work wonders. My concertina friend in California and I decided to have regular “concertina dates” on Zoom to chat about concertinas, life, and play some tunes. This will be fabulous for my inspiration! I’m learning “Munster buttermilk” for next week. Not finding the inspiration to play the concertina has been a bit of a stress for me, so coming back to it certainly creates some calm.

We had dinner with friends in our house, for the first time since 2019. It was on my birthday, and we had planned it for a while but of course, never knew if we would be able to go ahead with it. What a wonderful birthday celebration! Couldn’t have had it better. It felt like… normal! Every normal thing creates a sense of calm. I love normal!

Something exciting… the owner of a pub in town, who is a friend, has asked us to take some gigs (which in that pub can mean gigs OR lead a session) this summer. That will be so much fun! Of course, it’s scary. I don’t know what’s most scary – to actually play for a crowd or to be in a crowded pub on a Saturday night when Covid is still around. But I’ve decided to not worry about either. I have a couple of months to improve what I do, I’m fully vaccinated and boostered, may even have received a 4th shot (hopefully!), and even if I get Covid from it, at least I will have played my first gigs. Life is short and has been shitty for two years so I’m going to enjoy this. Of course, as we all know, a lot can happen in these months, but I’m at least going to plan to enjoy it!

Something very positive that happened in February, and that definitely has created some calm, is that we finally rebuilt my home office. We got some shelving units from IKEA and we’ve thrown out the old closet. I have a new desk and will use the old one for indoor photography. My new workplace is lovely and everything is in much better order. I no longer have the window behind me so it finally suits for Zoom meetings – I used to always have backlight and looked horrible, or had to sit in another room. In addition, sitting by the window had the effect that on sunny days, I couldn’t work after 2 pm because I couldn’t see the screen!

This may not be tidy for you. But to me, this is fabulously clean and nice and I love it. Welcome to real life where you need to store things! The light tent to the left is normally on my old desk or folded and hidden somewhere, and I hope to get rid of the guest beds when we re-do the wardrobe in the bedroom.

Discover more bloggers and their words of the year in the link-up hosted by Deb, Donna, Sue, and Jo.

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Comments:

  • 25th February 2022

    Susanne, I am sure you are relieved that February is over and March is on the horizon. I hope life looks more like you envisioned when you chose calm as your WOTY. Good luck with the pub gig.

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  • 25th February 2022

    I’m so sorry about your roof. Part of my husband’s and my roof also got damaged by the storm last week, but thankfully it got fixed (for now). I am also very sorry about the drama early in the month that people had to involve you in. However, I am so happy you are able to distract yourself by playing the concertina. I don’t think I’ve ever heard about that instrument. Either that or it is called very differently in Dutch. Hope your March is much better than February was!

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  • 25th February 2022

    I’m not commenting about the roof…(although I suppose I just did) and I’m not mentioning Russia (but again I just did) but yay to the organised office, super yay to the gig and happy belated birthday to you. Thanks for linking up!

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  • 26th February 2022

    Hi, Susanne – Thank you for linking up with us. Your home office looks awesome.
    Bring on March!!! (It truly is almost here). 😀

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  • 26th February 2022

    Oh dear I am not calm when I make a comment but don’t UNcheck that box at the bottom.

    Now, where was I?

    I am sorry it’s been such a non-calm kind of time but look at the progress you are making..Old houses = older things needing repair and our $$. Sigh. I thought your music and work space looked good.
    Denyse

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  • 26th February 2022

    Gosh a lot happened in February! Hope March is more calm.

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  • 27th February 2022

    Hi Susanne, I’ve been ignoring the news lately too but it has a way of seeping into life eventually doesn’t it? Not good about your roof at all and I can imagine that being calm wasn’t your first thought at the time. I agree not every monthly update has to be positive but it has to be authentic and yours was just that! Thanks for joining up with us and hoping March is better for you!

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  • 27th February 2022

    Sorry to read about the rain flood while your roof was under repair. Your office looks tidy and awesome. Happy belated birthday and congrats on your pub gigs. Wishing you a much calmer March!

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  • 28th February 2022

    Hi Susanne – the roof incident would have stressed me out BIG time! Water everywhere and a huge bill at the end of it all – I think you sound remarkably calm in comparison! Love your new office and wow you have a lot of musical intruments! Congrats on the gig and I bet you’re really excited – scary but great at the same time.

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  • 28th February 2022

    I am so sorry about the roof situation! No one could stay completely calm in a situation like that! I am happy that you are getting a new roof. A new roof lasts for decades, you’ll never have to worry about that again. Soon it will be spring and you can spend time in your very own garden 🙂 Cheers to a wonderful March!

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  • 1st March 2022

    Happy belated birthday, Suzanne. I am so happy that you were able to celebrate with friends. And congratulations on the upcoming gigs. That’s fantastic! Life is not always calm, but as you noted learning to stay calm in the storm is the goal. Of course, for me at least, remaining calm is an ongoing practice, not a destination. Sometimes along the way, you do have to swear, cry, or laugh hysterically to get back to any semblance of calm. And I’d say you practiced enough during February. May March be a little easier on you.

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  • 12th March 2022

    Oh, Susanne. As you know (hopefully, from my email), I can’t even begin to fathom how awful this was for you. So unexpected – literally flooding into your life as you were starting to hope for more calm. For the record, I think your response was remarkably calm – bad language can go a long way towards expressing frustration and annoyance, if one is so inclined – and you have such a good outlook for the future. A new roof – excellent. Now it should not blow away in a future storm. 🙂

    And I LOVE that you will be playing a gig/session! Go, you! That’s fantastic! Not to mention, bringing the concertina out of exile. To see you grow in your confidence in your music has been inspiring these last months.

    I hope there are many more moments of calm in the weeks to come, and that your joy-spotting helps you remember that there is good, among the floods and world news and, well, “everything else”. (and PS, I LOVE your office. So very, very European. I aspire to have similar style but alas, don’t think I’m capable of producing such a calm and ordered space myself… )

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      • 15th March 2022

        Completely agree with you on the tidiness aspect. My problem is, I sometimes get what my mother calls “messy build-up”, which is just a catch-all term for when a surface/location gets, well, cluttered. And when that happens I cannot concentrate until I deal with it. Which means there are some very early mornings – when I am sitting down to work – and instead I find myself cleaning out the pen/paper holder on my desk. And yes, I’m completely overwhelmed right now, too. There are so many things at important stages – and so many people I cannot let down – that prioritizing seems impossible some days. (Not to mention, the mental toll of trying to keep everything moving forward… sigh.) So I hear you, and I am right there with you (albeit across an ocean and then half a continent away…I guess I’m there with you in spirit? :>).

        Do take care. I hope that the payments start to roll in and the projects are all wrapped up soon, so you can get your LIFE back! <3

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