After feeling for weeks that I was running on empty cylinders, & discussing this with the Head of my Department, I decided to take yesterday off from work for a much-needed self-care day. I hadn’t realised until I went to submit my leave application, that since starting working from home in March, I had not taken any leave apart for medical appointments, & public holidays. I tell clients & colleagues to look after themselves & the importance of self-care, I just wasn’t following my own advice.
When COVID-19 restrictions were first introduced to Melbourne & Australia in March, & my flights to Germany for May started to be cancelled, I deferred my leave, with the idea to still head overseas when the situation calmed down. Who was to know how the rest of the year was to unfold, but the need to take time off to recharge is something I will need to be more aware of in the future.
So how did I spend my self-care day?
Yesterday was my birthday, & today 30 years ago Germany reunified. It’s a time I’ll never forget as it was the day after my 18th birthday!
A time when I felt there was real hope for the world to come together & work in peace. (Now is a time when we definitely need to unite and work together to support each other through these turbulent times). Hence why I decided to combine my birthday & acknowledging this defining moment in time with my own iso for 1 Loktoberfest, since I can’t be in Germany at the moment.
I loved my time living in Münster, Nord-Rhein Westphalia & how it truly felt like I had found my spiritual home. I won’t deny if I could be back living in Germany now, it would be very tempting. At the start of the year I’d been looking forward to not only visiting Germany in May for my holiday, but also had hoped to be in Berlin right now for work.
Loktoberfest started off with brunch consisting of Bavarian weißwurst & mustard, Brezel, sauerkraut for breakfast (so long as you have it before the clock strikes noon). Served with bier (I went with a radler aka shandy)
I was challenged last year at work by a colleague, who is a French linguist to dress this year in a dirndl, whilst handing out steins of bier (outside of work hours for a social activity). I didn’t get to do that face to face this year, but lived up to my end of the challenge, & celebrated the end of the week with my team virtually, whilst wearing my dirndl (I had planned to get an authentic one in May when I should have been in Germany), with stein of radler in hand as I wasn’t working.
I work with a great team who share a similar sense of humour. I had earlier in the week set the theme for our catch-up session as “come dressed for where you would like to be”. They didn’t disappoint me. We had people dressed for Hawaii, the beach, camping, Fiji, and although someone denies this, most of us are secretly convinced they were dressed for a trip to the moon. I know globally, the impact of COVID has been tough if not devastating on people, here in Melbourne continued forced lockdown has felt really tough the second time round. I’m so glad that I have such a supportive team, who look out for each other, & it was fantastic having them help me celebrate my birthday albeit remotely.
Mandatory loktoberfest mood music
Following on from my dirndl wearing team zoom catch up, Apfestrudel & Flammkuchen have been on the menu & a casual evening on the sofa watching some movies.
Two movies I had to add to the itinerary are Bornholmer Strasse & Goodbye Lennin.
I love how Bornholmer Strasse starts with a dog crossing from West Berlin to the east, & the hilarity of trying to ‘process’ it. The film does provide a moving insight interspersed with a light approach, into the conflicting emotions that the border guards must have gone through on the night that the gate was opened. Charly Hübner portrays the character of Harald Schäfer (based on Harald Jäger), who made the decision to disobey orders & open the Bornholmer Strasse crossing of the Berlin wall on 09 Nov 1989 so well. If you get the chance to see the movie, I highly recommend it. Whilst it moved me to tears at times (it made me feel like I was experiencing that moment), it also makes me laugh, especially the interactions between the different characters.
Goodbye Lennin is a favourite of mine and I was first introduced to it way back in 2003. From start to end I just love the extent Alex goes to in an attempt to recreate East Berlin life after the Berlin wall came down. Whenever I’m feeling down, I know Goodbye Lennin will always cheer me up.
All in all, iso Loktoberfest is moving along very nicely, & will continue over the weekend. I had a choice to either feel sorry for myself for not being where I wanted to be, or kick up my heels and make the most of this weekend. It really has made a positive impact on recharging my batteries and am looking forward to work on Monday.