The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for February, 2011

>Grumpiness…

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I’ve been grumpy since yesterday and I haven’t been able to get over it yet, but then at one point I really stopped trying. I decided to accept that I was grumpy after I had unsuccessfully tried to change my mood. I came to the realization that grumpiness is a natural state of mind too and that I didn’t necessarily need to get over it. It wasn’t really bothering me all that much. It was going to bother other people more than me and I decided not to worry about that. I didn’t need to be in a good mood for somebody else, after all. 
Today I’ve patiently endured the company of the people who were here and I was as polite as I could be, but I was glad when the last one pulled the front door closed behind her and I could be alone. I’d rather sit here and be grumpy by myself than in the company of someone else. When other people are around you have to act friendly and polite, which you are not at all in the mood for being. I only feel like being kind to the dog and the cat and I guess for now that makes me a misanthrope. 
I have no idea when I’m going to get over this grumpiness. Since I’ve decided not to let it bother me, I’m not going to hold my breath. It will disappear whenever it’s ready to. Whenever what’s bothering me has cleared up. It’s not so bad to go through life grumpy. It gives you a whole new perspective on things. It makes you more cynical and honest and those are not bad things to be nowadays. It’s better than walking around with that eternally cheerful outlook like some kind of Pollyanna. 
I think a sense of guilt motivates us to want to try and get into a better mood, but I don’t feel guilty. I don’t feel that I owe somebody a better mood. Luckily, I don’t have to share my space with anyone, so I’m off the hook. It would be harder if I lived with someone and had to explain my attitude. I would have to be rude to the person I lived with. Now I can be kind to the dog and the cat and not worry about anyone else. 
I must watch the news and find out what’s happening in Libya. It will make me grumpier probably. And the Oscars, oh god, the Oscars… 
Ciao,
Nora

>Pleasantly scented…

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I just spritzed on some of my new perfume in order to be pleasantly scented. I figured there’s nothing wrong with smelling nice in the middle of the night while I’m sitting here all by myself. I do it just for my own pleasure and nobody else’s. I don’t think Tyke and Gandhi care one way or the other. They are sound asleep and oblivious of how I smell. I’m very much aware of it and it puts me in the proper mood to write. It’s made me more alert. 
I should have pleasantly scented candles burning all over the apartment to make the place smell good or constantly walk around with a can of Brise and spray that around. I should make a point to do that regularly and air out the place a lot too. Now that the temperatures are getting milder there’s no excuse not to do that. I do open the bedroom window every day, but I should open several windows and get a draft going. That would be mighty chilling. 
My short hair is really short and I’m still surprised every time I look in the mirror. I try to put on my most friendly face when I look at myself and be as feminine as I can be. I am wearing pretty earrings so I don’t look too butch. It’s better if I view myself in the full length mirror and get a completer picture than when I just see my head. I’m super critical of only my head, but I figure people don’t just see it when they see me. They see all of me. 
I’ve got a good outfit right now that’s flattering and that makes me look skinny. I’m already thinking of the subsequent outfits that I can wear that will be equally good. This one spans the crown and I’m being very careful with it and try not to spill anything on it so it will last a while. The clothes smell of my perfume and when I put them on in the morning it is very pleasant. I’m still wearing my clothes in layers, but soon that won’t be necessary anymore. I’m managing to stay warm, though, and I only need to wear my black leather jacket when I go out. 
Besides getting skinnier, my feet have shrunk too and I’m now a size smaller than I used to be, so I have to take that into account when I order new shoes or boots. I’m wearing thicker socks with my boots, but I’m running out of them. I don’t have enough and am going to have to buy some more. Hopefully they’ll have them at the supermarket and the Exfactor can pick some up for me the next time he is there. It’s amazing what they sell at the supermarket, but it is very convenient. 
Yesterday went by quickly for a Saturday. I didn’t do anything important, but the hours flew by. I do mostly manage to amuse myself and don’t get bored with my own company. There’s always Tyke to have a good time with and to take for a  walk. It was raining for the latter half of the day and it was very cozy inside. I had the lights turned on and watched television and took a nap. I forgot to hang up the laundry to dry and will have to do that today. It was a day on which one would bake cookies if there were people to eat them. Or to bake a cake. I’m not foolish enough to do that, because I would have to eat it all by myself and there’s no way I could handle that.
It’s been a successful day if I’ve managed to achieve serenity and a sense of peacefulness with myself. I do run into obstacles and it’s a challenge to resolve those. I apply whatever magic formulas are necessary. I really should delve into the study of mindful living more, which is the westernized version of Buddhism. So far I do my own made up version of it and customize it to my needs, but I’m sure there’s a lot I could learn. It might be useful to read some literature on it, although you do have to be careful with that as I’m sure there’s a lot of nonsense out there. Probably everybody is an expert. I could be an expert. 
I’m going back to bed for my precious early morning hours of sleep. It’s too early to start the day. The sun’s not even up yet. It’s Sunday and the world will wake up slowly. 
Have a good day.
Ciao,
Nora

>It’s officially Saturday again…

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Having gone to bed early last night, I’m up early this morning too and drinking coffee and having myself a splendid time. I can’t get enough of the early morning hours when everything is so peaceable and serene and I am the only person awake on the block. At least I assume I am. I thought I heard some noise in the stairwell earlier, but all is quiet now. No doubt that was a neighbor coming home from a late night out. The bars don’t close until the wee hours of the morning and there are those stubborn enough to take advantage of that. 
I slept well between clean sheets with both the animals on the bed. This does not leave that much room for me, but I manage. I do wake up with a sore knee, but I would regardless. It always takes me a while to get over it after I’ve gotten up and it takes some time to get comfortable. I think Tyke lies in waiting for me to open my eyes, because he is always looking at me when I do and ready to be greeted. Gandhi is tucked in beside my pillows and looks like a little ball of fur.She doesn’t get up when we do, but keeps right on sleeping. 
The first thing I do when I walk into the living room is turn on the computer and then walk into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. I try to measure the ground coffee properly into the filter so that I don’t make it too strong and I succeeded today. It is just right and I was not too generous like I have a tendency to be. I very often over optimistically put in too much ground coffee and make it much too strong taking away from the good flavor of it. Strong coffee does wake me up, but it makes me thirsty too, causing me to have to drink cold milk for the quenching of it. 
When I first wake up, I always have visions of many good things to eat, but those disappear into the background once I’ve had my first cup of coffee. I could raid the cupboards when I first get up. I want to eat all sorts of decadent things, but I don’t have those in the apartment anyway. Imagine if I had a box of cookies or bonbons. No doubt I would be tempted to eat those. I would be tempted to stuff my mouth with them before I had time to properly think about it. I do have a jar of Nutella and in a weak moment I have spoons full of that. Little teaspoons full. It’s one of my deadly sins.
Since today is Saturday, it’s going to be a day of freedom. I will walk Tyke several times and hang up a load of laundry, but I don’t have much else to do. There are no ‘ought to’s’ in my life today. There will be sports on television and then some inane programs that are not worth watching. Luckily there is an off button. The best thing to do is to sit down and read a book, which I have not taken the time to do and today would be the perfect opportunity. My armchair is a good place to hang out in. I will also take the necessary naps on the sofa and contemplate my navel. 
It’s going to rain today and that will be a perfect opportunity to hibernate. I will have the lights turned on in the living room and be cozy. I do like the rain when I’m inside. There something very soothing about the rain when you’re not in it. Besides, even if I were in it, it wouldn’t hurt me very much, because I have indestructible hair. If it got wet, all I’d have to do is rub it quickly with a towel and it would be in shape again. It’s not going to be very cold and we’re in for some mild weather. I think winter is really over now.
Enjoying my own company is what it’s going to be all about this weekend. Luckily, I’m in a good enough mood to do that. I don’t feel any of the discomfort that I felt last week when I was not so stable. I’ve managed to get on an even keel since then. I’m okay again by myself.

I will go back to bed again shortly. There’s lots of time to sleep still. I don’t have to get the day started early. I can sleep late and my warm bed does call me. I’ve started to yawn and that is a sure sign that I need some more sleep. 
I hope you’ll all have a good day.
Ciao,
Nora

>Time to start the day…

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My eyes weren’t working at all when I turned on the computer this morning and I had to almost immediately put on my glasses. It was some relief to be able to read again. I guess some mornings it takes your eyes a little longer to wake up. I rubbed them hard enough at first to try and get the sleep out of them, but that didn’t work. I suppose morning exercises don’t work for your eyes. 
Now I’m sitting here quite contentedly with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. The newspaper delivery person has just been by on his noisy scooter, disturbing the peace and quiet of the early morning. I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that and will rediscover my equilibrium. I mustn’t let something like that upset the start of the day. 
My hair is almost completely in place this morning, except that it is sticking up funnily at one side of my head. It’s where I slept on it. It will be easy to remedy. All I have to do is get it wet and rub it dry with a towel and it will be in place again. I will jump in the shower to do that and get squeaky clean.
That will give me the opportunity to choose some other clothes to wear, because I’m in the mood for something different. I always forget that I still have lots of things to choose from. There aren’t only the clothes that have gotten too big on me. There are lots of other things that are made of stretch material and have elastic waist bands that still fit.
I ordered some new lingerie, including some pretty colored bras instead of just plain black or white ones. I plan to clean out my underwear drawer and throw out everything that doesn’t fit me anymore or that is worn out. I also want to go to the discount store that’s close by here and see what sort of interesting things they have on sale there. And I need socks.
I think I’m awake, but there’s some doubt in my mind. I’m going to try and stay up and get the day started, but I still feel sleepy. I think it’s because of the medicines I took an hour ago. I may have to go back to bed for a while. 
Have a nice day.
Ciao,
Nora

>Back to normal…

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It’s early in the morning and I’m very pleasantly sitting here with my second cup of coffee by the light of the desk lamp and the computer monitor. I can take my time writing this, because I’m not going back to bed like I usually do. I have an appointment to see my hairdresser at 10 o’clock, so I will stay up. I will be too muddle headed if I go back to bed and try to get up on time the second time around. It would take numerous cups of coffee to get me into good enough shape and dressed and ready to go. 
I have been feeling good since yesterday afternoon and I can say with enough certainty that I’m back to normal. I reduced my anti-psychotics to the original dose, because the higher dose was making me feel moody and I’m in a much better frame of mind now. I suppose the higher dose was okay for a little while, but not to continue on. These things need to be carefully tuned. What works well one day doesn’t work the next. My moods do change, after all. I don’t stay euphoric or dysphoric for a long time. They are not endless cycles. 
The beginning of the day yesterday was only slightly pleasant, but it ended nicely as I started feeling better and Tyke got an extra walk when I got back to normal. That was a nice benefit for him and me. I did feel like being out there in the cold and breathing in the fresh evening air an extra time. 
I didn’t get a heck of a lot accomplished, but I didn’t worry about that. There wasn’t that much to do that was pressing so I could take it easy. Today I will get caught up on whatever wasn’t done yesterday. The laundry is dry and I can think about putting clean sheets on the bed again. 
Last night I stayed up and watched an Inspector Linley Mystery. I was very cozily sitting in my armchair with a blanket wrapped around me and Gandhi on my lap. I do love English detective series and stay up late especially to watch them, even if it is past my bedtime. I ate a bowl of yogurt, though it wasn’t as satisfying an experience as it was when I was younger and the yogurt was so much thicker and creamier. Still, it was refreshing and filling enough.
I’m looking forward to getting my hair cut. It will be nice to have manageable hair again. The Exfactor is also going to be here today for a cup of coffee. That and going to the hairdresser will be pleasant breaks in the day.
I don’t really have that much to say this morning. I thought I was full of words, but it turns out not to be the case. Well, that will have to do then. 
Have a nice day.
Ciao,
Nora

>In the quiet moments…

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I’ve slept a good long time this morning and took a while to wake up in my armchair with several cups of coffee. It was a pleasant time out. I petted Tyke and found my equilibrium. It wasn’t actually too far away. 
I have a day off and not much on the program, which is fine with me, because I don’t feel all that ambitious today. All I want to do is have my peace of mind and hold on to it as much as I can. I have it right now, so I’m in good shape and don’t want to lose it. I’m going to prevent myself from doing anything to let it slip away.

The best thing to do, is do everything as calmly and quietly as possible without being in a rush. Every move has to be thought out as well as possible ahead of time. There’s to be no stress in my day and I want to keep things simple and unhurried. 

I’ll make it a nurturing day and pretend I am under the wool with a minor ailment. Actually, my knee is bothering me quite a bit, so I could use that as an excuse. I got up with it feeling quite sore and is hasn’t gotten better yet.
I want to enjoy the day as much as I can, but do it in a very peaceful way without the least amount of stress. It’s going to be a mental health day. I have to be in a certain frame of mind to have one of those and I think I am today. That’s why I’m still in my bathrobe and I’m planning to be for a while. 
Wednesday is usually a day on which I don’t have too many chores. Not too many dishes have accumulated and the laundry has been done. Things get busier again by Friday, but for now I have some time off. 
I’m going to the hairdresser tomorrow. Yesterday I realized that my hair was too long and unmanageable. That seems to happen from one day to the other. You realize that you’re spraying too much hairspray on it to keep it in place. It’s a mess in the morning when I get up out of bed. There’s not much shape to it and it looks quite funny. Flattened on one side and sticking up on the other. I look frightful. 
The sun is coming out and it’s about time. It does make the world a little more cheerful. Things have been gray and gloomy. We’re supposed to have a wintry shower this afternoon, that’s how cold it is, but after that, the temperatures are going to improve. Hopefully, spring will be in the air from that point forward. 
Tyke wants to go for a walk, so I need to get dressed. It will be good to get some fresh air. 
Have a good day. 
Ciao,
Nora

>The sense of it and lucidity…

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Sometimes your own mind can fool you into thinking that you are having a great lucid moment and that you are making perfect sense. It is the same effect you get when you use recreational drugs and you suddenly think that you have total understanding of how life and the universe work. 
I had such a moment when I woke up from a long nap a while ago. I thought I understood everything and had great insight into my own life and into the sense of it. I had my own ‘Eureka’ experience. I’ve had such moments before, but each time it happens it feels like the first time and I’m fooled by it all over again. It goes that way with drugs too or even with alcohol.
Shortly after I have such an experience, I feel an inevitable let down and the terrible disappointment of realizing that it’s a completely false idea and that it’s not true at all. I don’t suddenly know and understand everything and what I thought was ultimate wisdom is nothing but self delusion. 
It must be an effect of the chemicals that are released during my sleep while I take a nap. I have no other explanation for it. I think I’m temporarily mad. Sanity does return to me and I can look at the whole experience from a safe distance and be glad that I didn’t take any action during it. I would come to regret it very much if I did.
Speaking of sanity, I had become hypo-manic last week without me realizing it. That is often the case, of course. You are usually the last one to know. It didn’t dawn on me until I became dysphoric subsequently. That was such a change of mood that I couldn’t help notice it and look back in time and realize what had happened. 
Because I felt bad and showed symptoms of instability, I increased my anti-psychotics a bit and that helped. I contacted my psychiatrist today and let him know. I’m not back to normal yet, but I’m doing better and only get off kilter a couple of times a day. 
The days are getting longer and there is a sense of springtime in the air. I am full of anticipation. Inside of me the restlessness is waking up. I feel the first stirrings of it and it’s making me feel uneasy inside my own skin. I feel like going to a pub and drinking several tall beers or icy cold cocktails with paper umbrellas. Yes, I think I would prefer those.
Instead, I’ll drink some lemonade because the milk is all gone. Luckily the Exfactor is going to be here tomorrow to do the groceries. I’ll be so glad to have milk again. Lemonade is okay too if you’re really thirsty like I am right now, but there’s nothing like a glass of cold milk.
Have a good night, all of you.
Ciao,
Nora