Today is the already the last working day of the week, the last working day that I will be in my room here. The last day that I can see the people on the other side of the street working in that office, in their cubicles, because in the weekend the office is almost empty. Once I finish my quarantined stay here, I cannot peek anymore in to their 10th floor. And they cannot look back either into my room. I haven’t informed them that I will leave and won’t say goodbye to them. I always have liked to meet new people, it is a little bit like the famous sentence from the Forrest Gump movie: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” For me, meeting a new person, is like taking that new chocolate out of the box. No matter how many people I already met in my life, I still enjoy it, the excitement, my endless appetite and curiosity for the interaction and story someone has to tell. This new connection could be helpful and inspiring to them, to me or both! Connecting with new people give me in general so much energy, unbelievable like magic. Although, some individuals can be super energy draining, and still, I usually learn something from that connection, even it is just the person from my insurance company that informs me that my payment is due. Yes even then. I remember so well reading a book about sales strategy, and that it is so super important that you need to treat each individual new prospect, as a prospect that might be a game changer for your company, a prospect that will reach your yearly target immediately, and maybe even for the next five years. Funny thing, is that I didn’t have to internalize that strategy, it has always been already inside me. Or maybe, it is everyone, but hidden, locked up. I am definitely not a baby expert, but I have the feeling that in general, every newborn is willing to make a new connection with its peers, other babies, other humans. Maybe it is the negative feedback that we sometimes receive from another person, wanting us to be less curious, more fear to meet new people, because they could hurt our feelings. I definitely would be interested, how a person with a psychology background looks to this subject. I still love to make new connections, and hope that I will never ever loose that precious intrinsic property of mine. On the flipside, it is more difficult for me to maintain the connections, and still haven’t find the right way to tackles this. I admire people that have mastered that skill, and I am still open to learn from them and improve myself!
A later than usual, at 8 am, my breakfast arrived. I changed my level of expectations to a bare minimum, and grab the transparent box and bring in to my table. I check my weekly menu, and discover that they have changed the breakfast, as Friday should be from the so-called ‘Daily Breakfast’ shop. So probably they really want to take care of me, and ordered this breakfast only for me, because they know I am not in love with the other shop. Yes, that is a euphemism. They bought a Western style toasted kind of club sandwich, with ham, cheese, cabbage and some white sauce. Taste is actually unexpectedly good, however, there is probably a lot of sugar in the sauce, as it is too sweet for me. Compared to the original scheduled breakfast, this almost deserves Michelin star!
I started my daily exercises. Every day I feel they are getting easier and easier, so probably I need to change the difficulty level a bit. While jumping, I am listening to a technology podcast, about some new products that have been released as I didn’t want to watch a Netflix show. Main reason for that, is that I feel I can better use this time to learn something, something new. Maybe a podcast could provide me with some more energy than another episode of any random series. I was right, this podcast inspired me! I optimize my schedule immediately, so from now on, I listen to an inspiring podcast while exercising. I feel energized, switch on some upbeat music that I blast out of my Bluetooth speaker. Yes, I also brought, next to the karaoke set, also a speaker. After a refreshing shower, like an addict, neurotically I prepare my coffee. Exactly in the same way as I have done all those past days. Transferred a new water bottle to the kettle and switched it on. Put exactly two level spoons in to the grinder and start grinding. Placed a new coffee filter in the holder. Now comes my favorite part, unscrewing the grinder, and smell the fresh coffee powder while closing my eyes. It might feel insane, but these small moments are so important for me during the quarantine, a small highlight that you can create by yourself, not depending on anyone. I transfer the powder to the empty filter and finish it by gently tapping on the wooded grinder, so the last coffee falls down on the small heap. Slowly and with great care I add the hot water, from the sides to the middle, so maximizing the extraction time and thereby the strength of this homebrew coffee. I enjoy this coffee moment so much while working on my computer with some instrumental background music. Around 10.50 am, I hear my phone vibrating, just between two songs. I received a lot of messages from the government. Ow no, I forgot to inform them at 10 am about my current health condition! Immediately, I reply, and feel a little disappointed in myself, that I didn’t hear them and therefore, didn’t reply earlier.
I walk to sink as I want to wash my clothing. This sink has a very cool stopper. A stopper that you need to push, so it moves down and circumvents the water from draining. If you push again, the stopper will pop out again so the water can be drained. So I push the sink stopper, added hot water, some of my clothing and the washing liquid provided by the hotel. After washing, I want to drain the dirty water by pressing again on the fancy stopper, but it didn’t go back to the original position. So the water couldn’t be drained.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign. We are now crossing a zone of turbulence. Please return your seats and keep your seat belts fastened. Thank you.”
I again push gently on the button, but nothing happens. I used more force, nothing happens. I start to turn the button, pushing it, using my nails. I checked under the sink if there could be a different way, but couldn’t find another option. I put my clothes into a bucket and used a mop to transfer the dirty water to the shower resulting in a empty sink. I again try every possible option to push the stopper, but not even a small sign of change in the behavior of the stopper. I got frustrated, and angry and wanted to shout at the stopper: Stupid stopper, come out, go to your initial position! Why are you doing this, why now! Next I blame myself: did I press to hard on the stopper? Might there me something between the stopper an the sink that I by accident left there? And why can’t I solve the problem? I feel so stupid! If I tell the System about it, maybe they feel that I am a bad person, destroying their property! Maybe I need to move to a different room. No! I don’t want that! I want to stay! I think about alternatives, I can just brush my teeth in the shower, and use the bucket to wash my clothes. I sit on my chair, and think about just continue to work, so I don’t have to deal with the stopper, and think about it at a different moment, when it is urgent enough. I mean, come up, a stupid stopper! There are bigger problems to focus on right now. By the way, think about all people who don’t even have a sink, or have the possibility to wash clothes. I am just ranting about something so insignificant. I try to convince myself that I don’t need to solve this problem, just dodge it. But that also feels weak and bad. I put myself together, go to my desk, startup up the System, and I hope that they might be able to help me. It feels like the last resort, requesting for help. I send them a video about the non-working stopper, and within about two minutes I got a reply with a picture of a suction tool that I can use. Of course! The stopper is not integrated and fixed in the sink, I can just lift it by sucking it out! I feel relieved, I don’t have to move to another room! And I am convinced that this issue probably happened already many times, as they have a special tool for it. With the tool, I could immediately remove the stopper, cleaned it and put the tool back on the red cabinet outside my door. While continuing washing my clothes, I reviewed what happened, and inherently, I discover that in my mind, I went to all of the seven main coping mechanisms how to deal with a problem.
- Firstly, I tried to solve to problem by analyzing it, and immediately work on it.
- Secondly, I got emotional, and wanted to shout at the problem.
- Thirdly, I got a little depressed, I thought I was the problem, I was the one who caused the problem at the first place.
- Fourthly, I told myself that the problem is not really problem, as there are a lot of alternatives.
- Fifthly, I wanted to continue my regular activities and thereby postponing the problem to another time, and dodging the problem.
- Sixthly, I comforted myself that the problem is not that big compared to problems that other people have.
- And seventhly, I looked for support to solve the problem by asking help.
Yes, I went to all of these coping mechanisms, and actually pretty fast. Okay, the stopper was not a world problem, but it showed again to me, that in quarantine, you also will have problems and challenges that you have to deal with. At the end, what saved me, was asking for help, and I feel it should not be on the bottom of my list. Understanding, that there are a different ways to deal, or cope, with problem, helped me a lot in my life and again, also in this quarantine. Maybe I am talking again like Neo from the Matrix, but I feel, that knowledge about people and their behavior are important tools to enjoy life!
I know, there are a gazillion number of self-help self-improvements books, courses, video and podcasts. Each of them having at least one good trick or tip to feel better. Like a countless amount of instruments that we can use like the tools of a plumber to fix any broken water tap. But when you feel really empty or depressed, no matter how many tools you have, no matter how many help you are offered by other people. You have to do it yourself, you are the one, that needs to feel strong, strong enough to pick up the right tool from the box or to accept the help that is offered by a loved one or a stranger. I am still convinced that the chance to fix something is higher if you have the tools, and if you have people around you to help. I am so thankful to have people around me, to support me in every step on my journey through my life. Maybe I should tell them and express that I really appreciate and value them. Thank you so much, I really love you!