Counting my blessings

Recently I’ve not been in the best of places and to counteract that I’ve decided that today is for counting my blessings of this past week.

First off, it’s been a short working week as we had a holiday yesterday (Ascension Day) and at my work place the day after that (today) is also free. So, yay, very long weekend for me! It feels like a Saturday for me today but it’s only Friday and what a pleasant thing it is to have this extra free time.

The best news this past week has been that Mr Esther got his first Covid vaccination! He has asthma and is in a higher (though not highest) risk group, so was able to get it yesterday (in a town 20 minutes from here). Mini me and I waited in the car (Junior had decided on a lazy day at home) and afterwards we drove on and just made a nice day of it. It’s so nice that terraces outside restaurants are open again during the day.

Last Tuesday was my final Stephen Macht masterclass on dramatic movie analysis. I couldn’t make the final class but was sent a recording which I will watch this weekend. Those classes have been giving me joy these past 5 weeks and have set me thinking, which I love. In fact, I have requested and have been sent recordings of all 5 of the classes so I can re-watch it all if I feel the need to.

These past few weeks, on Wednesday afternoons, I’ve been doing some volunteer work for the Council of Refugees. Socially distanced with screens and masks and very few people present and by appointment only but I am really enjoying it. It also puts into perspective yet again how very privileged I am that I have not had to flee my country, leave family and other loved ones behind and start life over in a totally different country with a weird language and a huge amount of confusing bureaucracy. On Wednesday I was trying to comfort a woman my age from Eritrea, who doesn’t speak any Dutch or English or German, with a cup of tea. It’s so tough to be a refugee and I am just happy that I can try to make a little bit of a difference.

Another blessing is that I came across these pictures taken of my small family during our holiday to Israel eight years ago last February. All four of us in a picture is quite rare and these were taken by two close friends of ours who came with us on that trip. I really should frame some of these. (Pictures were taken at the Jordan river, Old City of Jerusalem, Ein Kerem overlooking the valley, at the Dead Sea and in the desert near Eilat).

Back to the present day and it’s still on the chilly side here in The Netherlands. It is getting a bit warmer, though, and in the sun it is possible to sit in our garden for a bit again and look adoringly at my two favourite garden statues.

While enjoying the sun in our back garden I decided to listen to some David Bowie again (despite me repeatedly mentioning him on blog I don’t listen to him that often). As my David Bowie song of the day I would pick this one, a duet with Queen…

Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking –
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give love one more chance
?
Why can’t we give love?
Cause love’s such an old fashioned word,
And love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves.
This is our last dance, this is our last dance.
This is ourselves, under pressure

Funniest movie moment of this week was from the animated movie Zootopia. I had never seen it before but mini me watched it and we watched along. The scene with the sloth just made me laugh so much, it was a much needed relief.

I recall seeing this gif often online, now I know where it’s from and I love it…

This evening we had a cosy dinner with just Junior, eating cheese fondue. Yumm!

Despite continued lockdown and getting sad seeing images from India and the Covid tragedy happening there and worrying about Israel & Palestine and worrying about work and not really feeling like myself of late, there are still blessings to be found and that is a good thing.

13 thoughts on “Counting my blessings

  1. What a nice post, Esther. Congrats on getting the first member of your (immediate) family vaccinated! (The same goes for my family – Mr G got his jab today, hooray!)
    We should really do this more often – write a post about all the good things, big and small, that have happened to us. With the overwhelming misery around us, it really helps put the small blessings into perspective. Because they are there, too. That trip today looked so lovely. (I marvel at the freedom you are still enjoying in the NL. So nice! No cafes or shops open here yet.) And even though tough, I am sure it was a gratifying experience to actually help some of those refugees you were dealing with. Well done! And that trip to Israel must have been wonderful. Hope there are better days ahead for you, soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Guylty.
      Congrats on your husband finally getting his vaccination!
      Yes, we’ve been lukcy that we haven’t necessarily been restricted in movement, but even so, with everything closed, everything has seemed dead (for lack of a better word), no joie-de-vivre. Shops and terraces opened two weeks ago and I do worry about the bigger cities where it can get pretty busy, so we remain vigilant. Numbers are going down here, the biggest worry is hospital admissions and if those continue to go down then next week there will be some more lifting of some restrictions. Still a long way to go, though, and I worry that it’s all a bit quick with the lifting of restrictions. I am very glad, though, that some things are open again, I just hope people will act safely.
      I always love traveling to Israel and the West Bank (Gaza I’ve been to once or twice many years ago, not easy getting in there and it’s a depressing place). Going there always feels a bit like coming home and seeing the situation there now just breaks my heart.

      Like

  2. Esther’s Great news on your husband getting his first dose. Getting out of the house and fresh air always are great relaxers!
    No words for what is happening in Gaza now. Clearly no lessons learned😢

    Like

    1. Yes, we’re really happy about that first jab! It’ll be a little while yet before it’s my turn and even longer before the kids get theirs but we have a start in our household and that is great. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats to Mr E on his vaccination. It is so easy to forget the positive things in our lives and how fortunate many of us are – and are not. Showing kindness, support, and that people do care, is a great thing you do and must bring comfort and hope to the people you see in the centre.
    Nothing much better than a long weekend, hope you are having a good “Sunday’!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! Nice and lazy so far. 🙂
      I’ve been helping others with bureaucratic stuff but this was my first encounter with someone who was actually in tears at the office. No hugging or touching, so tea is the least I could do.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Servetus

    I don’t know how refugees handle it. Back when I was crossing the German-Polish border regularly, I’d be thinking “this is where the masses fled in front of the Red Army in 44/45” and “I would have been trampled underfoot.” I just do not have that much steel in my soul. Or that much luck. It’s great that you’re helping out. Not being able to communicate in words would probably finish me, and you have such a sympathetic face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yeah, I don’t think I’d have that steel eiither.
      My colleague was helping her with stuff and a cousin was there speaking for her in broken Dutch but there’s just so much bureaucracy to deal with, it is tough on top of the trauma of everything else. I was making notes about someone else in our system whom I had helped earlier with some of his bureaucratic issues when I understood she was in tears in the waiting area. Figured getting her some tea was more important than finishing my notes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: 2021 Armitage Weekly Round-up #17 | Guylty Pleasure

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