Siege Diaries 12/17/2020


Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: How well do I really know myself?

I certainly feel I have gotten to know myself better in the past couple of years.  I know it’s important to me that I act with integrity and strive towards justice, that I think before speaking, that I retain my curiosity and openness to new ideas–but also my critical faculties.  I have learned that I need to allow myself to feel, that it doesn’t make me weaker–it strengthens me.  I am learning what it is to not allow the time that is given to me to pass by–but also that there is no weakness in needed rest.  And, as the Jewel song says, “In the end, only kindness matters.”

It’s been a long day.  Not necessarily a bad day–quite the contrary–just very, very full. And that applies to my stomach, too, as for my department’s virtual lunch I ordered food from August 8–Shrimp tempura, teriyaki chicken udon soup, and custard buns.   I only ate half the buns and soup (as there’s plenty of the latter for two full servings), but that’s still a lot of food.  The meeting itself was fun–we played our traditional “buy a gift for a coworker as a kid” exchange, except we just held up the toys or shared websites this time.  Mine hit that sweet spot of not being too easy or two hard to guess–the coworker I had did a certificate in travel and tourism, so I found a really cute little toy airplane with woodland creature figures.  My festive attire was (deservedly) beat out for the prize by a guy who dressed like Santa.

My copyediting work today was challenging–I believe the first article I was looking at was by a non-English as a first language speaker who was not using Chicago style.  There was quite a bit more rewriting than usual.  (The other two articles I looked at were much clearer, and one of the authors had impeccable Chicago skills).  I also finished out the Berlin Phil’s Beethoven quartets livestreams, and today’s batch–the late quartets–was four hours long.  I missed the end of 12 and the beginning of 13 for a work meeting (which involved a lot of note taking), but came back in in time to hear the Cavatina–oh, how I love the Cavatina, which I heard live last February in another age, it seems.   And then there was Toastmasters in the evening.

Meanwhile, the caseload just keeps rising.  I am just glad I had already written off the season when it comes to anything like shopping or special activities outside the house other than maybe driving around and looking at lights.  I will be happy to see Christmas arrive and remove the temptation for folks to go to malls–some of which are even extending their hours because they claim they’re getting more traffic from more locked-down areas.  Ugh.  You could not pay me to go into a mall right now.

I do have some fun things to do in the next few days, however.  Tafelmusik is streaming a recorded performance of the Sing-Along Messiah, and it looks like the Against the Grain Theatre/TSO collaboration called Messiah/Complex, which involves an innovative performance of the Messiah by performers from all over Canada in a variety of languages and which has gotten really good press, is available to stream as well for a donation.  That’s also on my list.  And I found a livestream concert to attend Sunday morning at 8 am — 2 pm, Amsterdam time–of the Concertgebouw orchestra with Valery Gergiev conducting, including the Shostakovich Violin Concerto no. 1.

But I think I’ll go to bed early tonight.