Siege Diaries 2/12/2021


Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: For what have I sold my peace of mind?

I made a different kind of bargain.  I decided that peace of mind was much more important than money.  I also decided that some dreams were only that–dreams, with reality being a much different place than what I imagined.  So I’ve found a middle place.  I haven’t pushed to seek out another job with a fancier title, because the job I have currently does what it needs to do, and I work with people I like and respect, and for a company that I believe endeavours to act ethically.  In fact, I’ve applied for a position on its Corporate Social Responsibility governance committee.  It’s by no means assured I’ll get it, but I won’t ever get it if I don’t apply for it.  I’m learning not to talk myself out of these opportunities.  I’ve got another one in the works right now that I spent a day delaying making contact about because I still have those little nagging self-doubts, but after making the initial contact, and getting a very positive response, I’m really excited about it.

And what I haven’t done at all this week?  Watch one minute of the impeachment trial.  I’ve kept up on news stories, of course, but that is not aggravation that I wanted to view in person.

I’ve got the Shostakovich 7th on right now, on headphones.  Since I’ve reached the point in what I called just about eleven months ago a siege, I thought it appropriate to take a minute today to do what besieged Leningrad did on August 9, 1942, which is to somehow hold a concert to play the very work I’m listening to.  It was broadcast on the radio so all could hear as well, and the Soviet guns bombarded German positions just before to clear a period of calm so the performance might take place uninterrupted.

I’ve really felt the weight of this current siege this week.  It seemed like every day, I heard another story of the US getting more vaccines, approaching somewhere like 10% of their population vaccinated, along with deepening worries here about the new variants.  The comparison with August in besieged Leningrad didn’t seem right.  It felt, instead, like February 1942, still in the midst of the darkest of the dark days.

And then, today, finally, announcements of more vaccine deals here, and increased supplies in the next couple of months.  It was just enough to make me feel a little bit better.  Perhaps there is a chance that in 7 1/2 months, things could be brighter.

I took the day off work today, and I slept in late, the last hour or so with Spitfire perched on my chest.  I’d hoped to spend 70 minutes or so driving,  listening to the 7th as loud as I could, but it’s February and we got snow, so there was none of that.  Instead, there was grocery shopping, reading a few articles, messing around on the internet, and then, finally, I got to the sketchwork on the illumination project I’ve been planning out.  I’m not going to get as far today as I’d hoped with that, but I’ve laid down the ink outlines, and tomorrow there is an excellent chance I’ll be able to paint the entire thing. I’ve taken a photo of the outlined version, but will wait to share the finished product.

I was also taking some photos of the Shostakovich and cat embroidery in good lighting, and came to the decision that the colour was too light. It was washing out and making him look possessed.  Since the entire original photo was in shade, it’d make sense that a darker colour would work better, so twelve stitches later, I think I’ve finally fixed the one thing that was bugging me about the work.


I also ordered an early takeout Valentine’s Day meal for tomorrow from the Keg.  Since the closest Keg was already booked up for all the pickup slots, I’ll need to drive a bit farther, to Waterdown, to pick it up, and perhaps then I’ll get my time in the car with the 7th.