Sunday, March 24, 2024

Establishing a new Work-Life-Balance


Looking across a section of the lake towards the Roman Cathedral at dusk

The change of job with the arrangement of two weeks there, two weeks with my family has led to a new way of counting time. Not sure how long that will last, but so far I have been going by “1st phase in Ratzeburg”, “1st phase home after Ratzeburg”, “2nd phase…” etc. Right now I am in the middle of “3rd phase home after”, and that means that already half of my probationary period is over. I have arrived at a point where I have the feeling that I have pretty much acquired the necessary knowledge to work the kind of machine I did not know already, I remember mostly where things are and I am no longer itching to follow processes of dealing with patients as they were done at the former place, but am getting used to doing it the way as it is done there. I have begun to understand some of the more intricate dynamics within the team relationships and think I know whom to be aware of. I tell myself that I go there to work, not to make close friends, getting along with them in the working environment is the important thing. The head nurse is straightforward, no fiddling, and so far we have communicated very well, which is rather different from what I was used to before.

One of the reasons why I chose Ratzeburg is the fact that it is situated in lake country. And I wanted to go far a daily swim. Depending on the work schedule I go before work, or on a long and extended walk after work. In January I started by wading in the water up to my knees and thought I would continue to do so until sometime in the spring. But in February, after my return and a first wade I decided to not wait any longer and have been immersing completely since. It is cold, indeed, and the first three times were very very difficult. After that, it has become easier and easier and as the water has warmed up a little – from 2 degrees centigrade to just above 7 last time I was up there – my swimming time has increased a bit, too. 

Bike trip to Schaalsee

 I love the lake, I listen to the birds and use my app to identify bird songs and enjoy the walks. 


I have received my rental agreement for the apartment I will be moving into and hope that the windows will really get exchanged soon enough that the moving-in date stated in the contract is actually going to materialize.

Thus I can say that the work side of life is on a very good road. I feel much happier in that arrangement than I have felt in the previous work situation, and I am much happier in that town than I have been in many years where we have been living for the past 19 years.

So far, however, I have not been able to seriously commit to a daily art practice when I am up there, although I meant to. I am making something every day, but often (only) knitting or spinning, because the room in the nurse’s dormitory that I am staying at right now does not really have enough space for creative activities, nor did I bring a whole lot of materials.

But I try to get serious about it when I am home.

I did finish, enter and ship one quilt for the competition of former Prague Patchwork Meeting, now Brno Patchwork Meeting, as I mentioned in the last post. I am going there next month (during “phase 4 after”) with an exhibition of 20 Perspectives and wanted to be a part of the competition “Zero Waste” as well. I also finished my quilt for the Ocean Contest of European Patchwork Meeting in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, which I also wanted to enter in Wide Horizons and will finish the digital entry tonight.

And I need to get going about my contribution to EQA’s challenge “Imagine a Bird” (in Germany we called it “alle Vögel sind schon da” in quotation of a well-known German song). My first idea of a derivation from a photo I took on one of my walks along the lake 


has been substituted for already by another and I will see how it works out.

And then there is a SAQA Benefit Auction piece that needs to be made...

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