on-going mostly unedited stream of thoughts

plans for post-vaccination recovery

I am getting my second pfizer dose later this afternoon, and I am not looking forward to the side effects – fingers crossed that it wouldn’t be worse than some fever and chills. I’ve been reading people’s accounts on their abnormal heart palpitations post vaccination, and it is not helping my already-existing anxiety. But all of that seems better than the chance of getting long haul covid. I am not sure how am I going to go through life with brain fog, loss of smell and taste, 100+ bpm heart rate and unending fatigue. Maybe I’ll take the small chance of temporary heart inflammation over those symptoms.

The government is now advising people to stay off strenuous exercise for a week, though I wonder if exercising on day eight is really safer than day seven. Since I am much more paranoid than the average person, I’ll probably not exercise for at least ten days. I’ll definitely be monitoring my resting heart rate and heart rate variability during sleep to help me determine whether my body has recovered from vaccination stress. I am glad to have such tools at this point of time.

Since I’ve been incrementally trying to build my fitness, I was somewhat disappointed that I have to break my journey at this point – would probably have to rebuild my cardio fitness all over again when this is over. But I thought I could use the opportunity to work on other stuff instead, like meditation. Instead of spending an hour exercising I could split two thirty-minute meditation sessions instead. Meditating is so much harder than going for an one-hour jog. I’ll rather be huffing and puffing than facing boredom, which is precisely why I should meditate.

I have been progressively discovering the delight of simply slowing down. I think a lot of my unhappiness comes from wanting to complete things fast, or expecting things to happen the way I want. It would do me so much more good to simply be able to pause, or to build the capacity to dissolve preexisting expectations through calm logic. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I can stop chasing distractions that are helping me to escape from some ambiguous existential anxiety?

My partner acquired a micro four-thirds camera, and my curiousity got piqued while helping her research. I didn’t even know what “micro four-thirds” meant. I have always believed I would rather use the camera with me – my phone – than to carry a separate camera. But I have been slowly changing without even being aware of it myself. Preferring to take pictures with my phone: that is a symptom of wanting everything to be fast and easy. That in itself is not wrong per se, but it could reduce the spectrum of things we can potentially experience when time slows down. I took her camera out while cycling a couple of days ago, and I found it interesting how I was looking out more for interesting moments versus the autopilot mode I was on typically when cycling. It was a hassle to take out the camera, undo the lens cap, turn it on and figure out the right settings to take a picture. With my phone it is just phone, frame, snap. But I am starting to like that pause, that extra step, that additional time frame.

I discovered I am really not good at taking pictures. I’ve always taken okay looking pictures purely on visual intuition and I never really bothered to learn how to take better ones. With an actual camera there is so much more to tinker, to see what affects the shot even with the same frame (yes I am aware of halide on the phone but it is not the same). Will I have the patience to learn from ground up? I don’t know?

I also have a bicycle mechanic class coming up in October. I half wonder if I would regret it, because it is an intensive six full-day course split across two weekends. Would it feel like too much work?

My entire life I have been afraid of too much work, because all I do is burn out when things get overwhelming. It is an interesting experience for me to start learning things on my own terms, just simply out of pure curiousity versus necessity. The last time I truly enjoyed learning something was making a website at age 15, but that turned into work.

I guess I can use all that vaccination recovery time to learn things that are not physically strenuous, like how to use a camera and edit its pictures properly (the iphone and its photo editing apps have handicapped me). I just have to be careful not to burn my brain out which I have done countless times before. Hopefully I am better at regulating myself this time around.