What I’m Doing Now

(This is a /now page, inspired by Derek Sivers.)

Updated 19 July 2024, from somewhere.

Losing My Grandma

I’ve been fortunate so far in my life that I haven’t lost anyone close to me. I did lose my grandma on my father’s side when I was around 17 or 18, but I wasn’t very close to her and it didn’t impact me much (her husband died when I was two or three, so I never met him consciously and it seems like he was… not a very good person anyway). Since then, some family members got sick or hurt, but it was never anything life-threatening, until now. My grandma (on my mother’s side), who was an important figure in my early childhood, is currently dying. I knew she had it rough and had been moved back and forth between the care home and the hospital, but it never seemed like the end is imminent. When I visited in May, she had a hard time walking and was in a bit of pain, but she was clear as ever in her head. She told me that she’s been showing off my postcard from Japan to everyone she meets at the care home. But since then, things have regressed quickly, in particular in the past two weeks or so, and now she’s not far from death. Twice already the doctors have said she won’t make the night, though so far she’s been fighting her way from day to day. The first time a call like this was made, in mid July, I went out of my way to meet her one last time. At first, I almost didn’t recognize her. She was down to the bone and literally looked like she’s dying. She was also barely responsive, though she did usually respond to easy yes/no questions. She nodded when I asked her whether she recognized me. But other than that, she wasn’t able to express anything comprehensible. At times, it was obvious that she was in huge pain, and it was hard to watch. After she was transported to a hospital again, we all visited her for our goodbyes. As of writing this, she did survive four (!) more nights, so who knows what will happen, but I can’t imagine her recovering to a “livible” state to be honest. 😢 The doctors don’t seem optimistic either, though they did indeed restart treatment after she survived the night she was not supposed to survive.

All that said, I’m doing fine. It was rough seeing her like that, but I’m glad I did see her again, and was able to say my goodbyes while she, maybe, still knew who I was. I also took advantage of being in my hometown and visited my grandpa, who with the proud age of 96 years, is now living alone for the first time since marrying my grandma some 65 years or so ago. He’s doing fairly well, but he’s a bit lonely and bored. He seemed to cope well with the whole situation. I guess at his age, he’s had enough experience, with life in general and people around him dying in particular, that he has been able to accept the fact that his wife is now among those people. When we called him, mostly to ask if I could come visit, he immediately asked “is it over?”. It’s sad, of course, but it also seems like a reasonable way to deal with it.

Life Direction

I’m currently trying to figure out what my next step in life should be. I actually had something I really wanted to do, but I didn’t get in. (Post about this coming up sometime soon!) So now I need some alternative. The thing is that I’m getting a bit too comfortable in my current position, but at the same time, I’m not fully content with it. This means things need to change, in particular my job.

I haven’t made any decision so far (and probably won’t until August at least), but I have some things in mind. One option would be to move in with my friends Johanna and Helmut in Norway! I’m spending quite a lot of time there every year, and now that they have their own house (and therefore a lot more space), I could imagine just living there (and they’ve been asking me to do this for quite some time now). It would be a pretty big leap though.


2024 happens to be a very busy year for me. As of July, I’ve spent more time away from home than at home. After almost exactly four years, I was finally able to go back to Japan for an extended vacation. I’ll write a (photo-heavy) post about this trip at some point. I’m also spending lots of time with my friends in Norway and thoroughly enjoy that time (which is also the reason I’m considering moving in with them). Being constantly on the road is quite taxing though, so I don’t actually mind that I (currently) have no plans from September onwards.1

Blog Update

I want this blog to be a thing again, even if it’s just as a personal outlet. There were times when I posted a lot, but in the past three years I’ve barely posted anything. Also, there are some technical issues I want to tackle. I’ve already added a plugin to optimize images, so I plan to post more photos to this blog. But in the long term, I would like to migrate from Jekyll to something like Astro.

Exercise and Strength Training

In April 2022, so a bit over two years ago, I signed up for a gym membership and started strength training. Over time, I moved from the fancy devices (which are easier and safer for beginners to use, but tend to target few muscle groups at the same time) to barbell training, and now I’m mostly focused on squats, bench press, overhead press, and deadlift. I think I’ve made good progress in these two years, though the many breaks for traveling and stuff always kind of limit how far I can progress. Also at age 33, I’m already noticing that my body can’t take as much at once compared to the past, so I’m kind of cautious about doing too much. But I’m really glad that I’ve been pretty consistent in doing strength training, supplemented with lots of stretching and some yoga (I usually go to yoga class once or twice a week, plus a little bit at home). Areas where I’d like to do more are bouldering and climbing (ever since my climbing partner moved away, I’ve had trouble getting back into it), as well as running (I’ve been doing more again recently, but I’m concerned about my ankles as they started hurting while/after running).

Fun fact: In June 2024, I finished a 10.6 km run (Göttinger Altstadtlauf) while having COVID. Of course, I didn’t know at that time. It was the worst 10k run of my life and I could barely walk the day after. It was also a whopping 12 minutes slower than my 2023 time of the same run. Pretty crazy, but at least I finished!

  1. I’m sure this will change, but I’m very much running out of vacation time, so my options are quite limited.