Being outdoors to exercise is the BEST THING EVER. Running in the woods hearing the birds singing, or cycling with the wind in your face (it’s accepted, there is always a head wind – no matter which direction you are cycling!) Even open water swimming is far preferable to its pool counterpart. Not least because it brings with it, a sense of adventure.
But, the one thing I love about swimming in a pool versus open water is that ability to monitor progress. I don’t mean admiring the pull technique I’ve been working on for the last six months (haha) but, that sense of being able to measure that you are moving along in the water.
Nearly a year ago, a few of us sat round a dinner table and drank to 2016, the year of possibilities and dreams.
Well that went well!
We have watched in awe, disbelief, astoundment, frustration and anger tinged with hysteria at the state of the world at the end of the year. Our friends at that table have seen the dreams we toasted, explode around them. Elsewhere, other friends also struggling with their own castle which followed that brief (almost to the letter). But as the Phoenix has to periodically combust in order to regenerate then I guess, so do we.
For the friends I mention, progress has been made, dreams are being picked up and dusted off and slowly pieced back together. Progress is slow, but tangible.
I’m about as physically unfit as it can possibly be. My goals for the first part of next year are to achieve consistency and better manage the fibromyalgia which has been plaguing.
But it is in mental health I have leaped forward.
The measure of the progress is thus. On the drive home to Southwater on the duel carriageway section of the A24 beyond Horsham there is a suggested crossing point. This point is protected by railings. In the early parts of this year, I wanted nothing more than to smash the van into these railings at 100 mph.
I was oscilating between the feelings of success and abject failure. And struggling with chronic fatigue to sort it one way or the other. I’ve found it hard to make peace with the comments from Alan early last year about my failure to run the businesses. I know in my heart the decision to close was the right one. But it didn’t make it easier and the burden of that was almost too much to bear. I still haven’t really dealt with the end of my marriage yet. Just prodded and poked at the bits around the end. He had mourned, wiped the slate, moved on and announced an engagement within the space of ten months.
I’ve learned that I’m really good at filling up time with ‘work’ and then claiming I’m too busy to do stuff. Both the shop and the events company do still take up an enormous amount of time, more than a full time job to be fair, but since I’m no longer tied to the shop I ought to be able to escape for a coffee for half an hour.
Sometimes I do and sometimes I won’t, and I certainly use it as an excuse when it comes to exercise. A ‘life distraction technique’, G called it. Peter concurred and advised rather than walking around topics pretending they are not there, to walk straight through and deal with what you find. ‘It’s not like it could get much worse’, he said. “Quite!” was my reply.
For now, I have enough vision through the water to monitor progress. I can relax enough to crochet granny squares. Operation blankie is coming on a treat:
G and I made our own Christmas wreath:
With the help of some wonderful friends, I’m learning to dressmake:
The kitchen is definitely getting used more:
And the allotment is coming on a treat:
I’m really enjoying using my hands and being more practical. And now my head is feeling better, I’m in a much better place to get my body well again.
In just under two weeks, the same group will come to the table to toast 2017 (I’m warning you all now so you can take cover). I have a feeling this one may be a better year.