Currently (despite my willingness to do so) the furniture and pillows remain uneaten in my house, and there are almost no rabid bite marks on anything.
Ever since Monday afternoon I’ve swung between having no appetite at all and then suddenly feeling like I could chew my own arm off and stuff my face until I puke.
Annoyingly when periods of stress or downbeat emotions arrive the old coping methods that I used to have are still sitting in the back of my mind biding their time amongst the cobwebs. Even though I would never listen to their requests both of my ‘I fancy a drink’ and ‘wouldn’t a cigarette be nice’ subroutines appears to be alive and well.
I mentioned this to a friend on Tuesday and he told me that even after 30 years of not smoking his dad still occasionally feels this way and from time to time wants a smoke – so I guess sometimes you just have to ride the wave and keep focused on the fact that you’re doing yourself a favour by saying ‘no’.
For my part I’ve fallen back on exercise to manage my stress – and reasoned that if I just keep walking and talking that things will eventually resolve themselves in my mind and I’ll also get some decent sleep.
The latter appears to be something of a distant pipe dream, whilst the former is definitely a work in progress. I have ideas floating around my head (after plenty of suggestions) but so far no immediate plans of action.
The events of the last couple of days aren’t the most awful thing to have ever happened to my stats however – and both Tuesday and Wednesday saw the demise of significant amounts of boot tread.
Typically at this point I’d be focused entirely on that as an achievement but in many ways at the moment it seems oddly irrelevant. However I do know that the alternatives if I had not decided to go out and keep putting one foot in front of the other wouldn’t have been good.
Yesterday morning the first part of my attempts to blow away my mental cobwebs came in the shape of Mick.
He usually goes for walkies with a nose harness but somewhere in the last few days this had gone missing and he was taking full advantage of the freedom this situation afforded him.
His owner (whom I spent yesteay morning watching being dragged enthusiastically around Offchurch and it’s Greenway) joked that she really should have brought roller skates or a saddle along, because this horse of a dog is like a stallion. He goes where his nose leads and there’s little that can stop him.
He’s quite lovely though – and as stressed as I feel deep inside it was impossible not to smile watching my companion shouting ‘MICK!!!’ at the top of her voice as he bounded off once more to investigate something of interest.
That’s just a fact.
Unexpectedly my afternoon took me elsewhere in the Midlands – and I spent the early evening house hunting with another friend.
Delightfully she has been passing by the area at the last minute (she sadly lives very far away now) and having read my blog the night before had texted today and asked if I fancied meeting up for a last minute twalk. I don’t get to see her very often so my answer to this kind of impromptu suggestion is almost always an enthusiastic ‘yes!’
As we walked around the outskirts of Solihull waiting for her scheduled appointment to view a property we chatted about recent events in both of our lives and my decision yesterday to leave my job.
When I’ve explained why I did it to people, so far they’ve all immediately got it.
Right off the bat.
Furthermore they all seem to agree it was the right thing to do.
Even though I’m a bit stumped as to what comes next it’s really encouraging to not have anyone so far shaking their heads in disbelief. Furthermore no one’s suggested that I get a brain scan or enquired how it is that I’ve managed to survive for so long without one.
When we arrived at the house she wanted to look at there were already lots of viewers there, and the elderly lady employed by the agency to greet people stood waiting in the open doorway. Dressed almost entirely in well co-ordinated light beige clothes, she looked extremely chilly and was clutching her clipboard to her chest between folded arms like it was a hot water bottle.
She was a slightly built woman that peeked over brown rimmed glasses at us as we entered the hallway of the property and I think that she’d already been there in a draughty house for a couple of hours. As she handed my friend one of the armfuls of printed floor plans she had on the clipboard she sighed a little and admitted to us both that she was in serious need of a hot drink.
We made small talk for a moment and then started to explore.
The house was lovely, with a lot of 1930’s character and plenty of potential – but it was sorely in need of a cosmetic overhaul. My friend is intrepid however and this is nothing that she hasn’t done many times over already. I can barely wire a plug, whilst she has re-wired entire houses.
I let her get on with the business of her expert exploring and nosed around myself, heading upstairs to look at the view of the spacious garden.
One thing that I immediately felt should definitely remain was the 1970’s feature wallpaper in the rear bedroom.
It. Was. Epic!
Frankly I could have in popped a wicker chair in there, added some pot plants and an old turntable with some classic LP’s and just sat admiring the wall until the end of time (whilst abstractly dreaming about Farrah Fawcett).
Heaven only knows why but this wall made me smile.
As we walked back to our cars and compared our fitness device step counts (Davey win!) I mentioned how rare the moments have been in our long friendship where we’ve walked and talked together have been.
Most of my memories are of us seated together – but we both agreed that the ones that really stood out were when I had periods of fitness and good mobility. In these times we actually went somewhere and when we did there was always something new and interesting to do.
Those times (maybe like today with the feature wall) randomly remain in the forefront of our thoughts about each other above all else. As I drove home shortly after we parted I found myself more certain than ever that somehow I have to carve out a life with a balance between personal freedom and work necessities that allows moments like today to keep growing in number all the time.
After all internet – without a memory of someone give you a hug after a long walk to a house with 70’s feature walls then whats’s the point?
Life’s too short to be stuck doing something you hate and not hugging the people you care about.
The trick now is to decide how to do something I love that pays the bills and also makes many more moments like this possible.