My journey from here to there.
Saturday 5th January, 2019.
First swim of the new year this morning. I managed a very slow one mile (or 1.609 kilometres depending on your age, location and/or preference).
I’ve written this before but, for me anyway, exercise trumps any other method of managing a depressive illness. Apart from anything else it comes without the negative side effects I’ve experienced with antidepressants. Far be it from me to tell anybody what to do but I command anyone fighting this type of battle to complete five star jumps and eleven squat thrusts. You’ll thank me for it as soon as your hamstring injury heals.
Saturday has always been my drinking day. For years I’ve pretty much lived for the feeling I get, somewhere at about the midpoint of my second drink, where I start to relax and feel comfortable in my surroundings.
I have noted of late that things are changing. It may just be a phase but it doesn’t feel that way. I still drink, I still have some fantastic adventures that I don’t remember whilst drunk and I still enjoy the company of people far more when I’m under the influence than when I’m not.
Drinking often feels like a chore these days though. Something I have to do because I always have. I no longer look forward to it in the same way and those really great drunken times are becoming harder to find.
I’m also acutely aware of the people in my life struggling with alcohol related issues and that I’ve been fortunate in avoiding the worst of these. When I’m in their company I don’t judge. I sympathise, empathise, help if I can but try not to enable. I also thank my lucky stars.
Sometimes I think I should stop drinking completely but then I remember that I have very few other interests and that I need material for this here diary. The things we do for our art.
Today’s drinking took place at a wonderful establishment known as Wrenthorpe Sports and Social Club. It’s like the famous Cheers bar although there is no Sam, Woody or Coach behind the bar. It doesn’t have its own television show with a catchy theme tune and not everyone there knows your name.
It is the best place I know where, once your annual membership subscription (£4 for existing members, £6 for new members) is paid, you can get pleasantly inebriated for under £20. You can achieve a similar state for £0 if you’re one of the friends I have who are highly skilled in the noble art of never paying for a round at the bar.
I wrote another post about the impact of drinking too much once upon a time. If you’d like to read that it’s available by clicking the link below.
A very tame affair today though. The afternoon consisted of a moderate number of drinks. Some half hearted discussion on the state of the United Kingdom where voices were barely raised above a menacing growl (no fights in the toilets on this occasion) and a helpful review of a local Italian restaurant one friend had frequented yesterday.
I also won £56.24, including my stake, on a football bet. A new year miracle if ever there was one.
Sunday 6th January, 2019.
I didn’t do much worth writing about today so I’ll just add a picture of a puppy and one of a pony to shamelessly attract fans of these types of creatures to the diary. To be fair they were taken by me on my morning constitutional with Buddy dog.
London Town tomorrow for actual paid work. When I write ‘paid’ I mean I think it is. One of the things I’ve not been great at since I’ve been self employed is establishing with 100% certainty that I’ll be remunerated for what a client asks me to do. Fingers crossed.
Monday 7th January, 2019.
Another area where I’m still getting to grips with in the self employed world is client management. At present whatever they ask for, I generally say yes. Usually this is fine but, occasionally, I end up in situations that are no good for me at all.
This week has presented two examples of this. I’m heading to London to attend a preparatory meeting for the second phase of a global project that I’ll be involved in the roll out for over the next few months.
Essentially the meeting is what’s called a ‘Train the Trainer’. The objective is to train a group of people on how to deliver a set of educational materials so they can, in turn, use them to train other people in a particular subject, in this case communication skills.
The issue here is that I’ve been asked to deliver an element of the new material, as part of this process, that I didn’t write and haven’t seen brought to life before. Some of you might be able to relate to how difficult this is to do. Especially with a new client that I don’t yet have a real working relationship with.
This kind of thing would always have made me uncomfortable but, these days, the impact it has on me is far worse and extremely challenging for me to deal with. When stress and my anxiety collide I begin to shut down. There is tiredness bordering on exhaustion, I get really irritable and I feel like my eyesight is fading. It’s my own fault though, I should have just said no.
The second example is even worse. I’ve been asked to share a hotel room with somebody I’ve never met as the client is looking to keep costs for this meeting down. As a very strong introvert this is up there with my worst nightmares. I need somewhere to escape to and this scenario is not that. It’s my own fault though, I should have just said no.
This is a twin room apparently 👇.
On the upside they do maintain a decent hash brown in this hotel so I’ll try and remain positive and focus on looking forward to breakfast.
Hopefully I won’t be murdered in my sleep by my roommate for the night. If I am then I’d like to be cremated along with my slow cooker and the sky q remote control.
Tuesday 8th January, 2019.
I’m alive! Hash browns consumed.
Heading to the office for the business meeting I wrote about yesterday. My client is based close to Canary Wharf. For those that don’t know, this is where a lot of ‘Fat Cats’ make their money.
Check out some of the available property in Canary Wharf by clicking the link below. If I continue with my current levels of gambling success I expect to be able to purchase a dustbin in the area in approximately eighty three million years.
As I was strolling towards my clients office my mind wondered towards the uncertainty these overweight felines must be feeling in our pre Brexit world. It’s possible that if/when Britain leaves the European Union they will become even fatter cats. They might well end up as skinny cats though. At the time of writing their future levels of obesity are unknown.
Had lunch looking at some boats. I had an egg sandwich, a packet of salt and vinegar crisps and a Diet Coke. I did consider also purchasing a chunky kit kat but then I remembered that I’m not allowed to claim the price of my luncheon on expenses for this particular meeting.
Wednesday 9th January, 2019.
So I delivered the session I was worried about today. It went well, it was quite easy really and all the people in the room were extremely supportive.
The thing is, I knew it would be. At least part of me did anyway. I’m good at this kind of thing and I’ve been doing it for a fair old while. I never listen to the part of me that gets this. For some reason I allow the other part that tells me I will fail, points out all my failings and doesn’t let me sleep to rule over my roost. I continuously make things more difficult for myself than they are for no rational reason other than because I am a turnip.
Are you a root vegetable as well? If so, how do you cope?
Thursday 10th January, 2019.
Highlight of the day was Buddy dog meeting my friends new puppy whilst out for a walk. They seemed to like each other although I suspect, like their owners, they will fundamentally disagree on politics and support rival football teams.
No doubt more women will find his puppy attractive than they do mine as well. This is no bad thing though as it will teach Buddy dog an early lesson as to how unfathomable the world can sometimes be.
Friday 11th January, 2019.
A day of administration awaits. Not my strong point but I don’t work hard enough to justify the employment of a personal assistant so I have to do it all myself.
Two further business trips later this month so I need to sort the logistics for those out. I’m headed to Munich for five days on January 20th and then over to North Carolina on January 27th for a week.
One of the reasons I decided to have a go at the diary this year is because I have a number of trips like this scheduled over the next few months. It was obviously important to find the appropriate platform from which I could show off about my jet setting ways.
I also have work planned in Bradford and, possibly, Liverpool coming up so it will be a good opportunity to provide my readers with a comparison of McDonald’s restaurants in Germany, the USA and the UK.
It’s been a difficult week for the community I live in. It’s not for me to go into the details as I don’t know any of the people involved but if you’re reading this and have been personally impacted then my thoughts are with you.
I want everyone to remember how they were as a small child before, and I know this came sooner for some than others, the world wrongly taught many of us to think and behave differently. If you wanted something, or needed to let someone know how you were feeling, you would find a way to do so.
If you couldn’t find, or didn’t yet have, the words you’d use whatever noises or body language you could to get your message across. It wouldn’t even occur to you to keep things to yourself or that the person you were trying to communicate with wouldn’t want to listen. You just, in anyway you could, using words or otherwise, ‘talked’.
In my own convoluted way, I’m trying to say that we should harness the power more of our inner small child and just talk when there’s something wrong. If you don’t have the words to explain how you’re feeling, or are worried about the impact your words might have, then just talk anyway. Talk until someone understands you and gives you what you need, or at least helps you to work out what that is.
If someone talks to you then really listen. Listen to their words, of course, but also listen for the words they don’t say and for the noise they are making with their body language. If you think that you don’t know how to help them then try anyway. You are likely to be helping them far more than you know just by making the effort. I know this to be true because I’m one of the people who’ve been helped immeasurably by a kind word or deed at times when I’ve really needed them.
Jeepers, how preachy do I sound 👆. Sorry, not sorry 😊.
I’m here to listen if anybody reads this and feels they would like to talk. There are also a number of really outstanding organisations that people can contact if they would like better qualified help. I’ve included links to some of them below:
To end this weeks diary entry on a slightly happier note, I’ve included a short video of Buddy dog taking issue with a plimsole for having the temerity to encroach on his territory.
Have a great weekend…
If you missed last weeks instalment of my journey from here to there you can read it by clicking the link below.