One of the things I keep reminding people at work about is that there will inevitably be things that go wrong, or events that don’t quite go to plan. The important thing is to work out the why and how of what happened and moving on with that knowledge to the next thing.
For the most part what we do is not a matter of life and death. That’s not an excuse to therefore be cavalier about things, but I find it helpful to keep a sense of perspective when things go wrong. There was a post doing the rounds a few years ago about dealing with change that I do my best to incorporate into both personal and professional life: to overcome disappointment with events and change, shout “plot twist!” and move along accordingly.
There’s a stoic aspect to that which chimes for me, as well as the writer’s analogy that appeals. It serves me well when dealing with changes, external interference, or disappointments and I can highly recommend it as a tool in your mental wellbeing kit
Today has been a day of light sensitivity, eye charts, and pupils the size of saucers – that’s right, the annual retinopathy exam to check that diabetes hasn’t started eating my eyes yet.
From long experience, I know these exams knock me sideways for the day – or at least the drugs do. The exam itself doesn’t take long, being an eye test and then some photos of the back of my eye. What does take it out of me are the drugs that dilate my pupils and partially paralyse my blink reflex.
There’s a certain hallucinatory feel to how I then see everything for a good portion of the rest of the day. There’s a diffuse glow to anything pale, an inability to focus on detail, and a sense of nausea and vertigo that competes with an eyestrain headache and eyeballs that feel hollowed out before being reinserted.
So it’s perhaps no surprise that I went to bed, and slept a few hours before the cub got in from school. An early night for me I think.
It’s been delayed a couple of years by the pandemic but today is special. The Charleesi is having her graduation ceremony. We came up after work yesterday evening and have a quiet morning planned before it all kicks off.
I’m proud of her. She has done so well and brokered her hard work and focus into a job she enjoys and a life recounted with wry humour.
We had a good D&D session last night, returning after a couple of weeks where people were unwell. The mighty adventurers are facing possibly their toughest challenge yet: high society. Travelling long distances takes many forms, but by far the most comfortable available at this moment for them is the Lightning Rail run by House Orien – and so they have joined the train in first class, along with a new member of the group and have some time to kill.
Its been a good excuse to pull back from the action and adventure and spend some time with the players reintroducing themselves and doing some reflective roleplay as they get used to both the new surroundings and people. Sometimes railroading can be a useful tool, and this has been very popular with the players as I’ve checked in after the sessions. Their biggest worry has been to decide on what to choose from the menu. Their biggest dilemma has been wine versus cocktails. Their main concern has been how drunk the dwarf barbarian might be getting…
I’m really enjoying going to town with the world-building in this little travelling location, and the players (and the characters) are enjoying it all too – watching the little wonders of the world pass by while retired generals and robust noblemen drink brandy and smoke cigars in the lounge car, and an undead elf tells a dragonborn sage tales of the fall of the goblin empires in the saloon. A tiefling warlock knits scarves in their cabin while their familiar snoozes with a hoard of table scraps, and hangovers are something that won’t happen until the next session…
I’m lucky enough to have a reasonable amount of flexibility in the hours I work as well as the locations in which I work. When I work longer hours than planned it’s usually not too difficult to plan time off in lieu. After a hectic week I took yesterday off and somehow I think I’m even more tired now.
My GP was meant to call first thing so I’d arranged to take a friend to Kingston for a gentle pootle around. Life being what it is, the call didn’t come until late in the afternoon so our decision to head out anyway rather than wait for it panned out.
I’d promised to show Lady T the art gallery I’d found earlier in the month, and we ambled around coffee shops putting the world to rights in a gentle and sunlit afternoon.
By contrast, the GP conversation around referral was a bit of a slog, and as draining as I’d feared. I’ve been quietly worrying over the last few days about it all – and hearing a read back from my notes of my mental health treatment history was difficult. On the one hand it was a testament of stubbornness and progression. On the other a series of blows endured.
I’ve spent a significant portion of my counselling session this evening sorting through both aspects and their nuances.
Perhaps it’s not surprising therefore that today has been one of near shutdown. I shall hit the gym tomorrow.
Work is complicated at present – well more so than usual – and I think between that and personal processing it has been more difficult to bring things to the blog in any coherent way. Sometimes, especially when it comes to work, there are things that I can’t talk about in a public form because of financial or confidential matters connected to them.
Likewise in the tangled pathways of my brain I have things I can’t coherently talk about because they’re still being mulled over. In some ways it’s like a jigsaw puzzle that I don’t want to display yet.
However I find the discipline of maintaining a blog schedule to be a useful one, if only so I’ve got somewhere to put things on display for later consideration or to entertain you. That’s why sometimes I have rambling posts like this that don’t go anywhere until I get a random flash of inspiration.
In this case its to muse that all things being well, the D&D group will be back on Sunday to continue their adventures. They are currently on a fantasy steampunk railway, mixing with reasonably high society. What’s the worst that could happen? What’s that, a murder? You’ll have to tune in to find out.
I was feeling a bit at a loose end earlier today. Everyone was off doing things and I think the end of a packed week just had me at a low ebb.
There’s a stereotype that being poly means being in each other’s pockets all the time but if I’ve learned anything it’s the importance of both making sure that I am comfortable being in my own space, and embracing how important for other people to have that too. Remembering that felt difficult today, but I knew that if I got on with something it would help.
So I went to the gym, because its something I’ve not been doing as much as I’d like. And that helped. I have a routine that takes about an hour and includes a lot of cardio. With headphones on and an audio book playing that hour went quickly.
Combined with some time for a coffee and people-watching in the bar area later it definitely helped lift my spirits. Sometimes just plodding on is all that’s needed.
I can’t think of anything witty to title today’s entry, but basically life ticks on, work is continuing, and I’m filling a new notebook with pictures and scraps of story as a simple outlet in between planning things for the D&D group and spinning metaphorical plates at work.
I’m booked to talk to a GP on Friday next week, my blood pressure readings are all submitted, I think I’m due a new set of diabetic blood tests soon, and I’m feeling reasonably good in and of myself.
The D&D scenario? Think murder on the orient express but with only vaguely housetrained adventurers. This is going to end up like the restaurant scene in the Blues Brothers, isn’t it?
I’ve always been largely one to work from the head when it comes to processing things. It has taken many years of work and therapy to acknowledge that my gut feelings are usually pretty accurate. Having said that, when there’s something that needs to be mulled over its usually the cogs in my head that start whirring.
I’ve had various things rattling around the last few days, prompted by conversations and some introspection. It led to me doing some research on adult autism and taking a test provided by the National Autistic Society. The results indicate significant signs of my being autistic – but I am at the same time very aware that these tests are just providing an indication. It feels like it fits.
On balance, I think I’m going to be making a call to my GP tomorrow to ask for a referral – if only to get some sort of clarity.