I was enjoying my Friday and then realised it was a Thursday. Its an old joke but I have no shame and used it in a conversation today. It’s been another full day. Thankfully it’s mostly been a positive day, but between negotiations and outreach, with a side sprinkling of mental health first aiding and worrying about the boy s it has drained me.
I’ve been sitting quietly, trying to shed the load off my shoulders, and waiting for the top of my head to stop feeling like it has peeled open. Watching a film and paying Destiny hasn’t done more than briefly distract me, so now it’s time to see if sleep can hurry up and catch me unawares while I meditate.
That would be nice. See you on the other side for Friday Part 2
I’m fairly sure it’s just the pollen count that’s given me blocked sinuses and killed my sense of smell. I’m feeling pretty tired and run down so no doubt there’s something opportunistic that’s going to try and hijack my poor immune system. Nonetheless, I’m keeping on keeping on.
I’m still buzzing from how well the game went on Sunday – it really does lift my spirits when my players say things like they lost track of time, they wanted to continue, and are busy hatching plans for the next session. I’ve heard variants on those from several people both at the time and in general conversations since and its a wonderful validation of the whole thing.
Work continues to challenge and reward in equal amounts – I’m certainly not going to be bored any time soon, and I’m getting plenty of chances to trumpet the things being set up and run by my team. If I have any anxieties beyond the day to day its around making sure that opportunities get their best chance to flourish
All this is to say that despite my mental health dipping and fluctuating, it’s in the context of good things and good people. Despite desperately wanting to roll over and sleep for a week or three, I have things to do and people to focus on – and even if I’m not great at always being able to reach out to people its not for lack of thinking of them at least.
In the next few weeks my name is going to be a bit more high profile at work. I shall of course greet this with my usual bemusement, but also some degree of pride. The pun isn’t intended for the first of the reasons – I’m featuring in a couple of videos talking about staff networks, and especially the LGBTQ+ Staff Network.
It’s part of a wider week focusing on and advertising the networks, and should be going live in a couple of week’s time. Filming it was a bit of fun – and while it’s mostly aimed for an internal audience, there are plans for an externally facing campaign as well.
The other thing is for a piece of writing I was invited to do around mental health and my experience working through and being supported in recent years. I approached it with my usual flat affect and detailed approach so have been going back and forth with various people to agree on trigger warnings and signposting for readers to support materials.
Someone has even called me brave, which is a bit flattering, maybe. There’s some complex processing I probably need to do there, but I’ll deal with that if I need to.
Brain and emotions are a bit wobbly this evening, but that’s not unusual after a counselling session where we’ve been metaphorically digging in the cellar. I’m left with a general malaise that will no doubt settle with some sleep and thought, and probably some contemplation for good measure.
Part of that has been an examination of the supportive “parental” (as per transactional relationship theory) role I spend a lot of time in versus being adult or even child – and how worn and tired that’s leaving me. This led to a lot of thought around history and upbringing and general formative experiences – and thus my current tired and needing hugs and care state.
I think it’s probably just a response to the healing my body is still doing, combined with a couple of days stomping around, but I’ve been absolutely drained today. I didn’t get out of bed until nearly twelve and then have mostly been making maps for dungeons and dragons, and watching videos while struggling to focus.
Reading it back, that sounds a pretty good day, but I’m still feeling lousy and have elements of “Well that was a wasted day” because my brain can’t turn down an opportunity to strap on thick boots and start kicking.
Never mind, I’m taking this all in to counselling shortly to pick it over. Think I just need the validation of some hugs – hugs solve many woes.
We had a good catchup on Monday with the Charleesi and boyfriend – who have both been working over the Christmas period like us. It was an excuse to get presents to them and spend some time – and to give our newly donated slow cooker a first go. Fair to say that the melt-in-your-mouth meat alone was a treat, especially when mixed with spices and coconut milk for a slow-cooked beef curry experience. It was a good start to the week.
Then it’s been back to the grind – and a strange combination of a slow start that also brought some tough managerial decisions. As is always the way with these things, compromise and conversation in person rather than the sole medium of emails got results and kept storms in teacups where they belonged. It also brought some improvements for some of the people being supported so I’ll take the wins.
I dropped by an unofficial munch (if there’s such a thing) over in Farnborough last night following all that to catch up with people and met some interesting new faces, including a couple of fellow D&D people so a lot of geekiness and sharing of silliness from our respective tables happened. Got some good ideas, and think I introduced one person to at least three new authors they hadn’t encountered before. End of the evening I gave Lady T a lift home and then promptly got stuck after that driving behind someone who barely drove over twenty miles an hour for most of the distance between Staines and home. So, that was fun. At least the new car is a pleasure to drive so as the route didn’t really give me any great overtaking opportunities I settled into my heated seats and pootled along behind until they turned off and cleared the way.
My added bonus today is that, by and large, I haven’t had much discomfort from my ribs. There’s still some tenderness near the sternum, but I’ve been able to take deep breaths, cough, even laugh, and not had stabbing pains for my trouble. I think my body has gone into healing overdrive today though as I’m absolutely shattered and drowsy as I reach the end of the afternoon. I logged off from work, and made the mistake of closing my eyes for a few moments and promptly lost a few hours – so I’m going to take the hint and just be kind to myself for the evening
Even with having a part in preparations for work’s presence at Pride In Surrey this year I’m still feeling unready – but mostly because I’m not sure how I’m actually going to get there. There are train and bus disruptions so I suspect I may have to get a taxi, and this just considering me. Somehow we’ll get the whole Entourage there
In the meantime I have a stack of flags in my bag to use as table cloths on the day. So that’s useful. I need now to start thinking of what I’m going to wear on the day and use as props. To be fair if these are the biggest worried I need to deal with I’ll be fine.
Then next week starts my Leadership training, which I’ve gained access to with my Network Chair role as well as my managing and mentoring a group of managers in the day job. While I’m not expecting anything life changing, I am looking forward to it, and it is already opening doors.
Now, if the anxiety and depression could all nip off down the shops and not come back, that would be helpful.
The grand outing to Alton Towers has had, if you’ll pardon the pun, its share of ups and down with amazing rides, humour, silliness, and some mealtime stresses
The weather has been kind, with only minor showers once or twice, and comfortable temperatures and breezes. The banter and cheer has been great for recharging batteries and passing time in queues.
My anxiety however has been through the roof on occasion, mostly around mealtimes and things connected to that not going to plan. We’re also crammed a little sardine-like into two hotel rooms: four adults and three children. With no aircon it’s all a bit close-quarters.
Still, I’m choosing to be positive and reminding myself of all the positives despite by brain doing its best to sabotage me.
In todays list of things my brain decided to turn into a storm in a teacup was a quick spin on the existential mortality trap of comparing where I am now with what my father was doing at my age. This was duly mixed with an unhealthy dash of “how am I 50?” and a selection of general inflated perceived inadequacy.
Then I shook my head, got a sense of perspective, realised I was feeling gritty from the heat of the day and therefore uncomfortable in my own skin, and had a good hot shower which helped immensely.
Last week was heavy going, for a variety of reasons that I won’t bore you with at the moment; and the tail end of the weekend was spent being anxious and tired and generally overwhelmed with life. It wasn’t until the early hours of this morning though that I decided I needed to have a time out. I had enough accrued time, no meetings booked in, and as far as I could tell nothing looming that couldn’t survive waiting another twenty four hours or so for my direct attention.
Eleven year old children, however, are no respecters of mental health time. I already knew the cub was coming over today, but I reckoned without the bright cheeriness and inquisitive soul popping his head round the door every half hour or so with some bon mot or repetition of a school in-joke that had him chortling and myself considering whether he actually needed both legs.
So I’m partially rested, and have done small household odds and ends and some grocery shopping without being tempted to look at my phone or log in to work email – so in the grand scheme of things it’ll do.
I’ve just had a text from Lady M to say she’s on her way home too. With the cub ensconced back with his favourite YouTuber streams and some chocolate milk I think the odds are good she’ll arrive back to a fairly intact flat. If I can just get this anxiety to give it a rest, that will be a great bonus.