Trying for Simplicity

The rule of Sod feels quite active the last couple of days. Work has been productive despite constant exhaustion so I booked out some time to try and relax and rest. So of course, the boy had unexpected late shifts and we were asked to have the cub over, and he promptly developed a deep cough and a temperature.

At least he’s low maintenance as an invalid, and while Lady M works I’m able to have a quiet collapse on the sofa. The cub is currently in our bed half-heartedly watching YouTube videos on the xbox…

Ploughing On

Even though we’re in national mourning, life continues – and with it plans for future events at work that I won’t talk about until nearer the time. It’s an odd time, at least as an experience of working on transformative and innovative pieces when I can’t talk about them – and more so when the national and local moods are so unpredictable.

Some want and need to carry on as usual, others have a deep sombreness – but overwhelmingly there seems to be a sense of things being a bit…dislocated.

Oh well. My own mood and energy levels have been low so that may be colouring things. I’ve been forcing myself to rest when I can, and doing the self-care bit. It’s working some, and cuddles from Lady M are helping too. Here’s to a brighter week to come.

Long Days

I’m still, in some ways, processing the death of Queen Elizabeth and the change that brings to the sensation of what I’m calling the touchstones of normality. That said, my work has required me to be involved in making sure that protocols and agreements are rolled out effectively in how my libraries operate and communicate at this time.

There’s nothing outrageous, just a lot of communication and relaying of questions up and down the chain – and thanking everyone working for me for their hard work and resilience during some fast-changing times.

That’s partly why today I herded the polycule all into one place so we could just spend some time together at Geek Retreat to chat, gossip, and support each other. One touchstone may have gone, but we have each other and the affirmation of being in each other’s company as another touchstone.

Tomorrow will be a quiet day of recharging batteries and, for me at least, some prepping of options for the D&D game in the evening.

New Term

It’s all very exciting. Along with many others, the cub has started at his new school today. As is traditional,all his clothing is of the “he’ll grow into it” fitting, but he still looks proud and perhaps happier than he expected.

Another new facet is that we’re now in that process of building his confidence to be home alone. We’ll get there. Right now I’ll settle for him getting in the habit of knowing where his house keys are. Small steps…

In the meantime my own learning journey continues with more elements of a Leadership course. It’s been made available to me both as part of the day job and in connection to the staff network role. I wasn’t entirely sure about it but I’m not one to turn down free learning opportunities. I’ve been pleasantly surprised and energised by the course so far so that’s a nice bonus.

Bracelets

I’ve recently started wearing some bracelets made of wood, leather, and fabrics following our trip to Alton Towers. They’re similar to a similar set boy s is wearing addition should be no surprise therefore that there’s the link. In addition there’s a bracelet that was a gift during lockdown from Mre B that has a small reserve mental spoon attached to it.

We’ve talked about doing something like this for a while as a casual marker of our relationship – and the styles are eclectic enough to appeal on an aesthetic level but I’ve found it difficult to wear things on my wrist for years.

In large part it’s a holdover from when I was attacked – memories of wrists being held making it very uncomfortable – but the work I’ve been doing in therapy has contributed to putting some distance in recently.

I’m choosing instead to use the sensations at my wrist as a focus. On the one hand it’s a reminder of the boy. On another it helps to imagine all the skin crawling anxieties gathering there in one place rather than uncontrollable and everywhere. In effect it can be imagined as a shield

It’s a whimsy, it’s a way of focusing. It’s a distraction, and it’s a statement. I take them off at night before bed so I can settle, metaphorically removing the cares of the day. It’s a small and positive ritual that brings a measure of calm.

And I think they look good, and I enjoy seeing the counterparts on the boy

Approaching Pride

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.

New Goal

I was at a social gathering last week when someone mistook a filtered photo for something that I had drawn. While complimentary it tweaked that perfectionist side of me that looks at what I currently do when input pen to paper.

Now, the second image is something I’m a lot closer to these days since I started using brush pens and trying some new things in the sketch book. It reminds me of some of Tim Sale’s artwork but not, perhaps, as clean with some of the lines.

The nearest I’ve got so far

So my new challenge to myself is to practice until I can create something similar freehand, just to prove to myself I can.

Shouldn’t be too difficult to make that leap from where I am – but then doing it consistently whole cloth from imagination rather than from a reference will be the step that will make me happier.

On Holiday

We’re off on out for a couple of days – myself, Lady M and the boy s with assembled kids. I’m not saying he’s excited, but the cub has not stopped exclaiming in his stream-of-consciousness babble all day, and it’s only the first morning.

We definitely need the time together. The last few months have been remorseless in their grind and we’ve really not had much quality time together.  Rollercoasters and silliness seems a good excuse.

There might even be some opportunities for some sleep at some point – a commodity that has been in scarce supply of late. I have driven the first half of our journey, and now Lady M is completing it. A snooze may be in order.

Heat Blah

I took yesterday off to use up some of my accrued time and Lady M worked from home so the general heat has settled across the flat like a blanket. Having Lady T visit for cold coffees and first refusal on some XBox games for her family before I trade them in was a delight, if only because it was a good excuse to jump in the car and fire up the air conditioning.

Today I woke with definite plans for my Saturday, but here I am in a mood dip because its been so unrelentingly hot that its sapped all will to move and now my brain is berating me for losing a day.

Lady M has of course reminded me that a day of doing nothing is not really a problem. I did sit and finish Powerwasher Simulator so I suppose there’s that.

I’d dig a hole to crawl into, but that involves effort, and my executive dysfunction has set in for the night

Nominations

I’m in the process of drafting a statement in support of a nomination I’m making for a staff awards event. My main problem is concisely reducing the statement to only 500 words. This is not a lot when considering the range of criteria asked for and the range of things that has promoted me to make the nomination.

If this is the worst problem I have to deal with this week, I shall count myself lucky.

Even if the award isn’t given, the nomination will be a public sign of support for incredible work, so either way there’s a positive outcome. And yes I’m being deliberately vague at the moment as I’d like it to be a surprise.

Celebrating the positive achievements going on in the face of all the challenges is important, and is something I love being able to do.