It’s taken about an hour of messing around with an aged laptop this morning to even get to the point of writing anything. It crashed as soon as I turned it on, which normally means that the automatic updates aren’t being as automatic as they should be, so it took many frustrating minutes to restart it and then to find the update settings. More time to download the necessary updates and then restart and wait for the poor overloaded device to sort itself out.
While this is going on, it’s dark outside and cold. The rain’s slashing down into the puddles and my wife and I are wishing for an open fire to put its cheer into our cold house. Our old boiler struggles but seemingly refuses to give up the ghost. Whenever it does, we can get it replaced with a newer model that doesn’t sound like it’s aiming for the moon and a thermostat that doesn’t need the skills of a safecracker to twiddle the dial to the exact point that it’ll trigger the boiler. Our landlord is a decent guy but doesn’t like replacing things until they’re physically broken, which is fine, but the house hasn’t been modernised much over the years and the insulation was bad when it was built.
I’ve been out this morning to walk my son to school. The icy rain did its best to trickle past my jacket collar, but the high storm collar did what it’s meant to do. The rain was held back and beaded on my jacket, gathering, and then running in rivulets down and falling to the path. Littlun is hiding under his hood, which is big enough to fit over his winter hat that comes over his ears. His hands are stuffed into his pockets and we’re both striding along…well…I’m striding and he’s walking and then trotting to catch up every few steps. We get to the school and exchange a fist bump and he trots off to wait near the gate while I lean against a lamppost. I’m out in the rain but away from the other drop off parents and it gives him some space for independence to grow. As he gets older, he can do the 10-minute walk by himself, but for now, he’s told me that he doesn’t want to do it by himself anyway. His confidence is a work in progress, but it is progressing.
I stride back home through the rain. My wife’s sciatica is playing up at the moment but she’s struggling her way through a workout. The doc gave her diazepam and naproxen on top of her normal codeine so she’s feeling shit and drugged up. Work is getting on top of her at the moment too; the managers doing the normal and loading up the competent members of the workforce whilst others skate around the edge and do as little as possible. It’s the same sort of thing that eventually led to me getting medically retired from the same workplace. They constantly drive the hard workers into the ground but shy away from having the necessary conversations with less than stellar employees. Can managers really be called that if they don’t in fact manage?
My wife goes off to work at the maniac factory (it may as well be) and I get a couple of hours to myself before the school run. The house is dark, the rain still beating at the windows, and I listen to a podcast whilst cooking for later and tomorrow. When it’s time to go pick the boy up, I put on my big waterproof jacket and stride back through the rain. The path is more flooded than earlier, leaving a narrowish strip of asphalt before the sogginess of the grass. I get a small amount of amusement seeing people get themselves into all those little awkward social moments that ensue when there’s limited path space, people have hoods over their faces and they’re walking head down. Obviously, with small children in tow and dogs on stupidly long leads as well, collisions and tangles occur. I’ve got my boots on so just squidge through the mud.
My son’s bubble comes out and we walk at a reduced pace back home. He’s not quite 10 and still loves puddles, so various sticks are floated in the flooded areas and then sunk by highly accurate bombing. We’ve been reading “The Dam Busters” together recently so his games have focused on WW2 and 617 Squadron. There are some hard subjects that come up reading these sorts of books, but the whole point of parenting (in my humble opinion) is to teach your kids how to be adults and having those conversations is a part of that. There seems to be a trend now, for condensing events of the past down to “good” and “bad” without recognising any of the historical contexts and in general, life just isn’t that simple.
It’s getting dark when we get back to the house. We get changed into phys shorts, clear the dog toys back into the box in the corner and encourage the said dog to lie on a sofa with a ball. As far as he’s concerned, us in various stress positions whilst exercising, is a perfect opportunity to shove a manky, chewed toy into our faces or to crawl under us during push-ups. We both make it through the sets, me lagging behind him, and stretch off. I’m back to being able to touch my toes again, which is satisfying, and he’s almost there. We had a podiatrist’s appointment via video call a while ago because his feet turn in sometimes when he walks, especially when going through a growth spurt. She said that it’s his bones and muscles not growing at the same rate and to do a series of stretches to help the process.
The workouts and stretching we’re doing are starting to show results for all of us. He’s walking better and although we’re both finding the workouts hard, we’re able to complete them and each week we’re able to do that bit more. Nothing happens overnight but unless you make a start it’ll never get better, and it takes a much shorter time to lose muscle and fitness than it does to gain them. I’ve learnt that the hard way over the years and this time, I’m trying to be patient and just do consistent workouts each week and accept that it’s going to take a while to get to where I want to be. I tend to expect too much of myself, push too hard and injure myself or run my immune system down and get ill. Neither of those outcomes is optimal as they just make everything else so much harder.
Hopefully, you’re better at listening to your body than I have been in the past.
Just another blogger