Week 4…

I’m sat here now, having been wanting to write this post all week and yet, I feel as though it’s already been done… That’s partly because it’s been on my mind a lot (feeling a sense of ‘urgency’ and necessity, in spite of a lack of time); but also, there’s a recurrent photo theme that continues on from last week’s belated update.

Had I not just checked my home page before writing this, I would be about to tell you about how I visited Weston-super-Mare after the course on Monday night… Instead, I’m going to tell you the truth from Monday 29th July. I’ll let you know where I did go… But instead of my CBT course!

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Muting the Noise

Wow, what a difference a little solitude makes!

Also, having a shower, even late at night, offers some ‘healing properties’, regardless of whether the air outside is hot or cold.

So, today, I forced myself to be bold and to go and sit in my vehicle for each of my three breaks (I know, that probably reads like the opposite of being brave and instead, avoiding a situation…). I walked in to the canteen as usual, picked up my cup of tea and walked out (the last one to leave) without making eye contact with anyone. I couldn’t bear the thought that someone might notice and say something but, they didn’t (at least, not before I’d left the room).

Outside in the car park, I was greeted by a couple of surprised by welcoming faces who were basically on my side.

We’re situated right next to a major motorway but the rushing sounds of passing cars didn’t bother me much. It was so nice to be away from all of that negative energy. To be able to see daylight and to feel the direct warmth of the sun. My mind was spared the usual routine jokes and questions (about others; never about me, I feel inclined to add). That Radio was still blasting away but I was unable to hear it.

PEACE!

Solitude!

And a sense of freedom in my escape from a routine that had dogged me for precisely two-years. 🙂

I’m a little concerned by what might happen in the winter time (if I’m still working here) but, I’ve survived longer lunch breaks and college in the past. I can do it again. I must keep looking after myself! This is one way in which I can combat the ‘noise’ at work. Now, I wonder what I can do about my home life, living with family…?

Over the Bridge

Last night, at 10pm, I found that I was struggling to cope with the severe boredom. Two more hours until the year would finally end and my waiting would be over. I don’t know why I bother trying to stay up for it when I don’t even want to switch the TV on to see the celebrations elsewhere.

So, I made a decision to go out for a drive somewhere. To pass the time and to distract my mind from other things.

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I want to try and ‘get away’ from it all, while still hoping that I would be able to see or hear some of the excitement that others were experiencing. I didn’t want to disappear in to the countryside (it was too dark and wet) and settled on an idea to visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

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Family

I went to bed last night with an idea for a post I was going to write as soon as I got up this morning. That idea has since vanished from my mind so, instead, I’m going to write about something else; on a late Christmas morning where my sister’s still in bed, my mum’s elsewhere and even my dog has decided to return to slumber.

Yesterday afternoon, I paid a brief visit to my granddad‘s house for an hour or two. It was the first time I’d been there since September, I think, and I had to be careful to avoid some of the flood waters. Mum was already there, as it’s on her way back from her half-day at work. So, when I arrived with my sister, it was a surprise to the two of them (he and his wife) and, according to mum, it really seemed to lift them, as they often feel as though we don’t make the effort.

It was sad to see how they have deteriorated since I last saw them. Granddad’s been re-married since before I was born but, I still don’t like to refer to his wife as ‘my nan’, as my real grandmother died six-years ago. She was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and, after a nasty fall down the stairs two-years ago, she’s not been the same since. Mobility has become very difficult and we’ve all witnessed the gradual change. My granddad is struggling to care for her on his own and his health and happiness appears to be suffering because of this. He’s in his 80s but won’t accept any outside help. Apparently, he is now entitled to a carer’s allowance, which he would be happy to accept, and he also talked about how they’ll be able to receive a walk-in shower. That would definitely help the two of them, even if they still have to face the struggle of climbing the stairs.

Another issue is that the grandson from the other side of the family is living with them. Unemployed and un-motivated to do much around the house to help them; he’s living off the little allowance they need to survive on. Their heating’s always on and I do worry about things like this. They can’t kick him out because he has nowhere else to go, with family issues in his own home.

Seeing people you’re close to deteriorating in such a way, living a near-meaningless existence where they seem to do little else each day besides sitting quietly in the kitchen; it’s saddening and almost heart-breaking at times. I struggled, witnessing my grandma’s decline in her final years. For years, as a kid, I never understood how serious the illness was. Then, suddenly, it hits you.

I said recently that I do take my ever-present family for granted sometimes and, it’s when you witness something like this that you begin to appreciate just what and who you have and how important they are. They won’t be here forever. It is a relief to see that some medications are available to try and treat the effects of Alzheimer’s today. When my grandma was suffering with dementia, there was nothing of it’s sort; they could only prescribe tablets designed to combat headaches.

Suddenly, I remember what I was wanting to post last night – although, I fear it may be a bit late now…

One thing I love about Christmas Day is waking up to the silence of the world around you. It might be different living next to a motorway but, the A-road next to mine remains silent and still, first thing in the morning. Sometimes, the tranquillity is repeated on the morning of Boxing Day as well. I do enjoy waking up and appreciating this irregular calm.

Merry Christmas to one and all! If you’re sat in front of your computer screen on this joyous occasion then, you are certainly not alone! 🙂

Morning

Well, I’m up, out of bed and completing Day 15 of the thirty-day challenge has helped to awaken my mind. Not that I have anything in particular planned today… I was fortunate to escape the rain during yesterday’s outing and I’m sure that more is forecast for today (tomorrow looks even worse, before I head back to work). My legs are knackered any way – that’s three-days worth of walking; a good nine or ten hours of physical activity, by my estimate. Phew! Sounds tiring just thinking about it! 🙂

In a while, I’ll try to take the dog for a walk as I haven’t personally done this for a few weeks. Usually, it’s my sister’s responsibility as she’s currently out of work and has the time during the day. In fairness, I take her for longer walks but, I’m grateful that my sister can be here to ensure she gets some exercise. It wasn’t this convenient when I was living alone with Katie… Working from 7am until 17.00 most days, I was either too tired in the summer or it was too dark in the winter. Plus, my landlord had his own dogs, which complicated matters and often meant that I had to sneak her in the van and drive down the road to the park, which completely defeats the object of going for a walk!

I still need to change my bed sheets, having slept in this dirtiness (alone) for about two-months now. If I had someone to share it with, I would make a greater effort. I’m also thinking about going around the house with a vacuum. I can’t tell when my mum last did this but I know she’ll appreciate this when she’s back at the weekend. My room hasn’t been done since the day I moved in. As I eat most of my meals in here, there are bound to be crumbs and all sorts hidden within the carpet (I don’t let the dog in here as it irritates me when she goes around sniffing the floor).

I look at the state of our garden and I despair at how bad I’ve let it become. Weeds everywhere; I haven’t pulled them for months. If I can find the strength and provided the weather holds up, I’ll try to tackle it later. I never liked the fact how this was always viewed as ‘my responsibility‘. Even when I lived a couple of miles away, my mum made no attempt to find someone else to do anything more than cut the grass. It’s not difficult at all and I wish she’d encourage my sister to do something more than staying online to 6am and then sleeping through until 15.00 each day… There’s loads of painting and DIY to do outside but, none of us really has the spare cash at the moment and I wasn’t able to keep on top of it during the wet summer we’ve had.

I’ve got until tomorrow night to basically write an introduction to a short story, from the first-person perspective of a character I’ve chosen to work with in class. The pressure’s already mounting, even though I feel slightly more comfortable writing at home than I do when I’m in a class surrounded by others. I’ll try to do that later – hopefully, the other practical activities will help to get me in the right frame of mind…

I’ve only been back at my mum’s for two months and already I’m looking around to see what other options may be available locally. I can’t handle living here under someone else’s watch. She said I would be treated like a lodger but, it doesn’t feel that way at all. I need my own space to create my own sound and voice. I cannot focus when I want to write; I’ve mentioned before about the footsteps and general sounds that come from upstairs and the semi-detached home the other side of my bedroom wall. I would like to pick up my guitars at some point and try to play but, I fear being heard by others; disturbing others. Most of the poetry I’ve shared with you came from when I was living alone. I can’t do that here. I need to get out!