Saturday, May 28, 2022

166 miles in May

When I decided to walk/run 50 miles in May, I was expecting a struggle to finish it. My Garmin's stats say I covered that much in all of the 4 months before it! 

It was a slow start, but after initial hiccups (May 1 and 2), I was unstoppable. 

Along the way, my own mental health has improved, I feel so much better, and I have promised to keep this going. 

And so, back to the thing that got me moving to begin with: the Samaritans. While I am extremely grateful for those who have contributed/promised to contribute, I have barely got a handful of contributions. I set off hoping to raise some money along with creating awareness (and getting more active!). 

let me know if you are happy to support the Samaritans (I'll consolidate all contributions and pay them shortly) or you can contribute directly:

https://www.samaritans.org/donate/?amount=00&pay-in=on&campaign_id=74&frequency=single&currency=GBP

if you use the link, do select "50 miles in May"


Friday, May 27, 2022

running on water

we were swimming in a lake. the water was turquiose, although it wasn't completely clear - it was more like a translucent turquoise. the lake was pretty huge. there were about 15 of us in the lake, quite well spread out. i don't remember who they were, but it definitely felt like friends I knew well, all guys though. it seemed like the lake was about 4 feet deep throughought, as everyone was about neck deep in water, and we had our feet on the ground. the lake was bordered by a forest, which also had coconut trees dotted along its shore - must have been somewhere coastal and tropical.

we were playing a game where we'd throw a ball to each other and try to catch it. there didn't seem to be any particular objective to the game - we were just throwing the ball around and catching it. the size of the lake was so huge that I wasn't sure if it was possible to throw the ball across to the person furthest away - i was quite sure that given my limited throwing abilities, i certainly could not.

at one point, someone threw the ball towards me but it didn't quite get to me. in fact, it barely got halfway across the lake before coming to a standstill. i started moving towards the ball as fast as i could, but the water resisted, as it usually would when you're that deep in it. i tried leaping forward with each step, as the more of my body I got out of the water, the faster and further I could move.

I leaped harder and higher, until at one point, I just about managed to leap clear of the water. and when I did, my foot didn't break the surface and go back in - I stayed standing on top of the surface of the lake!

I took a nervous step forward, and I countinued to stay on the surface of the lake! I was walking on water!

I took a few more steps, and once I was confident this was actually happening, I started to run. I could run on water!

I picked up the ball and tossed it back to the friend who had tossed it towards me.

I was so overjoyed with being able to run on water I didn't care for the game any more. I ran along the lake towards the shore, to where there was a wooden shed with a roof made out of thatched coconut leaves. Mom and dad were standing there, an arm around each others' shoulder. They were beaming at me. I was overjoyed to see them - more importantly, to see dad.

I hugged him, and mom took her arm off his shoulder.

I told him he was looking great! In fact, he seemed to have lost quite a bit of weight!

He said "yeah, I know, I haven't eaten in 5 months!"

I replied, "that's not too bad then!"

And that's when my alarm went off.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

so, what's the plan?

it's interesting how problems seem far more manageable when viewed from a distance. my trip to London was to catch tool live (which I did! another post to follow 😁), but as a side effect, the last 4 days have given me a surprising (and unexpected) amount of time alone with nothing to do but think. I guess that's one side-effect of a solo vacation I hadn't considered, especially in a place like London, with its long, offline tube journeys. that and the book I'm currently reading on my kindle ("deep work" by Cal Newport) has led me to conclude the feeling of being in a constant struggle is actually because I'm struggling to focus on the things I want to do. and that the things I need to do to ease my struggle are actually quite simple! 

and so, when this plane lands at Belfast, I'm going to step off with a spring in my step, because I have a plan... and it's going to take me from where I am to where I want to go!

Saturday, May 07, 2022

2022 so far

I'm not going to lie, 2022 has brought plenty of not-so-nice things with it. losing dad tops the list, but there's more to it:

- despite every effort, things seem to be falling apart. staying on top of my work, personal life, staying in touch with family and friends, taking care of myself seems easy individually, but when put together becomes overwhelming and feels like too much to manage.

- my health seems to be taking a beating as a result. I've been cycling less, walking less (although that's changing now), sleeping less, eating worse.

- for the first time in my life, I've been officially diagnosed with less than perfect mental health. while counselling seems to have got me out of the red, it still seems like things are precarious.

- time seems to be passing without much to show for it. at the start of the pandemic, there were plenty of reassuring messages that in these times, it's okay to just survive. it now seems like things are about as normal as they're going to be, and yet I'm still in "barely surviving" mode.

- I've lost my taste for most entertainment. Reading, movies, board games, even a night out. the only thing that gets me going is when someone asks. and even then, it seems like whatever I do just makes my life more difficult than if I didn't go.

- I feel alone most of the time. I don't know why. I'm surrounded (physically and virtually) by people who want the best for me, but I just feel it.

it's not like I don't have things to be thankful for: my time spent in Mumbai was much more fulfilling than it usually has been. I still have the rest of my family. the pandemic has been better to me than to most (if statistics are to be believed). I live in peaceful, idyllic surroundings. I still have my motorbike (although I came very close to having to sell it), and I still enjoy riding it. I learned to sail. I have all the comforts I desire. I seem to be making progress towards my long term goals.

it's just that the overarching feeling of everything being a struggle pretty much masks everything else. 

hands-not-free

i have this strange problem: i try to minimize the amount of distance i need to walk when i'm trying to get stuff done at home. whenever...