Checking In

Day 343: As we approach the end of January I want to check in and make sure I’m still doing all the things I intended on doing. I ended 2021 in a pretty strong place both mentally and physically. My desire to drink alcohol was pretty non existent during the festive period and I navigated my way through the few social outings I planned in.

January has been a very mixed bag. My normally settled sleep has been infected by vivid dreams which in the main are based around relapse, abusing myself and hurting others. Violently murdering others in some dreams! I don’t have these thoughts whilst I’m awake so I’m hoping the dreams will pass and you don’t read about me in the news soon! I shouldn’t joke about it really.

My general mood has been very up and down this month. I wouldn’t say I’ve been depressed or highly anxious as such (so I’ll take that as a big plus) but I have felt much more fatigue, irritation and mild anxiety of late than I had for say, 3-4 months previously. The brain is a complex beast and I try not to overanalyse the WHY I’m feeling like this and try to focus on the HOW I can make myself feel better.

With that in mind, I’m running regularly and was so happy to knock a cracking 40 seconds off my 5KM personal best on Sunday. I have four 10KM races booked in 2022 and my fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK has begun. Well, I’ve had £10 donated so we are off the mark. All helps. My donating page is www.justgiving.com/BarriesNErunning should you be interested in finding out more about my 2022 challenge. Thank you.

I’m still loving my weekly Yoga class on a Wednesday evening. It’s great for the body and mind. I never thought I’d get into something so ‘mindful’ or ‘spiritual’ but I love the way it makes me feel. I think doing the class in the middle of the week is a nice breakwater for the overall weekly shenanigans. I’ll probably introduce a second class at some point this year. I’m not in the pub anymore so I can justify the time away from the kids!

I’m still working full time from home and to be honest it seems to be working just fine. My role can be done remotely and all of my team are based in other parts of the UK anyways so it’s not as if I’m missing the team aspect of being in the office. Should I remain with my current employer I don’t expect to be returning to the local office that I’ve called ‘home’ for the last 15 years. Maybe the odd venture in but I really don’t see the point. Most of my interaction is via Teams meetings anyways with colleagues based hundreds of miles away. I used to travel a lot before the pandemic and didn’t mind it in the main as I like my own company. I would read, catch up on boxsets and go out exploring the cities I was visiting (generally Brighton, Exeter or London). I don’t expect travel to become as regular as previously as the pandemic has proven in the last 2 years that we can see operate efficiently virtually.

So yeah, work is fine. Happy enough. And clearly I’m having a positive impact on my carbon footprint. My social life is pretty non existent now as previously it was centred around pubs and drinking. Apart from the very rare trip to the local pub with a mate I don’t go to them. My fortnightly venture to the football with my mate’s 68 year old Dad is as much as I can call am outing. It doesn’t really bother me though. I think the pandemic has recalibrated the way I feel about socialising and I’d much rather go for a run, walk, coffee or read a book (all on my own) than head out in a group. I’ll not dismiss social events in the future but I doubt I’ll be the protagonist that I once was.

Most importantly things are much better at home. I spend more conscious and focused time with my daughters. My wife and I have a trip to Portugal booked for our wedding anniversary later in the year and we’ve just booked a family holiday to North Yorkshire during the school holidays in the Summer. We even have a theatre show and two gigs booked for 2022. It feels like we are finally returning to some kind of normality!

That’s my check in done. Back to the deeper stuff next time I promise!

Author: Happy Daddy

A married thirtysomething Dad of two young daughters navigating my way through life a day at a time

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