Not The Start I Was Hoping For
I started 2019 with a poor night’s sleep; partly because of the Jim Beam Honey my brother kindly gave me at Christmas, but mainly because Nan was so poorly on New Year’s Eve my mind would not settle. I tried ringing my Nan a couple times but there was no answer. In those situations when you are naturally an anxious person and your Nan is 92, you think the worst. Fortunately my auntie only lives a two minute drive away and goes round everyday to check on her. Nan was fine but because she was poorly, she couldn’t hear the phone ringing.
I took the girls over again a couple of days later, hoping seeing the girls and my naturally beautiful face would cheer her up. When I arrived my oldest brother Neil (don’t confuse him for Mark if you read my blog) was there with his boys. We aren’t close, but things are civil and admittedly were getting better. We got into a discussion comparing cannabis to alcohol. Neil’s views are cannabis is bad, whereas alcohol is acceptable. My view is the opposite. When I talk about a subject I have strong views on I am passionate. This might come across more aggressive than it is intended to be. I could tell he didn’t like that I had answers to his points and was getting frustrated. I said “why are you getting mad, we are only talking” giving him the chance to air what his issue was. However, this is Neil we are talking about and to my face he said “I am not mad, nothing is wrong” then he left the room. Knowing Neil like I do, I stood in the hallway and listened as a he started to talk his usual crap to our auntie behind my back when literally seconds before he had opportunity to say it to my face. This annoyed me greatly. With all the things that happened last year and the slow progress we were making why go and be the same old Neil? This was on top of him asking Mark to meet up one night but not including me, it makes me think it must be something personal about me and that hurts.
Not only did Brooke-haze start back at school this Monday but Ember now goes to nursery on a Monday and a Friday, which I am still feeling a little emotional about. It is another step closer to them both being at school. These feelings added together with the family woes made me feel pretty crap and curbed any motivation for my first week of Dom’s custom programme. I am an emotional person and knowing yourself is important. It means you know what to do when things start getting on top of you. I know my mind will run away with a thought for as long as it takes to either get resolved by actions or time. In this situation it was a bit of both. With regards to my worries about Nan, it was her showing signs of getting better and with regards to Neil it was time. Knowing yourself and having the skills to deal with your feelings in times of stress is crucial to minimising the effect anxiety has on your life. In this situation I knew what I needed to do within the timeframe my mind needed to resolve those thoughts. This time I immersed myself into playing with the girls, enjoying their innocent zest for life and talked about my feelings with my wife and brother.
Another thing that was getting me down was how motivated Laura was with her healthier living. She had swapped out Coke (the fizzy beverage not the white powder) for water and orange juice. She had also dusted off her Fitbit watch and was doing well. Now what kind of self-absorbed loser doesn’t want their wife to better herself; clearly that would be me. Clearly it wasn’t the fact that she was bettering herself that bothered me, it was because when I had that fire in my belly to make the same dietary changes, on more than one occasion she had been the proverbial devil on my shoulder. Then when I am in a slump, she is suddenly Mr Motivator. After a few days of self-reflection, I saw the errors and what I was really doing was taking out my own grievances about my choices on her and realised that instead of wallowing, maybe I should take advantage of her newfound motivation of use it to get me back in the swing of things.
Getting That Fire Back
Wednesday night was the turning point. I started to feel a bit less bogged down by all the things going on, I had Ember back with me, Nan was feeling better and Laura was off work. So we decided to go to a car boot sale and look for things to sell on eBay. I found a couple of bargains and a Bullseye horse in excellent condition that Ember sweet talked me into letting her keep. What more could you ask for from a Wednesday?
Thursday it was just me and Ember and it was a nice day recharging the soul with lots of fun and games with my Ems. We drew pictures, played with dinosaurs and played her other game she got for Christmas; Wobbly worm. Wobbly Worm is strangely addictive; you have to throw your coloured hoops as this 3ft green wobbling worm wobbles around. A hoop or two may or may not have hit Ember in the side of the head; no proof no foul.
Even though I was feeling like I had gotten my head out from under that cloud it was in, I still wasn’t fully committed to my new programme. Laura kept nudging me about doing one of my workouts and I begrudged saying yes. It turned out to be a very important yes. Both girls were trying to exercise with us and watching them watch us knowing we are setting examples to them gave me a better understanding as to why it is so important that I do these workouts. Also, after I was done, I was feeling good, pleased and proud. I could feel the pump (anyone who has seen the Arnie documentary Pumping Iron knows how he feels about the pump) and it was like that, I was back on track. Thank you, Laura.
Dumb MS Brain
I met with Mark Friday lunch which was nice, it has felt like a long time since we have done anything just us. This turned out to be the highlight of the day. After lunch I went home before going to pick Brooke-Haze up from school and drove to Next to pick up a birthday gift for my other brother, Neil. I went to the counter and queued, with the shop lady looking at me holding my phone ready and to give her my parcel number; she knew why I was there, but she waited until my turn to tell me that the collections are now collected from a different counter, what a dick she was. I then queued at the correct counter and a different shop girl recognised me from Brooke’s school (must be the bobble hat) and proceeded to tell me I had come to the wrong Next store and my parcel was at the shop in the city centre. When I ordered it online and chose the collection store as Lincoln, I totally forgot we had two of these stores, stupid dumb brain. I am sure she won’t tell all the other mums in the playground of my dumb moment.
My weekend was full on and as they say, there was certainly no rest for the wicked. On Saturday I took both girls to ballet and it was the first time Ember did her own ballet class without Brooke-haze by her side. This was very proud Daddy moment indeed. After ballet we had to head into town to go to the correct Next store to collect Neil’s present as I thought he was coming round on Sunday, but he didn’t. I took the girls out for lunch whilst in town which was nice. I love the ages they are as it means I can do nice things like that with minimal fuss.
I decided to play catch up and do both my core workout and my leg workout back to back. I was one sweaty stinky Dave, but I was also highly motivated. I ended the week happy until I noticed whilst on the phone to Mark, a watermark on the living room ceiling. I knew the en suite was just above so I checked around my shower tray and found two places where the seal had broken. I had a shower to test it and when I checked the ceiling it was damp which confirmed my suspicions. Just as the stress with the kitchen was over, there was now drama with the en-suite.
I started the week feeling down, defeated and sorry for myself and ended it feeling much brighter and far more motivated, but also annoyed with the shower situation. Ronan Keating was not wrong when he said life is a rollercoaster.
As mentioned previously, I have big plans for Dave Against MS this year. So to allow me more time to focus on developing the podcast and YouTube channel, I have decided to move to a monthly round-up style blog rather than a weekly blog. This will enable me to keep you guys up to date with what’s happening in my personal life as well as bring you quality articles on more MS specific topics.