Back to dark, moody weather. Apparently it’s warmer that’s why I’m wearing a wooly hat, gloves and 38 layers….
You know your tired when you function without using your brain. You make a drink with the coffee machine but forget to put a cup in the holder. You drop a full toilet roll into the bowl. You put your shirt on inside out and back to front. You give the cat dog food and the dog gets cat food. The washing machine programme settings are several pay grades above your abilities. And you microwave a tub of mint chocolate ice cream rather than a frozen cottage pie.
Yep getting a few of those days recently.
And then I just have to raise the brain fail stakes….
Cutting hair while tired. Starting to trim without putting the No2 guard on. In fact NO guard. End result a rather fashionable shaved area. On the plus side it’s a national lockdown so no-one outside the house is going to see it for weeks. Plenty of time to grow back. And as my parents would say ‘a rider on a passing horse won’t notice..’. They would also say ‘only 2 days between a bad hair cut and a you need to comb your hair cut’ – in this case make that a few weeks…..
I think I might be on top of things. The mind is heading in the right direction. I’m in a decent place and then….
And then something sneaks up on me. With me it’s often seemingly a silly little thing. Suddenly the friendly wind is taken from my sails.
I couldn’t sleep late last night. Just wasn’t feeling tired so I decided to watch a movie. Something requiring no thinking power. So I went for a mindless comedy. Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Haven’t seen that in decades.
The last time I watched this movie I was in a different place in life. Life was still yet to really hit me. So the movies ending never really registered. Well it did last night. Wow did it register.
The jolly and silly little movie closes with Steve Martin sudden realising that the chap he had spent the last 48 hours in travelling hell might not be as happily married as he had thought. He goes back to find him sat alone in a cold train station waiting room. His wife had died 8 years ago, he was alone and suffering.
That scene just really hit me. So unexpected. I’ve been there. I was that man. I might still be that man. I so could imagine what he felt like, sat alone in that cold bleak place. Watching others live and seemingly having no where to go.
The movie ended well but I was shaken. Sad, confused, anxious. Even after many hours I’m still feeling shaky. All from one silly movie.
The next time I watch a late night thing then let’s play it safe. It’s QVC or Scooby Doo or the Real Fire Channel for me…..
Feeling stuck is often not a great feeling. Today I feel must definitely stuck. Stuck in Groundhog Day. It feels like that….
I tend to wake up at the same time and experience the familiar tiredness,
Sling open the curtains to see mist, greyness and everything dripping wet,
I get Hawklad up in the same way and set him up as usual for the home at school project,
The home at school hours pass in the same way. The same lessons requiring the same input. The usual lessons delivering the usual frustrations,
I cook Hawklad the usual food, repeating the same 7 day food cycle every week,
Every day looking over the fence and wondering what it would feel like to run free. Then shrugging my shoulders and start moaning about the weather,
The feeling of going round in circles during my exercise workouts. I tried to introduce yoga to freshen it up. But it’s often just the same poses performed in a slightly different order,
Spending ages trying to get the never ending cycle of washing to be semi dried on the radiators,
Opening up the work laptop and finding nothing in the to do list,
Listening to the same news. The same world problems. The same self deluded madmen hogging the headlines. The same lies,
Going through the same quarantine procedures with post and deliveries,
Feeling the same frustration with hobbies. As hard as I try to learn German and the Piano, each day I seem to be back at square one again,
Going round in circles trying to get the support Hawklad needs to truly flourish. Failing and then trying to provide that support in my untrained, and rather random way,
Realising it’s another day isolated,
Venturing out at night to hopefully look at the stars to only find the mist has turned into heavy rain,
Trying to keep myself awake during the evening movie then finding sleep escaping me as we move beyond midnight.
Definitely feels like Groundhog Day.
But here’s the hope. Just like in the wonderful Bill Murray movie it is still possible to break the cycle eventually. Just got to keep trying. Forcing myself to experiment with what alternatives are available. Remembering the good dreams. Yes one day 6.00am will bring a truly new start.
Last night I was tired. Unusually tired for me. But it was one of those pesky tired setups. During the evening I could feel myself nodding off. Plenty of those ‘just starting to drift off while sat on the settee – then suddenly woken by those cataclysmic sudden neck snapping forward’ moments. This went on all evening until it was bed time. But then I just wasn’t tired. Pigging fiddlesticks……
Finally sleep came but all too soon…..
What’s up son.
“Dad I’ve forgotten, sorry we’ve forgotten the art assignment.”
Ooh yeh, that one that isn’t due in until the 12th.
“That’s the one, But ITS THE 12th.”
Oh big pants. Can you do it as soon as you get up?
“No it’s due at the start of the first lesson.”
I could see by the look in his eyes that until it was done, sleep would be impossible. So a few minutes later I was in the kitchen making hot drinks. Years ago a late night session would have had a very different meaning to tonight’s version. 3am and rocking out to Japanese Art.
Basically I sat there looking vacant, occasionally nodding (in a of course I knew that kinda way) and asking Google such questions as ‘what on earth does wabi and sabi mean’. It took an hour before Hawklad had convinced himself that he had done enough. The school panic in his world was over. His completed presentation was significantly more robust than his Dads initial suggestive assignment text
Japanese Art is cool but Godzilla is real cool. Now it’s time for bed….
Hawklad got to bed and immediately fell asleep. I guess at about 4.30am I found some sleep. I woke up a couple of hours later with one overriding thought. How can you write two pages on Japanese Artand not mention Godzilla‘s Atomic Breathjust once. What has become of Art.
One of Hawklads favourite movies is Groundhog Day. Must admit a I’ve always liked that film. I’m showing my 1000 year plus age now by saying FILM. Anyway I liked that Bill Murray film because it was funny and a bit about redemption. Repeatedly through life I’ve had that Groundhog Day feeling. It’s so hard to put down on paper. That feeling that on this long journey, the circumstances and challenges remain unchanged. Never ending. What ever I do, they just seem to repeat. Slowly it’s starts to eat away at my inner self. Plays havoc with my emotions. My inner belief ebbs away. That’s when it feels like I need another caring hand to lead me into a new tomorrow. So yes I get this movie.
Hopefully I’m not as bad as Phil was at the start of the film – sorry movie. But again it is starting to feel like days are starting to repeat themselves. Even when I try to introduce something new, try just that little harder, then the next day starts very like the previous day. Stuff just keeps repeating itself.
A largely sleepless night,
Get up and do the same exercises in the garden,
Try to get the dog to go outside for his charge around and do his morning constitutional,
Check the news – these days it’s always the same headline and the same frustrations,
Sticking to the same fasting diet regime,
Cooking the same meals for Hawklad (he has the same 7 day food menu which he sticks to),
Sort out the mess the pets have made,
Hoover and clean the same rooms (we only have 5 small ones, a bathroom and a kitchen to worry about),
Try to get the old washing machine door to lock so I can do a wash,
Have the same thoughts about been able to run free beyond our garden fence enclosures, *** don’t get me wrong I am so thankful for the garden, so many wonderful people don’t have that***
Look at the same walls, with the same pictures, often feeling like they are closing in on me,
Spend far too long moaning about the weather,
Check the work system and email the same people, saying basically the same thing,
Wash up the same plates and cups,
Make a list of today’s challenges and they are the same as yesterday’s, the week before, last months…..
Jump on the scales and whisper PANTS,
Want to eat healthily but having to rely on Soya (Soy). Then watching my body just basically say NO,
Try to find my keys which are missing again,
Walk 40 yards to the post box to post a letter – my big trip out of the day,
Start the car up to make sure the battery doesn’t go flat,
The things that brought pain and doubt yesterday are still here today,
Check the bank account and whisper BIG PANTS,
Talk to Hawklad about hand washing every time he goes to the bathroom – which is about every 10 minutes,
Wash my hands constantly to help ease Hawklad’s fears,
Unblock the toilet and kitchen sink once a day, the builder who installed those was clearly having a laugh –
Reset the WiFi at about the same time every day as it’s gone down with cabin fever,
Try to get the cat to eat it’s gluten, grain, dairy free food when clearly it just wants to eat all the stuff that gives it diarrhoea,
Bake and Fail – that’s a great book title…..
Field the same calls, from the same companies offering the same services I don’t want,
If and when it rains, try to stop a flood next to the back door. Basically ends up mopping out the pools of water,
Trying to chase moths and insects out of the house – the price you pay for living next to a farm,
Fight the same fears and demons,
Face the same self questioning,
Once a week cut the lawn with a lawnmower which basically hates cutting grass,
Every second Thursday realise the garden bin is still basically empty so have a mad gardening rush,
My dreams are still just dreams, seemingly no nearer becoming reality,
Go to bed so hoping for sleep, yet…..
Now don’t get me wrong some of the routine is just so fantastic. I just wouldn’t dream of changing those things. Going out in the garden at about the same time every day and talking with Hawklad. Spending time with him. Thinking of friends. Finding ways to make connections with those who are special to me. Looking at beautiful photos and videos – and smiling. Having fun playing games. Doing a bit of writing or waffling depending on your viewpoint. Saturday night movie night.
So yes it does feel like Groundhog Day. This time it may well keep feeling this way until our personal lockdown has been partially lifted. Maybe this time it’s could be labelled as Cabin Fever. Whatever it is, just like Phil in the movie, it often feels like I am the only one stuck in this repeat cycle. AND let’s not forget a really important factor – some people long for that repetitiveness. Hawklad is one. So maybe Groundhog Day can also be a good thing. Just got to go with the flow, make each day count as best I can and worry about tomorrow if it ever arrives.
Lockdown did have some advantages. One being – No Aeroplanes. Something about seeing a sky without any evidence of man made birds which are polluting the atmosphere. Now the number of vapour trails are slowly rising but clearly not back to the crowded skies of pre pandemic times. Which is still a bit of a win for the planet. Got to be pleased about that.
I did something that I’m not pleased about. Not at all. I snapped at Hawklad. Not a massive snap, but still a snap. Some post arrived and I quickly put the offending letters into the designated quarantine area. I quickly washed my hands then headed out to cut the grass.
“Dad have youwashed your hands.”
“Which towel did you use.”
“Which soap did you use.”
“I don’t think you washed your hands for long enough. Can you wash them again.”
Maybe I was tired. Maybe it’s because I had gone 16 hours without food. Maybe I just wanted to get the grass cut before it rained. Maybe I was annoyed at myself for not washing my hands for long enough in the first place. Maybe it’s being seemingly stuck in Groundhog Day. For whatever reason, I snapped. Slammed the front door shut, did that teenage sigh, let out a little mild expletive, stomped to the bathroom and purposely washed in the noisiest fashion possible. Not massive stuff but unusual for me. We’ve all been there. Even Super Hero Parents are human…….
I quickly apologised and went outside to cool down. Easily done in today’s Yorkshire weather. All I could think about was school. What happens if he does decide to go back on the 11th September. His hyper hygiene mode will meet a school system which is basically winging it. Maybe they could make Hawklad into the Hygiene Monitor. Wow he would sort out the teachers and pupils. Definitely the iron fist of authority. But in all seriousness, the teachers and other kids will just not have the time or inclination to get anywhere near the hygiene levels that he’s got used to at home. The levels he needs for his own well-being. I can see some of the less patient teachers issuing so many negatives to him. But that was me just a few moments ago.
So more food for thought. As is the fact that in the broken cloudy skies, I can see three vapour trails. That’s the most in months…..
Three hours sleep in two days. All of that came the night before. Surely I should be more tired. Yes a little sleepy. Bags under my eyes – that could be Soya poisoning. Much yawning but still functioning. One of those long nights. Watched happy videos to bring smiles. But eventually the iPad ran out of juice and had to be pipped some of that electricity to bring it back to life. If only we had that option.
Can’t face watching night time TV. Please no QVC or car makeovers. Sleep refusing to come so then it was reading time. A book about a failed climbing expedition. Not happy reading. Loss of precious life, loss of fingers and toes. Was that final reckless push for the top really worth it. Only those climbers will know. My view of success in the mountains was always a little different. Success was seen as returning to camp in one piece with new experiences banked – the summit was just a bonus.
The read and the slow passing night did nothing for my spirit. The clock hands refusing to push forward quick enough. The hours dragging. Mood slowly sinking as fast as my chances of getting any sleep. That feeling of being alone. The iPad still drinking in electricity so no happy videos to lift me up.
Finally the dawn breaks and I’m out in the cool, damp morning air. Probably pushed myself too hard on the exercise. My body didn’t need that but for some reason my mind decided that was what was needed.
Now the day is here. Staggeringly I am not feeling tired. The iPad is back in business again. Quick video, look at some photos. Then a hot drink sat watching the moody Yorkshire skies. My mood lifted. Hawklad will soon be up. Not feeling alone. Almost time to rumble. The day beckons.
A lack of sleep is just a pile of pants. So many of us know the feeling. For me it’s like being a walking zombie. A zombie with dodgy knees and dreadful dress sense. The last few days the zombie state has been growing. So I’ve made an effort to sleep. Earlier to bed, no distractions, calming tea. Unfortunately the fates are just against me. First night the cat escaped out of a briefly opened door at 11pm. The cat is not allowed out under Vet orders. Son would have been mortified. After much searching the cat was recaptured at just after 3am. It’s amazing how such a big, overweight cat can be so fleet of foot.
The next night I was again in bed at 11. Unfortunately that was perfectly timed with the arrival of a massive thunder storm. No sleep was possible. In the end I got up and watched the storm until 4am.
Last night again I was in bed for 11. Then an annoying knocking sound from outside. Knock, knock, knock. Like Chinese Water Torture. Eventually too much. So outside with a torch in the rain and the wind. Time and time again a potential knocking source was found and disarmed. But every time I went back inside. Knock, knock, knock. Finally after a couple of hours the culprit was found. A metal hanging basket. But now I was cold, wet and at 1.30am, most definitely not sleepy.
So let’s hope for tonight’s sleep. It will come eventually. But let’s just embrace my inner zombie and the immaculate dress sense. Where’s my pink T-shirt and green shorts…..