You thought I’d given up already? INCORRECT! It’s just been one of those weeks and I didn’t get a chance to write the Brain Dump for Friday. And when I say one of those weeks – it’s been a bit shit, but I guess the brain dump is here to capture the good and the bad. So let’s go with the traditional middle management good news, bad news, good news format – the shit sandwich. That will also be chronological order, which works out nicely.
Good Thing: Clay Pigeon Shooting
My 40th birthday was back in April and although it wasn’t during a lockdown like the birthday before, there were still a lot of rules in place so a lot of my presents were things to do later in the year. One of those was a clay pigeon shooting session out in a forest near Dartford, which we did last Saturday and it was really good fun. You got to fire 32 shots which were divided up as follows:
- Round 1: 6 shots at 1 pigeon going straight up
- Round 2: 6 shots at 1 pigeon going away from you
- Round 3: 10 shots at both of those pigeons flying one at a time
- Round 4: 10 shots at both of those pigeons flying at the same time
And I’m very proud to announce I hit all 10 shots in that final round and I cannot stress how satisfying that was! Those thousands of hours playing videogames were not a waste after all! The missus, who had missed most of her shots in round 3 with the less powerful ‘lady gun’ she was given, also hit both pigeons twice in the final round, much to the shock of everyone watching. Overall, I really enjoyed it and would like to do it again for a longer session. I could see myself become a gun weirdo.
After the shooting, we nipped down to Rochester to catch up with an old university friend and then went off to Kingston to see some of the missus’ friends and I drank far too much and ate far too much 1.30 pizza for a man who was supposed to be running 10km on the Sunday. I did eventually go for the run and managed 8.5km but the pizza and beer sweat become far too much.
Bad Thing: Stress
I think it’s fair to say that the past 18 months have been pretty cack for most people, all over the world. And before I go into any of this I know a lot of people have had it a lot worse, including some close friends very recently, but you can only deal with your own situation on a daily basis and every celebrity on TV says we don’t talk enough about mental health (although ironically they say it hourly). So here we go…
We live in a flat. It has a little garden and a bedroom, but most time is spent in the kitchen or the lounge, with two people working full time without desks or a decent set up because there is no space. You want to make your lunch? Well the other person is on a client call in the kitchen because you were on an important meeting in the lounge and neither of our employers line up meetings to meet our requirements in the flat, which is very selfish of them.
Admittedly, I have only been working full time again since January and my job isn’t very intense, but I haven’t had a break since January and have become trapped in an endless cycle of try to get up and go for a run, try to get some work done, try to watch what I eat, try to get a good night’s sleep and repeat. It’s pretty fucking dull. And people who know me will know that I don’t really like an endless routine. Remember when I did filing in a law firm? It was the easiest job in the world and I was so fucking bored. Boredom and routine stress me out a lot more than being pushed and challenged and doing new things. Most people also know I like being on my own sometimes and that hasn’t really happened at all. ALSO: we did buy a house but the cunts selling waited 3 months and then pulled out, so seeing the end of the flat cycle in sight just to have it whipped away has not helped matters at all.
So recently, it has been getting to me. I’m not getting a good night’s sleep because I’m a bit stressed. That’s making it harder to get up and run before work. I’m struggling with watching my food because I’m only 1lb over where I want to be so I’m not trying that hard but then that 1lb never goes and that’s winding me up. I’ve lot 2 and a half stone in the past couple of years, I should be able to lose a pound! And so the cycle goes on. Like I said, other people have a lot bigger problems, but I’m just trapped in an endless cycle and it’s been driving me mad. I have described it to a few people as just about manageable – a few per cent away from going over the edge and losing my marbles. Because of this, in recent weeks it’s just got a bit tense in the flat. And then on Sunday night something happened to push me over the edge…
Sorry to be a vague online attention seeker like a woman posting on Facebook (are you okay hun x) but I don’t need to go into details on here. We’ll call it a couple’s disagreement very late on Sunday/early on Monday, meaning sleep is ruined and on Monday morning you have 10 minutes gaps in between meetings and phone calls to argue about it before you have to jump on Zoom and look like a normal happy person and talk about work things you don’t care about because you are fuming. In those two rooms you’ve trapped been in all year. And with everything else that’s been dragging me down, this wasn’t going to be solved by lunchtime on Monday, I was in full on annoyed mode. I’ve just felt like crap for most of the week and when I feel like crap, I eat like a World’s Strongest Man contestant, or a council estate family of four, which of course doesn’t help with losing that fucking 1lb! Seriously though, I’ve done what I like to call the Fast Food Gauntlet – I’ve defeated one of everything. Chinese, another pizza, fish and chips, Subway, McDonald’s, kebab. I really should just drink or do drugs like anyone else would.
I’ve tried to do some things to break the cycle and chill out a bit (more on that below) but I’ve just been fucking fuming all week and still trapped in the fucking flat climbing up the walls.
And I will say it again: I know other people have had a lot worse happen, but it’s been a really shit week and it’s better to say something that bottle it up as we are constantly told by rich celebrities who can ignore whichever lockdown rule they choose. And all that stress and calorie intake doesn’t help with…
Neutral Thing: Health Check Up
What wonderful timing for my health check up through work, when my blood pressure is Alan Brazil and cholesterol is mainly pizza. This check up was on Tuesday afternoon when I was definitely still fuming and trying to get work done and I ended up having a mad dash for train to get there on time, again helping with those stress levels. And then on the train a thought occurred: I’m over 40 now, are they going to stick a finger up my bum?
Another thing you may or may not know about me – I’m not great with needles and blood tests and things like that. I always make a point of mentioning this in case I have a funny turn, but I’m generally fine as long as I don’t see the needle or my own blood being siphoned. So what happened? She stuck the thing in my right arm and couldn’t get any blood, so had to do it again in the other arm meaning I had to whinge and pretend it wasn’t happening twice. Belugh! And now I am sporting two nice bruises, one on each arm, that make me look like a drug addict (whereas we have established I’m a good addict). Wonderful. I don’t get any my results for a few weeks except my blood pressure which she said was perfect, to all of our surprise.
Good Thing: Getting Out of the Flat
So what with everything that went on, I’ve made a concerted effort to get out of the flat this weekend, spend some time on my own and reduce my stress. I played some more of that Marvel Champions Card Game on Friday night in three player (we lost twice, it look around 4 hours!), I did a Park Run on Saturday and I went to a floatation tank and floated around in the pitch black for an hour on Saturday night, which I haven’t done for a long time and really enjoy as it is honestly the only time I switch my brain off. Something I probably should’ve been doing regularly recently.
Then this morning I ran 10km around Hyde Park which was much nicer than our local dog shit covered and tramp filled park, and later today I am going to watch Arsenal v Sp*rs. Whilst the result will either compound or relieve the misery at least I can vent some of my frustrations by shouting obscenities at some millionaires whilst they run around. Finally, in what may be a fortuitous coincidence of timing, we both have next week off work and are getting out of flat by going away. Hopefully we won’t murder each other in a queue for petrol, but more on that next week.
And no, the nurse didn’t put a finger up my bum. Hooray!