Since I have returned from my long trip to Canada, I have been trying to focus on the good days and keep my life stress free and happy. The foundation of this life style change has been constructed from doing exercise I suppose, getting up in time to walk the dog in the morning and the avoidance of refined sugar based products. For me the start of the day is critical. I like to think through my morning before I get out of bed and then follow through with that plan. Generally I will have a good start if I find time to apply ointments to my skin, take the dog for at least a twenty minute walk, and have time to sit down in the kitchen by myself and eat a quiet breakfast. This thinking space then allows me to be prepared for the next stage of the day and sort out in my mind what I need to do before I leave. This might mean remembering to take my pills, backing my swimming stuff and sorting out some lunch for instance.

I was really looking forward to having a freer relaxed start to the day today. The previous two days had totalled twelve hours in work where I would normally expect to spend five. After a tough training session in the swimming pool on Tuesday combined with the long work hours, I had felt completely worn out by Wednesday afternoon. Thursday was going to be day off to recuperate. At least that was what went through my mind. It didn’t go according to plan though.

As I said I like a quiet planned start to the day, so asking me questions and expecting a discussion is something that I find really hard to deal with. I was lying in bed watching a video on my mobile when my partner came into the room and started telling me some things that had been bothering her. I stopped watching the video and tried to listen. I don’t want to go into details but it was an emotional outpouring which I tried to get my head around and failed because my mind couldn’t get past what I saw as factual inaccuracies. I listened and tried to focus on the salient points which I hope I can still remember.

Time had moved on and now I was under pressure to complete the things I had planned to do. My wife left to catch a bus after getting the fare for it off me and mentioning that she had washed some of my clothes but not had time to hang them out. It was supposed to be a good sunny day, so she asked me to hang them out before I left for recorders. Whilst I could see the sense in what she said, that was no another thing on my list. It looked like breakfast was going to have to be skipped. Whilst getting my recorder stuff together, my mobile announces the arrival of a text. My wife has forgotten to post something for my daughter, would I please find the letter, seal it and post it today.

I find the letter and decide to walk the dog. He doesn’t get his twenty minute walk, he was lucky if we made it into double minute figures because we reach the nearest post box, put the letter in and then head home. Next task is the hanging of the washed clothes. I am puzzle because some clothes are already hanging outside, and they are mine so it seems my wife has abandoned the clothes part way through. I am not sure I could do that, start a task and not finish it. The clothes are not hung to my specification (which I consider the more efficient way to dry things with the least creases) and so I rehang what has been done and continue until the basket is empty. There are four old socks left at the end (I prefer to hang pairs together because it makes it easier to fold them into each other when they are dry), it seems a strange fact of life that there are always odd socks. I find this lack of symmetry ever so slightly disturbing, it really doesn’t need to be like this but I know it is not something worth pursuing.

It is time to leave, so I go and drive my friend to a nearby town where we meet another mutual friend for some music making. I am aware as I drive that the morning so far has gone completely the opposite to what I wanted and needed. I find myself feeling depressed and experience suggests that the day is going to be a hard one because it is so difficult to pull myself back to a semblance of happiness after such a start. The fact that I left my music stand behind at home doesn’t help the mood, plus somehow I need to keep hold of my partner’s concerns.

In fact though the day turned our rather good. Music making was memorable because one of the group made two extraordinary efforts to try something new which really cheered me up. We then went on to meet another recorder player who had been away for a year and whiled away the afternoon eating a late lunch followed by cakes, drinking copious amounts of tea, and chatting about so many interesting experiences. Evening food at home was my responsibility tonight but another household member offered to swap nights which I readily accepted and then I went for another tough swimming session which felt so good too. My wife and I even sat down and had a good chat.

It is late now. I have stayed up too long to write this but this in itself is another achievement which feels good. Tomorrow is back to work. I hope that day starts better.