The problem with starting a bit of writing is that is needs to be finished. I find it really hard to come back to a piece I didn’t manage to finish in one sitting. Now going to make a cup of coffee or take a short break by myself is fine. I guess my thoughts can stay focused on the writing. Meeting somebody or doing something that involves interacting with other people is where the problem seems to start. This morning I started writing about how exhausted I have been feeling. I listed things that I felt some responsibility for and my hope was to get some perspective on them and perhaps feel less in demand. At the heart of the day though what I wanted to do was not to take anything on or at least minimise it. I thought it would be best not to engaged in anything and instead give myself a good break.

Not doing anything is really hard to do though. The only real way I can achieve it is by going to sleep and though I felt exhausted, I can’t sleep all day. After a while I will wake up and eventually get fed up of not doing anything. Today I didn’t have the luxury of trying though because I had to be somewhere else at 10.15am. Instead I fell back into my practice of processing my situation through writing. Fine, though there is also a part of me that resents doing some writing because even thinking about how I am is, in a sense, a demand.

I was writing at home, but I needed to get into town to say goodbye to a colleague from work. It is a small business and being “a boss” I didn’t feel able to say I can’t make it. It was one of things, like supporting my wife, that I felt I couldn’t avoid in life. Shortly before ten, I heard my partner leave the house and drive off. I had expected to go with her and I felt disappointed that we had somehow miscommunicated again. Cycling in was then the quickest option of getting to the designated café and so with a heavy heart I go ready and set off.

The thing is that cycling is rather good for switching off to the pressures of life. It requires paying attention to my immediate surroundings but also I become more aware of the sensory things going on. The cold air on my exposed skin. The pressure on my muscles. How quickly I turn the cranks. The noise of my tyres and the undiagnosed creaking (headset?). I arrived at work having enjoyed my ride. Whilst locking the bike up, two colleagues passed me and so we all went to the café. Looking back this avoided the anxiety of walking into a crowded noisy room and trying to find people. Which was nice too. In general I don’t like cafes. There are too many sounds and conversations going on plus there are no soft furnishings to dampen down the acoustics.

Drinks obtained I joined the others at two small tables. There were six of us and naturally two conversations started. At some point my trio started talking about car accidents and I related my recent deer incident and the saga of getting the car fixed. This moved onto talking about experiences of driving in Europe and the craziness people had seen in Italy. I related my experience of driving in Malta with its hybrid Anglo-Italian rules. Then onto holidays and places we wanted to go to.

Coffees drunk, we said our goodbyes and I headed home. I had really enjoyed my time with my colleagues and it really surprised me. How could a social thing be so uplifting? I reflected on this as I cycled home. Was it being part of a group that listened? Perhaps it was because I interacted and talked about interesting experiences from good holidays. I didn’t really come to any conclusions but I did notice that my positiveness started to disappear once I was home. I became once again aware of the demands. This time though I decided to try and sleep and not engaged with what I felt needed to be done.

My body having decided that I had had enough rest, I grew restless and had a bit of lunch. I try to sit down and continue my writing but my positive café experience had really changed my outlook and what I had written before didn’t seem to fit with what I was experiencing now. I had lost the flow and it didn’t feel like it would come back. I couldn’t bear the thought of trying to force the writing and so I decided to watch a film instead and escape that way. I enjoyed “Thor Ragnarok” laughing out loud a few times. It was a very different style of Marvel movie but I was okay with that. I couldn’t decide over the eighties sounding soundtrack and bright colours though.

Due to electrical work going on, the power to the sockets is currently off. It is surprising how much relies on a good electrical supply supports me in living. No TV, no internet means no more watching programmes or even the possibility of doing something on my desktop computer. One thing I can do is write on my laptop and so here I am. I am no longer writing about the current demands I feel obliged to do but instead wondering how, something I really didn’t want to do can help this autistic person. Cafes are not only good for getting a hot drink and a cake then.

Of course that list of demands still remains. I am content that many require the use of the internet. No power, no internet, fewer demands. Great huh? I realise that I probably could find something to do but you know what? I am not even going to bother to try. Tomorrow is a working day and we have two guests coming here for dinner. Saturday I will need to do some family shopping and attend a three hour event as a volunteered photographer. Sunday there is a surprise in the morning, an orchestra rehearsal in the afternoon and a Passover meal to attend in the evening. None of these things are on my list of demands from this morning so the next few days look rather busy. I am therefore happy not to do anything. I can’t even post this blog 😊.

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