Things have been quiet on D4D of late. Basically, I’m in a bit of a slump, and at the moment I’m not quite sure how to get out of it.
There’s a lot of reasons behind it, but mainly it’s down to an overbearing feeling of stagnation, or being a bit bogged down. I’m used to having change in my life, and at the moment it’s not really there. Some of that is inertia, some of it is still the final stages from the bankruptcy process and some of it is the current state of things. But it all adds up to an overall sludge – and while I know I want things to change, I also don’t quite know what I want to do next, or where I want to be.
Domestically, I’ve been in this house for seven years. That’s by far the longest I’ve been in any one place since I left the family home. I was looking at moving last year when the tenancy came up, but that was only just after the bankruptcy finished, and I didn’t want to push things while it was still showing up on credit checks and the like. So I’m thinking about it for this year – but there’s also nowhere that’s dragging me, nowhere that I’ve been and thought “OK, this is where I want/need to be”, and it’s all a bit up in the air. There’s still time, though.
Workwise, I’ve been working on the same project for more than three years. (Probably closer to 4, all told) And while we’ve got a lot done, there still feels like no end in sight (things keep on being added in to it, or stuff is more complex than initially expected) which doesn’t help. I like contracting in general for exactly this – that each contract is finite – even though they can (and usually do) get extended, they still have an end date where I can say “Nope, I’m done”. This one is open-ended, and it’s feeling more and more like a proper job and blah blah.
Outside of those two things, there’s so much doubt about what’s going on in the UK – with Brexit being delayed even further, it’s left everything in limbo again, of not knowing what’ll happen with it, and what’ll happen with jobs, economy and so on if and when it happens. I can’t deny, that all contributes to the current sense of stagnation.
I’m not depressed – well, no more than usual – and I’m still getting out and getting other stuff done. It’s just that I’ve not got the time or energy for anything extra. I wish I did, but I don’t.
I’m going to keep on working on it, though. I know I need a couple of new projects to be getting on with – but I also need to find the motivation to get it going. That’s where the stagnation is really hurting – I know I need and want to change, but right now the drive to change things is also being blocked.
I’ll figure it out, I know – I always do, and always have done. And hopefully it won’t take too much longer to turn the corner.
Having come back from Toronto on Saturday into Sunday, I’ve managed to stay remarkably free of jet-lag. Most people have pointed out that this is probably because my body-clock and sleep-patterns are so utterly screwed anyway, but I’m still surprised by how I’ve got through it so far. (And yes, I’m aware it could still ruse up and bite me in the arse, but it’s looking less and less likely)
Basically, I just beasted my way through it. I was awake by 6am Toronto time on the Saturday, we spent most of the day walking the final bits of Toronto that we hadn’t seen, got to the airport, and took the 18:30 flight out. We got in to Heathrow at 6:30am UK Time (so about 01:30 Toronto time), and I then drove home.
Being aware of having been up 24-ish hours already, I didn’t do much for the rest of the day – sorted out all the domestic stuff, laundry and so on – but got through the day, and finally went to bed at about midnight, after being awake for about 36 hours straight. Then was up again by my usual time, and it’s been an easy switch back to the usual timetable.
It kind of worries me that I’ve been able to deal with that kind of jet-lag and time change with no ill-effects. It makes me wonder how far I’d have to travel in order to get hit by it – not that I want to, particularly, but it’s sort of interesting, I suppose.
As I wrote about the other day – and as just about anyone in the UK already knows – this week has included the warmest June day in at least forty years, with Wednesday hitting 34.5°C (94°F) . As always, I know that people in other countries will be pissing themselves laughing at the way we’re unable to cope with temperatures at extremes (or at least what the UK sees as extremes) but that’s because for us they are extremes – and as such, we simply don’t have the infrastructure to cope with them.
We get hot periods during the summer, but we’ve not been this hot since 1976. So we don’t bother with air-conditioning in houses, or anything to deal with things like train rails expanding, tarmac melting etc. – because it only happens for small occasional periods, instead of months every year. It’s the same in Winter, if we end up with serious (for us) snow or freezing conditions – they don’t happen often, so we don’t invest in snowploughs, or underground systems like places that have deep snow for weeks and months on end.
Personally, I don’t mind warm (and even hot) days – but I hate hot nights. The other part of this week’s heat has been that there’s little to no breeze, so it’s been stifling and claggy at night, which makes it (for me) massively unpleasant. Indeed, on Wednesday night I even ended up giving up and going to sleep out in the garden instead, which helped a bit – although also resulted in interrupted sleep because of the cats.
In that context, it’s all made for what feels like a really long week…
During the week in Cornwall, I slept better than I have in absolutely years – to the tune of about 2 hours more sleep per night. It’s the first time since I started recording my sleep times with the Fitbit that I’ve had more than four hours in a night – and it happened all week.
So, it looks like the possible cure (or at least improvement) in my insomnia is :
- Move to Cornwall (or somewhere with equally remote areas)
- Walk at least six miles a day
- Sleep in a house miles from anywhere, in absolute pitch-black darkness and silence.
At the moment, none of that is massively feasible. But in the future, it may well be. I need to look at how things work, what I do and what I want to do, and how to get to where that kind of plan might be possible.
So, that’ll be fun.
Following on from the insomnia attacks of late, I’ve also been thinking a lot about the things that do work for me when it comes to sleep.
Because I’ve also been doing a lot of travelling and visiting, it’s given me a wide range of reference points, which always makes things more interesting.
One oddity I have noticed is that I seem to sleep better on sofas than I do in bed. It’s strange, but true. I’ve also had a few occasions of coming home in the afternoon and getting a nap on my own sofa, but that’s more for catch-ups when they’re absolutely needed, rather than becoming a routine.
It’s been true for a long time though – certainly right back to the Norfolk house, where I’d sleep on the sofa-bed when we had bad weather and I had to take Hound in to the smaller bedroom to stop her being an arse. When I think about it, it’s also applied a lot of times over the years, when going to see friends and so on, and preferring to crash on sofas rather than spare beds.
As a result, I’m doing a lot of thinking about whether I change my bedroom and bed, investing instead in a decent sofa-bed. It’s food for thought at the moment, but not going to be a change I make quickly. After all, if I make the change and don’t sleep any better, then it’s been a loss/waste of a bed and so on.
It may be that I leave it until I move house again – which is something that’s on the agenda, but not any time imminently. That’ll definitely be to a bigger place – hell, it’d be a challenge to find anywhere smaller – so I can look at it seriously at that point.
I’ll think about it more – there’s other factors in that kind of decision- but we’ll see where things go, I think.