Thursday, May 31, 2012

Raging against circumstance.

Circumstance: we've been on holiday this week. It has been beautifully warm and sunny - relatively rare in Scotland. We desperately needed a break. Work has been busy for us both and i know i was burnt out. The situation wasn't being helped by being ill for the last few weeks. Then Daisy started vomiting. Dramatically. Every 30 minutes or so for about a day. Then it started the other way. Needless to say, the last few days before we left for our planned break to Aviemore was messy and tiring. Still, after a slight delay we figured Daisy was well enough to travel - and one of the reasons we had decided on a wee lodge in Aviemore was that it was very much a known entity. Easy to get to and easy to get things we might need, which meant we didn't have to pack the kitchen sink.

The game plan was a few walks in the stunning forrest. Perhaps a steam train ride. The lodge is affiliated to the Hilton hotel so had access to a swimming pool, soft play and various other activities that we know Daisy loves. It should have been a good break - time to enjoy our own company and recharge the batteries.

After almost no sleep on the first night, i woke in the morning and promptly vomited. Unusual for me. Trina didn't feel great either. Daisy was rallying so we tried to entertain her as best we could. Then the floodgates opened for me. That was Monday and nothing very much has changed as i sit here on Thursday morning, except Trina is just as bad.

Why am i telling you all this, dear blog? Well, in truth it is because i am bitter and angry. Raging, if you will. I desperately needed a break. Desperately. Instead i have been chained to a porcelain prison. I had grand plans of managing a ride in the Cairngorm while we were away, to take advantage of the unprecedented fine run of weather. The conditions were amazing. Instead we drove home with our hearts (or stomachs, i couldn't tell) in our mouths on monday evening. With us both being so unwell, it was too hard to deal with everything and keep Daisy entertained without being at home.

This has been a bit of a pattern the last few months. Any time off or window of opportunity has been thwarted by circumstance. Illness, exhaustion, house stuff whatever. I've tried to be Zen about it. Keep in mind the long game.

But at the moment i'm just sad. Fed up. My will is broken.

I dont do 'wanderings' anymore. One of the aspects of my life that i felt defined me seems to have evaporated. My head is full of white noise and i don't see much light at the end of the tunnel. There it is.

I cant remember how many posts i have made now that i look back on, shake my head and consign to the misery pile. But it is far too many. Maybe the sign is that this blog is dead. The blogger certainly isn't fit for purpose.

Who knows?


Anonymous said...

Call me - got a hug for you x

Mike McTimoney said...

The first year or two with kids are HARD, but it gets easier and they get more independent.

Anonymous said...

Boo-hoo as Charlie Brooker would say.

davechopoptions said...

Mike speaks truth.

Anonymous said...

Mike does speak the truth, only in the last couple of months have I been able to ride anywhere near as often as I would like to. My son is 5&1/2 and my daughter 2&3/4. At around the time of my daughters birth we moved to the highlands, to be surrounded by such potential to be out and riding and not to be able to scratch the surface was imenseley frustrating. many times I thought an opportunity to ride would present itself, only to be scratched by an ill child or some other issue. I couldn't see a way out, but suddenly now we seem to be emerging into an easier time.

Riding (being outdoors) is not as central to my identity as it seems to be to you, however I felt emasculated by not being able to do the sport which i identified myself by.

Your ability to ride will not have diminished, although your fitness will obviously have taken a hit, and your ability to express yourself in writing is clearly still there. in time the ability to ride will return and things will resolve.

Apologies for the length of this, but I'm a fan of the blog and would miss it if it went away.

muddytrail said...

Priorities change. Things do get easier. Out kids are old enough to ride with us now and it is fab.

Your blog inspires me and, I'm sure, many others.

Keep your chin up :-)

Anonymous said...

Been reading your blog a little while now and being the proud father of a 6 week old girl myself, I'm in no position to be doling out advice, only I hope you can get over the existential hump and keep riding and writing.

grant said...

In the first year after Jessica was born, I seemed to spend more time being ill than anything else. Every single thing going around, I caught and I've never taken more time off work sick before or since (bar the clavicle fracture, but that was different)

Riding disappeared from life and as it was one of the ways that I defined myself, things looked shit.

However, it gets better. I got used to the new routine, my body finally decided that it could cope after all and I found ways to fit in riding etc around the (more important) role of being a parent.

Stick it out and keep posting the wanderings (I *need* to know how the Mountain Kings are shaping up for one....).

You'll get there, okay.

Tom Levell said...

My main advice would be to stick with one ;0) BUT the second one is kinda easier as you know the drill and are way more organised in actually getting out on a bike when the opportunity presents itself.
I'm back to a lot more solo riding as my usual group go out at 6:30 which I can realistically manage once a month without taking the piss at home.
2 1/2 poor years in terms of riding time is looking to improve from now on especially as I've finally got my commuting head on.
Keep at it.

Anonymous said...

Kids ruin everything. But they also improve everything. Your priorities change, it will get better and eventually you'll see the wonderful creatures that you created make their own mark on this world we live in. Suck it up Jon. It's going to get worse before it gets better.
It does become amazing though. I promise!

AdamM said...

Jon, I'm a bit late to this, but as others have said, the first few years with kids are hard work. Especially if they're at day care so picking up every single bug going. It does get easier from an illness perspective.

The biggest challenge is definitely time management. No matter what some people claim, if you want to be a decent parent and involved in raising them you WILL have to give up a lot of the time you used to spend doing the things you enjoy. The issue then is retaining a sense of your own identity and not giving everything up because you now have a kid. I'm really struggling with this at the moment, and have been for some time. Moving countries hasn't helped as I'm still finding it difficult to meet new friends I can ride with (let alone the time to ride). The end result is I'm less fit now than at any point in the last 20+ years. At some level I suspect this is inevitable with young kids, as something has to give/be given up.

You'll find a new balance in your life eventually. It may not look much like your pre-kid life, or you might be one of the lucky ones. Only you can figure that out.

Good luck!