Three weeks ago, I really hurt my foot. I’m not sure how or what I did. Maybe I ripped a tendon, maybe it’s a fracture. Whatever, the intense pain woke me one night and I’ve been off any exercise while my foot heals. That Grinds.
My four hour-a-day commute doesn’t get any better or easier. Working from home is an option I’m able to use rarely because of a political situation at work. Working on the over-crowded, uncomfortable trains isn’t always an option (my company laptop is the size of an A3 piece of paper and I can’t open it fully to work). The train network in London is overstressed, unreliable and frequently I’m trapped for hours due to signal failures/whatever-excuse-this-time-issued-by-train-company. This means I am frequently behind the curve at work, stressed and leaving early/getting home late with little time for hobbies. That Grinds.
This week, I moved into my new flat. Once again, my life turned upside down. Hassle and stress lugging my belongings across town. My injured foot hurting like mad as I use the clutch of the rented car. Hassles with the landlord forgetting to pass on access code to the front door, locking me out on the day I move in. Telephone tennis with utilities. Having to take a holiday-day from work to sort this mess out and falling even further behind there. Sleeping on a couch while still waiting for my stuff to arrive from New Zealand. Watching my debt pile climb again as I buy more furniture and household goods. That Grinds.
Using all of this as an excuse to stray from better eating, to drink, to wallow in my own misery and annoyance. To give myself justifications for slipping into old and bad habits. That Grinds.
The Grind – what’s it given me?
Hurting my foot and stopping exercise has made me aware of how much I need it. I feel off, not quite right without some physical activity. It’s made me determined to rebuild my fitness, enhance it and protect my health even more. I’ve also entered the Reading Half-Marathon next month with a view to doing a full in April.
Part of my house-set up includes a new home-working rig (desk and chairs etc) while I wait for the political situation to change. My role will shortly change and, while I will be living away from home two nights a week, it will actually leave me time in the evenings because I’ll be staying near the office I’ll be working from. Working one day a week from home will shortly be possible and, because I’ve put the time in at work, acceptable.
The train troubles forced me to look at other ways of working. I got work to issue me an iPad air, set myself up a dropbox account, got various apps and now I can work from anywhere without lugging the beast-of-a-laptop round. The laptop is great when I’m using specialist programmes when the large screen size helps, but the iPad means I’m not frustrated by being trapped and not able to do something productive.
My new flat, while far from perfect, is spacious enough to have a spare room/home office. It’s got a separate kitchen, is on a main bus route and is quiet. And most importantly, I’ve got my own space back. The debt I’ve built up is mostly for stuff to furnish my own place, stuff that will last and that debt got me into my own place. And I have a plan to pay it off.Even more, word came through yesterday that my stuff arrives in 10 days from NZ. That means my worst year will ‘officially’ be over.
The bad eating and drinking choices I made this week? Well, they weren’t as bad as they could have been. I’ve been watching my emotions and how and why I reach for various crutches. I’ve made some progress but there’s a way to go yet.
The Good from the Grind
Life is grind – there’s no avoiding that. And perhaps that the way it should be. To be sustainable, we got to earn the things we want. The running ability, a comfortable place to live, a good career: if we want the end-product, we gotta go through the process. The Grind can wear us out if we let it or we take it as part of the journey to the life we want.
Keep on Going – Kogsy