Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January doesn't bring the snow yet

We didn't have a terribly wonderful start to the New Year - J was feeling very down after we got back from his parents, and didn't manage to get in to work all week. But he seems to be recovering from this setback much more quickly than he normally does.

He hadn't seen his cognitive therapist for a couple of weeks because of being away, and was beginning to feel that the therapy wasn't really helping. After his session on Thursday, he was considering not going back. However, he IS going back. She said at the session that he may need to accept that there are times when his depression will be bad enough that it gets in the way of making progress, and to learn to wait it out, rather than blaming himself or despairing.

He's also supposed to build something enjoyable into every day. This would be easier if he weren't so tired in the evenings, but we're working on it.

Last weekend he decided that he needs to do things that will have a visual result, and consequently has started painting the woodwork in the hall as a preliminary to redecorating the walls. This is excellent. We've been meaning to paint over the multitudinous scrapes and handprints since we got here, but put the hall off till last since it's an awkward area - the stairs are narrow and it's pretty much impossible to go up or down if someone's painting there.

He's finished the banisters already. Now to start thinking about colours for the walls. He fancies pink, which I have some trouble envisaging, so I see shade cards and test pots in our future.

Apart from this impressive progress towards an Ideal Home, he's been really pretty sanguine and resilient, has gone into work twice - well, it's only Tuesday - and has recovered quickly from daily frustrations (such as phoning Orange customer services) which would ordinarily cast him into gloom. I'm cautiously optimistic about the rest of the week.

For the last few days I've been very tired, partly because it's been that time of the month, partly... I don't know why. I've been to bed at a decent hour and everything. The past couple of days have been spent mostly in desultory tidying, the kind that doesn't have the visual result J finds so important. (I really don't like tidying, but it will be worth it.)

Which is to say I haven't been to the gym yet. I am going to at least phone them about renewing my membership before the week is out, though.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Resolution time

Happy New Year, everybody (only 8 days late!)

I got back to Edinburgh on Sunday and rather hit the ground running - Monday and Tuesday were spent frantically springcleaning the house (or removing the pall of very fine sawdust that the guinea pigs generate) and since yesterday I've been back at work. I had a very nice restful time over Christmas and New Year, but the restorative effect has worn off rather quickly.

I have an awful lot of New Year's resolutions. It's more like a to-do list. This is probably bad.

* Finish my degree
* Redecorate parts of the house (paint the hall, get rid of the awful dirty-beige living room carpet)
* Sort out all the stuff in the cupboard in the study, ditto the spare room, and rationalise it
* Go on holiday somewhere that is not Britain
* Spend more time making things
* Revamp this blog so it looks less 2001 (it didn't even exist in 2001...)
* Read more widely
* Eat more healthily, avoiding chocolate biscuits

Yes, the last one is deserving of those capitals. 2008 was not a good year for fitness in the slightest. I spent the first half of it with sore feet, and once I got my insoles I went running twice. Not stellar. I hardly did any weights and basically depended on cycling to remind me that I like to move, and it wasn't enough.

That, combined with spending three days a week in a room with a constantly replenished tin of chocolate biscuits, has not been good for the body. Weight-wise, I'm about back where I started back in 2005 - slightly fitter, perhaps, but still. It may not be a coincidence that at this point I had not long finished a postgraduate degree, and that during my university career I had depended largely on cycling as my exercise. I am somewhat frustrated to be right back wher eI started. (Maybe I should have called this blog something indicating that I intended to learn from the past?)

Anyway. This period of my life is over. The biscuit tin at work officially no longer exists. (That red thing over there? Just an optical illusion.)

As for the exercise... well, I managed to hurt myself on Monday in an incident involving a fully loaded drawer. I pulled it out too far and then leant in and grabbed it, preventing it from squashing my feet and kneecapping me on the way, but wrenching something in my lower back. Not my finest moment. However, it's feeling a lot better now and if all goes well, I'm hoping to get back on a treadmill by next week.