Free days

So, I’m on leave now, and suddenly everything is the nearest it’s been to fine for a long time.

Last week was a real struggle. I don’t know if it was the realisation that there were only a few days to go, or if it was the things happening that made it so. Probably a bit of both. I was busy all week. On Friday I went to the office for meetings and to head off to a Christmas function, and I was late leaving because there were still things to sort out. And at the function, which I attended from a sense of duty, I was still unsettled.

But that night I caught up with JV and Donna for our Christmas dinner. I was tired, but it was good to relax. We had a lovely meal and the customary lively conversation. We exchanged modest gifts, and each of us looked ahead, to Christmas immediately before us, and the new year beyond that.

For a bit of fun, we touched upon Seinfeld and had a session airing our grievances. It was intended to be a bit of a laugh, but it unearthed some interesting things.

JV was the first in the firing line. With a smile, I accused him of being ‘too nice’. It’s true enough, he’s a lovely guy, but it’s hardly a vice – except that sometimes it means he lets others get away with things they shouldn’t. And that’s what it boiled down to as the discussion progressed.

Next, it was Donna, and it was no surprise that JV mentioned her serial unpunctuality. To my surprise, tears came to her eyes, and I thought we’d misjudged the moment. She was okay, though. She smiled through it, and I know it’s something she’s been working to improve. She’s had a hard year.

After that, I invited them to come at me. I wanted the pleasure of taking me down to distract them, but I was wary of what might come out of it. In my own mind, there were traits I thought worthy of criticism, but they struggled to come up with anything. Finally, JV said I need to open myself up more to women. His major contention was that I don’t really give them a chance and was quick to judge – my mum used to say the same thing.

I replied, with a typically deflective grin, that I was at the age where I’m quick to judge everything. But he was right, and I conceded the point. I think openness is the critical factor here.

On Sunday, the kids – my two nephews and niece – came over for lunch, along with their golden retriever, Grace. It was not something I was looking forward too. As has often been the case lately, I felt off physically. I longed for a quiet day. But then they came, and we had a fine time.

The dogs frolicked together – Rigby was particularly excited, and we set off up the road to have lunch at a nearby cafe. It was a lovely sunny day, and people were out and about and the vibe hopeful and happy.

I’m out for lunch today catching up with someone I haven’t seen since well before Covid. It’s a rainy day, but we’ll be sitting indoors in the Royal Saxon, in Richmond.

Tomorrow night, I have dinner with another friend. On Christmas Eve, JV will visit, and the following day I’ll be joining him for Christmas dinner.

The rest of the time, I’m catching up and doing little things. I got a new MacBook Air delivered last week and am having fun setting that up. I made a curry yesterday. For the first time in over a month, I did some writing. I called to catch up with my aunt and uncle and to give the annual apology for missing Christmas day with them. And I’m taking time to read.

One thing I hope for through this period is to replenish my physical stocks. I’m actually heading to a physiotherapist this morning. I have to heal my mentality too, which might be the bigger challenge. I don’t know if I’ll figure anything out, but I hope to come out of this with a general idea of the direction I should be taking.

It’s only been a few days, but I feel much better.

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