Last… Night Shift… EVER!!!

It is with joy in my heart and a skip in my slightly weary step that I announce the last ever time I will work right through the night.

night buses in Hong Kong

Night shifts suck! This probably comes as no surprise to most people. But the really sucky thing about them is how detrimental to your health they are. Staying up all night, eating when your body should be resting, not getting to see the sunlight for days on end, all of these things are bad for you. Doing them all at the same time, doubly so.

That’s why I’m well chuffed that, after last night, I never have to do them ever again. And it’s just the thought of having to go back and do more night shifts that make me even more determined to succeed in whatever I choose to do from here on in. I don’t know where my fame and fortune may lie, but I do know that whatever I do do will involve me making my own hours, enjoying what I do for a living, and never, ever, EVER having to work under someone I’m smarter than or who gets to tell me what to do just coz he owns the company (that’ll be my job from now on, hehehe ;)).

From now on I work for me, and I decide my hours, and where I work, and on what, and with who, and how much holiday I get. I’ve tried the working hard for other people thing, and I did ok at it, but it’s utterly unfulfilling. From now on I’m going for job satisfaction, and if I can make a butt load of money along the way well then so be it. 🙂

NB: My car passed it’s MOT, thank Jebus. One less thing I have to worry about.

Disaster Recovery

Ok, “Disaster Recovery” is probably a bit over dramatic. It’s just a phrase you hear often in TV for dealing with any number of transmission problems – power cuts, terrorist attacks, a plane landing on top of you – and I just like the sound of it. 🙂

sword practice

I’ve been dealing with my own ‘disaster’ recently, what with the whole ear thing. Man, you wouldn’t believe how debilitating it is not being able to balance! (or maybe you would) When it happened I couldn’t even roll over in bed without feeling like I was going to fall over, and going to the shops was an interesting experience to say the least. I felt like I was walking on marshmallows a lot of the time, and I had to be extra careful to keep my head level and not look around too quickly just in case.

I had over a week off work and even when I went back I still wasn’t quite right. In fact it was just yesterday, 2 weeks after it came on, that I finally felt like my old self once again. So far today there’s been no sign of it but I’m watching out to be sure I’m not just being overly optimistic.

xmas at tunch's

All set for Christmas? I’ve got all my presents (well, I’ve ordered all my presents – still waiting for 2 of them to get delivered). As always I’m working Christmas Day itself, so I’ll be heading up to Carlisle on the 17th for a few days to see the family. Plan on driving up which will be epic (about 5-6 hours) but it’ll be so good to have my own car when I’m there. My parents live in a village so if I want to go anywhere I have to get a lift or public transport, and that sucks, so this year I’m going vehicular, lol. You know it makes sense.

3 for 2

I just realised that I finished part 2 of my book over 2 months ago and I’ve done almost nothing since! (a couple of pages but that’s it) This is not good. I mean, I can account for about 3 weeks of that with the meditation course and felling ill, but still I should have done more in the time I’ve had. Time to pull my finger out methinks.

an englishman at the seaside

I’m in the process of figuring out what I want to do for my sabbatical. Work have agreed to it in principal, now I just need to decide when I want it for how long. The plan in general is 1 month doing the Sivananda Teacher Training Course in Austria, followed by a month or two just working and practicing at one of their Ashrams (though which one is the big question), then I might take some time off and travel a wee bit. I’m thinking maybe Australia as I’ve got some friends and family down there, and it’d be a good jumping off point for hitting Thailand.

There’s two things I really want to do in life – see the northern lights and ride an elephant – and if I’m in Oz then Thailand seems to be the place to do it (ride an heffalump that is, obviously). Just found out I’ve got the offer of somewhere to stay out there for the next year so it’s a golden opportunity. And it ties in quite nicely with heading back this way from the Land of Milk and Honey. And that brings me back to Europe just in time for Aurora Borealis season.

So I’m thinking:

August – TTC
September – Ashram work
October – Ashram work
November – Australia
December – Australia/Thailand
January – Aurora Borealis

It’s still a little sketchy as I don’t really want to spend 2 months traveling (being somewhere without something specific to do bores me). The question is where do I want to spend Christmas? How long do I want to be away really? And what do I want to do when I get back? (ok, that’s 3 questions)

I might take a year off, spend 5-6 months away, then come back, find somewhere cheap to rent, and spend 6 months just writing and see if I can make a go of that. Back in the UK in the middle of winter with nowhere to live? Not very tempting.

And can I afford all that (without spend all my savings)? As you can see there’s a lot to figure out. But I’ll get there, I have to, because if there’s one things all this being ill has taught me recently it’s you’ve got to go out there and enjoy what you do! Because no one is immortal, and people who stay home, stay safe, pay all their bills and plan for the future die just as often as people who go out there, have fun, and enjoy themselves.

Some General Reflections

What a weird week it’s been.

morning reflections

Back to work after the week of meditation. That was a bit of a shock. But, they did agree in principal to a sabbatical, which is good. I just need to decide when I want it (and ergo, what I want to do) and we can sort it out (hopefully).

Then I got ill, which was/is dry as a bone. I hate being stuck indoors not being able to go do stuff. I’m watching back to back Big Bang Theory but still… BORED! Thankfully my ears are sorting themselves out slowly. I’m still a bit trippy on my feet, but at least it’s to a lesser extent than it was when it started.

I had high hopes for the coming week. I’d finally cleared my To Do list, and I fully intended on spending as much time as possible writing as I haven’t done any work on my book in ages. But now I don’t feel up to it, which sucks, so I’m just trying not to go crazy in the meantime.

And I’m not doing any meditation for the same reasons. I’m just drained, lethargic, and utterly unmotivated. The change in weather (ie: less daylight hours) doesn’t help either. Winter and me don’t get on.

Anyway, in the meantime, I’ve done a wee playlist for you guys to download if you fancy. It’s called Dustbowl Americana, and I think the title speaks for itself. Hope you enjoy these slightly countrified haunting melodies. Makes me dream of faraway lands where the horizon goes on for miles and there ain’t no rush to go nowhere. 🙂

Weird Stuff My Body Is Doing

Ok; so, as I mentioned in my report last week, while I was on the residential course at the Sivananda Centre I had a bit of a head coldy thing going on. Nothing major, just a sore throat, bit of a headache now and then, the odd cough and sneeze. I didn’t give it much credence. Now it seems that that has developed into something a bit more unnerving.

I had a yoga class last Wednesday. As I came up from the standing forward bend, the very last move we did, I felt a little light headed. ‘Came up a little too fast there’ I thought, ‘Better lie down quick.’ So I did and everything seemed fine.

We did final relaxation, all was well, but when I sat up do do the end chant the room suddenly started spinning violently. I had to lie down again for fear of falling over! It was like a severe attack of vertigo and it scared the life out of me.

It took several minutes for the feeling to abate, and even then I still felt a little dizzy and sick. I managed to make it downstairs and into the tearoom, at which point I had to sit for another half an hour until I felt properly settled again.

I eventually made it home, still not feeling 100%, but thinking that a good night’s sleep would sort me out. How wrong I was.

I awoke the next morning, all seemed fine. Then I turned my head, just turned my head, from one side to the other, and all of a sudden the room started spinning violently once again. I immediately fought the rising panic, turned my head back until it all calmed down again, got out of bed, and promptly called the doctor for an emergency appointment.

It was a long, uneasy wait waiting to see the doctor. I felt very unstable just sitting there. Once in the consulting room I told her everything, and when I got to the bit about having a bit of a head cold last week she said “Ah, now we are getting to it.”

Turns out that I have a viral ear infection, caused by last week’s illness. This has created an imbalance in the fluids in my inner ear, the effect of which is very much like the disease Labyrinthitis (though she didn’t think I actually had the disease thank God!). Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do about it. You just have to wait for the body to reabsorb the excess fluid and then everything should balance itself out.

She reckoned a few days, but here we are three days later and the symptoms are still here. I’m taking it easy, so I don’t know if they’re less than they were before. The worst is still when I wake up and turn my head. I don’t think the reaction is as violent as it was, but still it ain’t fun. I just hope this thing doesn’t settle in and become permanent, as I can imagine how debilitating it would be to go through life like this.

What’s especially annoying about this is, after a week of intense yoga and meditation, I have to suspend my practice until I get better. No way can I do any yoga, just turning my head too fast makes me dizzy, and meditation is out of the question as balancing with my eyes closed whilst sitting is very swayey at best.

But, that’s how it goes sometimes I suppose. Sometimes you just can’t make any progress at all. That’s when it’s time to take a leaf out of Sun Tzu’s book and just stay still, waiting patiently until you can advance once more.

ps: I haven’t even mentioned the dead arm I woke up with last week! Another very scary incident. I wasn’t even sleeping on it. I just woke up with this weird feeling and found that my right arm was completely lifeless. Not numb, not tingling, just dead. I don’t mind admitting I completely panicked (not helped by the fact that I was coming out of a very bad dream). After a minute or so of rubbing the life came back to it but for that minute I had to work hard to stem the rising fear in my head. It was not a pleasant experience let me tell you.

I’ve never really felt my mortality much before, even when I was in hospital. But lately, with all the stuff that’s been happening, I’m facing up to the fact that this body won’t last, no matter what I do to keep it healthy. It’s going to die, we’re all going to die; the question is, what are we going to do in the meantime?

Cough and Drop

There’s nothing highlights your singledom like being ill. As you lie there coughing and sneezing you realise there’s no one there to help you out, provide sympathy, pop to the shops for more lemon and ginger. It’s just you, the TV, and a big pile of snotty tissues.

Couldn’t sleep at all last night. I was so unbelievably hot. Yet every time I moved I got cold chills. A bit better today but not 100%. Not sure if I’m going to go to work tomorrow. Guess I’ll just see how I feel in the morning.

What really annoys me the most is the stuff I’d planned to do. Go to the cinema, go to the park, type up my script re-writes. Can’t do any of those because I’m stuck indoors, and staring at a computer screen hurts my eyes. And I feel too crappy to do any yoga today, which ends my do-some-every-day-since-the-start-of-November streak. Then again there’s no point punishing yourself to keep a streak going. It’s just yoga after all.

But it’s the not having anyone there thing that really stands out. It’s bad enough always having to find people to go to gigs with, but this is when being single really sucks. I need to do something about that (once I’m feeling better that is).

Report 1 – 2010: A Space Oddity

Well, my illustrious start was cut short rather rapidly by a very nasty case of the flu (and proper flu, not man-flu, I looked it up). I have been laid up since Monday (the 4th) all sick and achey and feeling like crap, and haven’t done a thing except basic life maintenance, like dashing through the snow for fresh stocks of honey, lemon and ginger, all week. Thank God I got my bit of cooking out the way early!

But it means I haven’t been able to do anything else. No writing, no meditating, no nothing; just cough, sweat, and feel sorry for myself. And what really gets my goat is I was doing so well too! I was going to make this the year I meditated every day. Now I can’t sit for 2 minutes without coughing. But! it is an excellent opportunity to practice my non-attachment (non-attachment to the idea of meditating) so it’s not a complete loss. Never miss a chance to practice eh?

So, to sum up…

Recipes done: Pizza dough and Basic Tomato Sauce

New Thing done: Catch the flu and get sick as a dog

Pages done: None (I’ll have to try and rectify this a bit next week).

Not a complete bust, just not the start to the year I was looking for. Let’s see how next week goes. TTFN.