Missing Chewie

I’m working upstairs. He’s gone with R to her friend’s place for the afternoon.

Every time I move, or the breeze comes in, or a car takes a turn in the cul-de-sac behind me, or I imagine any sort of noise, I take a quick look at the door, half expecting him to have come upstairs.

He spends his afternoons upstairs, sleeping behind me. Even when R is at home, he ditches her after an hour on the sofa and comes upstairs to me.

He comes into my room, softly lick my hands, gets a few ear and head rubs, tries to get me to give him belly rubs, and then lays down behind me to quietly sleep.

No one’s coming upstairs today to check on me, to give me kisses, to demand rubs, and to quietly fill the room with his body smell.

I’m missing my boy.

81.4

The weighing scale read 81.4 Kg on Saturday, 10 Aug. Last time I weighed this much was on 26th February, more than five months ago.

As recently as a month ago, on 5th July, I weighed just 78 Kg. I gained 3.4 kilos in a month!

That 81.4 isn’t a single spike. My average weight last week was 80.3 Kg. A month ago it was 78.3 Kg. Even the weekly average increased by 2 kilos​ :(

Based on BMI (25.4), that makes me officially overweight.

Continue reading 81.4

Today

I completed two weeks of eating without screens1. It’s become much easier now. The hand doesn’t automatically go to the remote or the phone the moment I sit down to eat. The anxiety has disappeared too. I’m definitely lovin’ it.

I started on level two of wobble board balancing today. I achieved a level 1 PB of 6 mins 20 seconds on Saturday after the Parkrun. Also, balancing for a minute or two has become fairly easy now. So, decided to take it to level two today.

I found an old, barely used volleyball that R and li’l R had bought a while ago. They never used it, and it’s only lightly inflated now—perfect for bouncing off the ball while balancing on the board. A small, heavy medicine ball would’ve been ideal, but this volleyball is good enough for me.

There’s just one small (32kg black with 4 legs) hitch. Chewie gets agitated when I bounce the ball off the wall. He thinks all balls were made for him to play. Also, we often play where I bounce balls off the wall and he catches them. He protested that it was unfair that I bounce the balls from such a height at close quarters, and then catch it without giving him a chance. I have a few scratches on my waist from his attempts to topple me off the board and get at the ball!

Today is the first day in three weeks that I’m skipping the scheduled running workout. Between the hot day, and taking care of Chewie in the evening, I just ran out of energy and viable time slots to go for a run. I’m telling myself I’ll do it tomorrow. But tomorrow is just the same—late morning will be too warm to run, specially after walking Chewie, and evening will again be busy catering to him. The only viable spot is early morning, but those are my favourite work hours :(

Other stuff happened too, but nothing important or interesting enough to note.

Continue reading Today

Listening to the body

Despite the worries (which all turned out real), I ended up having a decent day yesterday. I wrote to Axc, but never heard back from them. I’m trying to make myself accept their decision. I also failed the blood test—joint lowest ever score of 131 g/l. On the other hand, I did end up getting a fair amount of work done. I also enjoyed the run in the evening—35 mins of easy run finished with 20 mins of fartlek. I ended the day very tired, slightly disheartened (I’d expected the reply from Axc at end of day), but fairly satisfied. I even finished reading a book in the bed before sleeping.

Today began well—woke to Chewie snuggled up between my legs. Worked for a couple of hours, then went downstairs for a bit of stretching, refreshing, and to pick up Dudley—today is Dudley Wednesday :)

By the time I returned back upstairs, it was already over 3 hours since I’d woken up. The morning coffee had worn off, and I was feeling surprisingly drowsy. These are usually my freshest, most productive hours. This could be due to the hay fever tab, or an effect of the run and foam rolling last evening.

I could have made another coffee, and warded the drowsiness off. But, for once, I decided to listen to the body and give it a break. I had no immediate deadlines, and I had already done over 2 hours of productive work. So, I went downstairs, drank a lot of water, got under the covers, called the boys onto the bed, set an alarm for 90 mins, and we all went to sleep1 :)

It was a beautiful, warm sleep with both boys snuggled on either side. I woke up refreshed. Not just the mind, even the legs and body felt a lot recovered. We drank more water, and went for a walk. Followed it up with lunch, another short rest, and then back to work2. It’s been another super productive 3 hours now, and I am back to being satisfied. And happy. Mostly.

Continue reading Listening to the body

Restless+anxious (work, blood and running edition)

Un. Haven’t heard from Axc in over a week. Last chat was 11 days ago. It’s too long a wait. Do I ping them? Do I wait for them? A long wait usually implies regret, but I’ve been told things move slowly in this team, so it could be either. Either way, it’s not helping my anxiety. I need a new project, sure. But I really want is this one.

Dos. I have a blood donation appointment today. I failed1 the last one. I’m likely to fail today’s as well. My success at blood donation has been inversely correlated with my running/swimming/cycling activity. If I’m working out regularly, the haemoglobin level is likely to be below the threshold. Last year I was out of action for 7 months due to ankle injury, so had two successful donations in that period. This year I’ve been running at least 100K a month, so have already failed one donation. Today will be second (I think).

As much as I’m anxious about failing the blood donation today, I’m a bit conflicted about being successful as well. Three failures in a row and I’m out—struck off as a donor. Every time NHS Blood calls me for a donation appointment, I get conflicted. I can do the right thing—choose to donate and slow down my workouts to get the haemoglobin level up. Or I can do the selfish thing—refuse the appointment and keep up with my workouts. For a while now, I’ve been taking the wrong, easy path—agreeing to donate but continuing the workouts. This means I waste their appointment slot (by failing the test), and cause myself anxiety and resentment. If I get struck off, at least it takes one bit out of my hands, and I can return to exercising (mostly) without guilt.

Tres. I’ve been stretching better than usual lately. The wobble board has been working the core. And I am in good shape mentally (run-wise). If the weather stays cool, and I get all the scheduled training done this week, I feel like I can post a good time at the parkrun this weekend. I am really looking forward to it. But I have a run scheduled for today, and I can’t run today unless I fail the donation. There’s that conflict, again.


  1. Failure = not allowed to donate because haemoglobin level was below 135g/l. 

And down…

I’ve been having a decent long stretch of good days. I’ve been very productive with work, with non-work work, been running regularly, sleeping well, and been mostly happy. Today is bent on breaking the streak.

I slept over 10 hours last night. It was not a good sleep. (Don’t all bad days start with bad sleep?)

I remember having a good dream—I had two good friends I used to live with, one of their friends brought over his dogs (big scary Rottweilers) who got along fabulously with me. I must’ve woken up around this time. That may be why I remember the dream. That’s also probably why rest of the sleep was bad. I had a bad cold—the bedside kerchief is a testament to that. The head started clouding over with all the bad thoughts and worries. I had to resort to some meditation exercises to get myself back to sleep.

In the morning, I woke up before the first alarm (5:10), but was in a terrible state—nose and head full of fluid, and body feeling tired. The Brooklands parkrun plans went out the window. I switched off the alarms and went back to sleep. Finally got out of bed at 10!

A bad night was followed by a not so good morning. The loo visit was unfruitful. I skipped this morning’s Duolingo practice. Took the boys for only a short walk. Didn’t even feel like finishing the coffee that R had left for me.

Now I’ve got to go for the Saturday run but it’s warm outside and I’ve got no spirit.

Continue reading And down…

Procrastinating through work

I need to do two big, hairy, scary work tasks. One is important and scary (unknown outcome), the other is hard (unknown input quantity, unknown outcome).

Instead I have been working all morning finishing off the less important, less scary tasks from the todo list.

I am procrastinating—escaping work by working on other stuff.

Continue reading Procrastinating through work

Ankle pain..

.. is a sign of weekend spent well.

Started yesterday with the year’s best time at the parkrun. Only by 2 secs, but on a very windy day.

Then walked the boys, fixed the bathroom door, almost fixed the shower holder, did a bit of weeding, and played with the boy in the backyard.

Ended the day totally knackered, with almost 18000 steps, and an aching ankle. Happy but hurt.

Continue reading Ankle pain..

Me, here, now.

Finished Todo.txt for Android

I’m at the end of second phase of active development for Todo.txt for Android. All core functionality works sufficiently well for my own use. Dark mode is half baked, so will now be moved to the backlog for the next phase, whenever that happens.

Next few weeks may see small updates to the Chrome extensions—bug fixes and minor tweaks based on user feedback over the last month and a half.

Next up

Next up is starting a new project, or finding a new role. Either way, it’ll be a time of flux and vulnerability. Tread kindly, por favor!

Gardening

After neglecting the garden for 5+ years, I finally started getting my hands dirty this year. It’s been a surprising delight. The flowers are blooming. No plants have died yet. And the weeds are more under control than any time last year. All this for a couple of weekends’ work, and 5-10 mins every morning or evening.

I am really enjoying the work in the garden—probably too much according to R. There must be some truth in what Cal Newport said—creating physical things with our own hands.

Running

I’ve been running well. I really like my current running form, and the times have been reflecting the improvement. I ran my Park Run PB a couple of weeks ago at Woking—22:42. I have been off running so far this week due to an ankle injury picked up on Saturday (thankfully, after I’d completed my 14 mile run). Looking forward to testing the ankle again with a short run later today.

Reading

I’m loving reading ‘Turn the ship around’ by David Marquet. It’s one of those books that is best read in small bits, munched over for a while, then continued. The last book in this category was Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking fast and slow’. They’ll both stay in my forever library, with frequent references to notes and books.

I’m also reading Messy by Tim Harford. This is my active reading book, and will probably be finished tomorrow. It’s an interesting journey of rediscovery. I used to be atypical messy—thriving only in mess and chaos. Working independently forced me to learn discipline and to streamline my life processes. Now I am rediscovering the value of messiness. It’s a brilliant brain tickler for me—harmonising my tidy, streamlined life with a bit of messiness to add some anti-fragility.

The third book I’m currently reading is Sanjaya Baru’s ‘The accidental prime minister’. It’s hard reading, specially because I like the subject. The author covers too much of himself relative to the subject (the prime minister). It also, like bits of ‘Up in the air’, way too frequently delves into explanations and bureaucratic minutae. R tells me it gets better later, so I’m ploughing on.

Continue reading Me, here, now.