4/365 Judgy Trainers

First day back. Not so much a petulant child, more sensible adult with an exquisite remove. At least that was the image I had of myself throughout the day as I lightly padded my way through my contracted hours in my especially supportive trainers.

I always feel a little guilty about wearing my trainers if I’m not running. It’s as though they’re crying out when I put them on in the morning. “Your don’t seem to be wearing your stupid dry-fit running gear. Why is that? You’re not using us just for walking, are you? Loser.”

I have an excuse. Rather, I have good reason. My back is killing me. Lower back. Shooting, burning pains. I can’t bend down without having to plan out each individual move in my head first. I make a strategic assessment about the value of the thing I’m bending down to reach for. If it’s not important enough, its overlooked. The cats haven’t had any attention for days.

So, I take myself off to the Marvellous Debbie in Forest Hill. Before becoming an expert Shiatsu therapist, Debbie was a dresser for a variety of West End shows back in the day when Cats was at its height and Phantom was giving the impression that Lloyd-Webber was unstoppable. We’ve known each other for as long as me and The Husband have. She is a miracle worker.

While she has me face down on the floor, groaning and wincing, we talk about Elaine Paige and her dog, Marti Pellow’s questionable contribution to the semi-staged performance of Benny, Bjorn and Rice’s Chess, and the most recent episode of Sherlock.

When she’s finished prodding and poking, discussing the various exercises I need to do in order to maintain my now corrected posture. “You have a flabby core,” she says, “you need to pay attention to it.”

She confirms that running should be forgotten about while I pay more attention to planking. “Start with the easy stuff,” she says, resting her body on the floor on her elbows, “Plank for a minute. After a few days increase it to two minutes.” God help me. We go through the basics of standing, commuting, and walking before I hand over my £45 and leave. Desperate to put things into practise immediately, I get to the bus stop convinced I’ve spent the previous ten minutes walking like a baboon.

Back home, post-bath and mid-wine I’m feeling toasty. Tomorrow can wait. And I know that when my core says so, running will be something I’ll happily return to. In the meantime however, I’ll be avoiding those judgemental trainers of mine.

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3/365 If I were a kept man

When I’m on leave from the day job I often end up thinking that I’d quite like to be one of those husbands whose spouse earns so much money that I’d end up staying at home pottering – a state of mind that illustrates the extent to which I’ve unwound from my everyday contractual obligations.

Sometimes I’ll ponder what the conversation between me and my imaginary spouse would have been. Sometimes I’ll imagine us having a grown-up conversation early on in our relationship where he reveals the extent of his money earning potential, I say, “There’s really no point in me working, is there?”, and he agrees.

Other times, I’ll imagine us having a massive argument, him blurting out in a moment of guilt saying, “Don’t worry. I’ll support both of us while you write your book.” In this story I never write the book but get accustomed to making out that my daily visits to the home office are to write my first draft.

In another scenario I imagine me having deceived my husband into thinking that I’ve been signed off work for an extended period of time when I have instead been fired. Time passes. Both of us get accustomed to their being only one bread winner. Roles get redefined. Everyone lives happily ever after …

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2/365 Because being right is what is important

Logged on to Facebook this evening. First time since I deactivated my account on New Year’s Eve.

The first picture I saw triggered an unexpected reaction. A bitter taste of vindication followed. It was as though the fuse had been lit on a bomb buried deep inside me. I was frantically trying to blow it out forgetting that all I was really doing was hastening the impending blast.

That’s what social media does. Regardless of intent the seemingly innocent picture can provoke all sorts of emotional responses in the recipient. Don’t anyone deny it. We’re all made the same way. Never has the sight of two smiling people generated quite so much bile.

I had logged back in to retrieve the contact details of the people who had messaged me with their email and postal addresses following my announcement about departing Facebook. I had worried a few days ago that my announcement might have looked like I was being needy.

I’d checked with our New Year Pals during the third glass of champagne and later explained how it had seemed like the right thing to do – proper digital etiquette to explain your thinking. Everyone understood. I felt relieved.

This year I’m returning to my blogging roots and writing a daily journal.

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1/365: Cats shit outside the box

Returning from our New Year celebrations on the south coast earlier this evening, we were greeted by a dirty protest inside our front door.

Encouraging our cats to use a brand new litter tray turns out to have failed. Our two black furry blobs seem unimpressed by the closed-off backdoor cat flap (so the local un-neutered tomcat can’t gain access and spray everywhere), choosing instead to communicate their disdain with two pungent deposits.

It appears that the choice we face is stark: it’s either piss from a nearby unwelcome cat or shit from our own disgruntled moggies in response to an unresponsive cat-flap.

This year I’m returning to my blogging roots and writing a daily journal.

Sign-up for email updates below, or follow @ThoroughlyGood for weekly summaries.

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