For All My Looking…I Didn’t See It

Something quite profound struck me today. It was a thought that came to me when I was having a conversation with a work colleague. We were talking about the exercise we do and how often we do it and in that I had a realisation of just how much I have changed in the last 10 months. But it has been a change that, even though I am almost in a constant state of self-analysis and awareness, I had failed to see.

Obviously when anyone goes through a traumatic break up of a long-term relationship you embark on an, sometimes quite bleak and disturbing, analysis of yourself. It’s hard to see any of your positives and more often than not you just dwell on your negatives. The flaws and weaknesses in your character which have caused the person you loved to fall out of love with you. How with a little effort you could have been so much better, how maybe those changes wouldn’t have left you in the position you found yourself in, the list seems endless.

In those early days it only seems to compound your feelings of loss and darken those deep thoughts of depression. As time passes, and if you are so inclined, you might become determined to take those flaws, the bad habits you have accrued, and do something about them. That’s what I did and endeavour to continue doing.

But the revelation, the thing I was blind to, now seems so plainly obvious I am wondering how it took me this long to notice. Especially as it has become so ingrained that I do it (or don’t as you will see) every single day and that massive barrier has somehow just became invisible.

You see one of my major hurdles and the thing that has held me back in the development of myself and hindered me from being on the right path, was my downright laziness. I only ever did enough to get by. Never any more.

When it came to the weekend all I looked forward to was doing nothing. That was what I actually planned to do. Basically as little as possible. Of course I have always fulfilled my fatherly duties and would take my son out to play or enjoyed the things he liked to do with him. But in regards to myself and, ashamedly, my wife, I did very little.

My realisation came during the conversation of our different fitness regimes because in talking about them, and more importantly, about the fact I had decided to take a day off from it, I discovered something new about myself.

I missed it. I missed the feeling I got after doing it and even missed the soreness the following morning. Which now to me feels like a small physical progression.

That set me thinking. What else would I miss if I didn’t do it? When do I actually sit and do nothing these days? For example right now, at 8pm, is the first time I have sat down today (Driving too and from work, picking my son up from school and to get the shopping being the only exception). And even at that I am sitting down to write.

My daily routine today consisted of, getting up at 7am, making breakfast for my son and I, washing the dishes, taking my son to school, going to work (where I stand all day), coming home, picking my boy up from school, going to get the weekly shopping. Then it was making the dinner, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, hoovering and mopping the floors, out to the shed for my exercise, in for a quick shower, then onto the computer for this blog.

I have become so busy and active that I no longer even have the time to watch the television shows I used to love, nor do I even have the inclination. And by the time I do sit on the sofa with my son I have a quick 15/30 minute browse of WordPress and Reddit before setting my phone down and spending the rest of the evening having some quality time with him, be it playing games, either board or on the computer, watching YouTube or whatever he feels like doing at that time.

Long gone are my days of laziness and I feel absolutely joyous in that realisation. Even that day off from my usual exercise routine nagged at me. It was only one day and I know sometimes you have to step back and just relax a bit. But the thing is, doing nothing doesn’t relax me any more. I get a better sense of relaxation when my head hits the pillow at bedtime and I feel physically and mentally tired. Having fulfilled all my duties, both fatherly and for myself.

Now I actually find it harder to relax at the weekends as there is just so much extra time to fill where I want to feel I have gotten something out of it. On a Saturday my son and I still rise at 7am. His mother comes round so I can go to my self-defence class. My friends go to the class as well so afterwards we all go for some refreshments after. (Normally people just refer to this as ‘going for coffee’ but I’m a tea drinker and ‘going for tea’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it).

I come home and after a little while try to figure out what my boy fancies doing that day, be it going into town for a while or going swimming, or doing something a bit out of the normal like going to some event or other.

The difficult part of the day comes when his friends call around and they take off together. While leaving them to their own devices I’ll take to doing a bit more writing or cleaning the parts of the house that usually get missed during the week, the rooms that are barely used, the overall dusting that needs done, any ironing that is still left to do etc.

In fact the hardest part of the day comes after evening dinner. If my boy has had enough gallivanting for the day and just wants to chill then I will spend that time with him. If not however, and I am left to my own devices, I find it a bit of a struggle. I can only sit on my phone for so long before I get antsy. And as I have to be available in case I am needed visiting friends is out of the question.

I suppose this is where my current lack of direction comes in, a need to apply myself to something else productive. Where another interest could come into play. Oh I feel like my laziness is well and truly defeated, and have motivation for days, but another outlet is needed. I guess this is all part of my onward progression.

For now though I feel a small sense of contentness. Happy in the knowledge that that old foe within me is gone and to think I didn’t even notice his goodbye.

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