Sometimes a lot changes in a short space of time. You tell yourself it’s short term, things will settle soon, you can get through it.
And then it continues.
Since the decision was made to move to Scotland, I feel like the changes haven’t stopped.
The only constant things have been the hills behind my house, and two greyhounds. Even they are changing as they age more noticeably.
The thing is, thanks to my upbringing, I’m really good at dealing with change. And I don’t always recognise that I’m running myself ragged until there’s a drastic collapse, normally accompanied by a wailing and gnashing of teeth.
This year, Easter combined with the start of spring and the clocks going forward came at the same time as yet another new job.
Life is slowly returning to normal after several months of long hours at the day job, accompanied by weekend working since the start of the year while I’ve been building the harp side of things back up.
I should be feeling revived, refreshed and ready to speed forward into whatever the future holds.
But I’m not.
I’m exhausted, and I’m feeling utterly crushed by everything that has happened (good and bad) since last summer.
As I started to ramp up the training miles ahead of the races and events I have planned for the summer, my body recently put in a very stern protest.
I dragged myself round a 6 mile run on Saturday. It was agony and I felt completely destroyed afterwards. I took a couple of days off.
I set out for another 6 miles on Tuesday evening, which should have been well within my ability. It was a beautiful evening, I had no need for a head torch as I’d be back well before it got dark, and I had been looking forward to getting out.
It quickly became obvious that I was not going to make it round. I cut the run short, and was home after 3 miles, again feeling wiped out and this time in a bit of pain too. The recent hills and long runs in my legs had finally said no more, stop, please.
In desperation, I rolled out my yoga mat, put a DVD in the player and awaited the curious sniffing from one of the hounds.
The intention was to stretch everything out. Or at least to start.
I was looking for the physical benefits of a yoga session, but actually I found much, much more.
My spirit started to unwind a little. The voice came from the screen, just go with it and let your body do what it needs to do. Enjoy the time, the space, the creativity.
Since then, I’ve been overwhelmed by a sense of depletion. Not just in my legs, but deeper. It has only just occurred to me this morning that if someone (or something) takes from you over an extended period without giving, then some fairly serious replenishment is going to be required. I’d thought that once the situation/s came to a close, everything would get back to normal.
But normal has shifted, and I’ve changed.
There’s an hour in between the first and last pictures of the church in Unken, taken last summer as I ate pizza and drank wine outside with my friend.
There’s seven weeks, and a world of other differences, between the top and bottom pictures of Buchanan Street in Glasgow, taken on lunchtime escapes from two jobs. The sun has risen in the sky , friendships have passed, seasons changed, commuter routes swapped.
The longer days will bring evenings in the hills, and I crave the feeling of effort on the way up followed by the freedom of reaching the top, leaping across the bogs and seeing nothing but grass, a few sheep, the mountains further north and the setting sun.