Fun

“I have learned that you can go anywhere you want to go and do anything you want to do and buy all the things that you want to buy and meet all the people who you want to meet and learn all the things that you desire to learn and if you do all these things but are not madly in love: you have still not begun to live.”

―JoyBell

I love my family and as much as I moan about them and the trials and tribulations that comes with it I wouldn’t change them for the world.

At times it becomes almost unbearable and you just want to run away to a time before.

Which lead me to writing this spoken word piece. Time is something that’s un-negotiable. It’s a fixed set amount. I have to be at work at a certain time to a certain time. The girls have after school clubs they attend they need taking to at a certain time. The baby goes to bed around a certain time to save our sanity the next day. This leaves little time to catch up with the wife. Be able to work out. Catch up with jobs around the house. To have any alone time. To be able to find time for fun. Fun selfishly just for you.

Fun

Fun.

But at what cost.

Fun things for you to see and do.

Just you.

No partner, no kids.

No wife and kids coming along too.

Fun.

Fun things to see and do.

Just for you.

At what cost.

Kids screaming they want to go with daddy too.

A wife who complains she doesn’t get the quality time she needs with you.

Fun.

Just fun.

Just for you.

Some time alone doing just what you want to do.

Sitting and relaxing when you want to.

Turning left instead of right because you want to.

Something catches your eye wandering over to look and explore it.

No rolling of eyes as you suggest it.

No screaming I need the loo, me too and me, me too.

Some time alone doing just what you want to do.

Exploring the world and shops in your little town like you use to.

Peacefully wandering and looking at what you want to.

Coming home, turning on the crap that you want to.

No screams of I’m not watching that.

Escaping to listen to your favourite music.

Relaxing and meditating.

Closing your eyes and feeling the music run through you.

Prodded in the head and asked what are you up to.

Can I listen.

Can I watch pig on your phone.

Peppa. Peppa ringing in your ear.

Fun.

Oh What fun.

Fun at what cost.

Escaping without the guilt.

Asking if it’s ok if you can go see this.

Like a teenager nervously asking to stay out late with friends that your parents don’t like.

Reminiscing of the fun you use to do.

Getting up when you want to.

Leaving the house for anywhere and nowhere just going because you want to.

Now to have that fun it comes at a cost.

A cost.

A cost that you always have to ask yourself.

Is it worth it.

All this fuss.

Just to go.

To go.

To go and have some fun.

Andy.

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The Bug

I am tired of being tired and talking about how tired I am.

– Amy Poehler

Currently in the UK we have the bug.

A sickness bug.

Traveling from area to area from school to school.

I generally lack sympathy. I am very empathetic but sympathy for people I have non.

Which might be some what of an oxymoron. I don’t know.

Children are pretty much little walking Petri dishes of bacteria and illness ready to attack at any point.

This weekend we had our 3 year old daughters 4th birthday party. All week building up to it kids have been pulled out of school or worse, children were been dropped off looking an interesting shade of green whilst their parents disappeared like a flash out of the school gates. Reports of children been segregated into the ill class room with other children who had the bug at both ends. Parents strangely we’re now Un-contactable.

With this information we decided to take all our children out of school for the last 2 days of the week.

We have spent a lot of money ( to us ) on a party with surprise magician clown and we did not want her or her sisters missing it due to catching the dreaded Bug.

My wife took them to the new local library. Been educational and all since they were out of school. 5 minutes into been there a child puked all over the place. The mother of the puking child did very little by apology and tried to rub it away into the shiny new carpet.

So after that we had two days of lock down. We did it. We managed to have them all there with no sign of the dreaded bug.

A great party and a great fun day.

11 pm that night.

Shit.

Pukesville.

Our eldest can not stop throwing up.

What a trooper though, she amazed us. She is very much the dramatic and sensitive one.

Too tired and too ill to moan she wouldn’t leave the side of the toilet incase she was going to be sick again. Which in turn means tag team time for me and my wife. Passing each other with heavy bags under our eyes.

She is fortunately better and now back to her normal self.

Moaning about anything and everything.

Now I just hope we have managed to keep her quarantined enough that the others do not get it.

Because I’ve got really tired of it.

The hardest thing as a parent especially in a larger family is the ability to be able to function when one or a few of you are ill. The border line sleep torture followed by a lack of much needed structure means daily happy life goes out of the window. Tempers fray due to the lack of sleep and generally feeling like crap.

I can’t wait for normality to return. Or at least children with the energy to moan and for me to have the energy to cope with it.

Andy.

Aside

Finding Me

“No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.”

Last year I did the 3 Peak National Challenge with some colleagues. Britain’s highest mountains in a 24 hour period. Unfortunately we couldn’t complete it in 24 hours due to a road accident on the motorway. But complete it we did.

It was my idea and a way to help bond with a close-knit group of people in the new small company I had begun to work for. We set out to raise money for a local charity who financially help parents of terminally ill children to be able to spend the last few moments with their child and not have to worry about work and covering bills from loss of earnings due to taking time off from their employment.

I once worked as an outdoor pursuit instructor. Before taking part in our challenge it had been a good ten years since I had last stood on a mountain. I hadn’t realized that I had been missing it. I can’t explain the joy and emotion of being on those hills. The feeling of been at home and comfortable in a tough terrain even though physically every muscle was aching, that feeling of pushing yourself against a clock.

The feeling of living. The feeling of being ALIVE.

I entered the London marathon Lottery draw but was unlucky and didn’t get a spot. I am unable to commit to a charity as I doubt I would be able to raise the required funds. We had spoken about doing another challenge in 2017 to help another local charity. Often an obstacle race had been suggested but having done them in the past I find them more of a fun day out than a challenge.

I’ve thought of marathon distance as unattainable but was willing to train for it. Then listening to the Rich Roll podcast he interviewed David Goggins if you have not heard this interview I strongly suggest you do. Then save it and listen to it again.

The original title of this blog was road to Ultra.

Apologies as I was writing this post has a pretense to “look at me I’m doing a ultra” but fuck that. I’ve done blogs in the past and I’ve always aimed it towards an imaginary audience. To some stranger to say to me well done.  I fucking hate running ( so doing a ultra for no other reason than I want to. Nope ain’t happening )

I aim to get fit again as the 3 peak challenge showed that I’m way off where I use to be and want to be. Granted where I was, was 20 years ago but I keep trying to be who I think I should be when I just want to be me again.

Over the past 15 years life as beaten the shit out of me again and again and again. I’ve got up. But got up slower and slower each time with open wounds and aches that won’t go away.

I’m in no way who I used to be. Nobody should as we all should grow and move forward. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad things have changed in some ways as I was a bit of an arrogant selfish prick, but that’s also just youth.

I miss my confidence. I miss my self-esteem. I miss my get up and go. Not motivation, but oomph !!!!

I was the yes man. The guy who was up for anything and everything.

Do you want to go here do this.

Yes !! without a second thought, yes.

Feeling knackerd, hell yeah I’m still up for it.

You won’t know anybody ?

so what !!!

I will know everyone by the time the evening is out.

Where did that confidence go ?

Life isn’t like that now which I understand I’m not meaning to sound like I want the good old days back of care free-living.  Although it would be nice for a day or two. But there is opportunity out there of new adventures. New friendships. New experiences and new opportunities that I wouldn’t have thought twice about. Now, now I think about them, i dissect them. I talk myself out of it then moan and blame life that I’m not doing it. I feel old and tired.

At some point I’ve become fearful.

At some point I’ve become Nic’s husband, Willow’s Dad or become that bloke who works for so and so.

I feel Nameless

You know Andy don’t you ? I doubt it I don’t even know who I am. I feel though I’m finally beginning to rebuild me and find out who I am.

Adversity isn’t always about doing a challenge. Sometimes it’s about getting through day-to-day life. Meeting the day head on. It’s getting up in a morning when the kids are shouting for breakfast as you’re trying to get out the shower. Doing a good job at work whilst having had little or no sleep. Coming home and been a good husband and Dad helping with the loving family you have built and created together.

If I am just Willow, Norah, Genevieve and Meredith’s dad or known as Nicola’s husband then that isn’t too bad.

Because nobody can do those roles better than me and I’m proud to be known as just that.

Andy.

Be like Goggins and Live like Jay.