As the sun sets on 2019…

Today, the last day of December and of 2019, was a tiring day.

I’d left myself with too many miles to run and cycle by the time December had come about, and as per my recent December Challenges I indented not to let myself down. But by the time the 31st day came about, true to form (of days when I’d leave school homework (and college and university work for that matter) until the last minute, I still had 35 miles to cycle and 9 miles of running to do.

But I was motivated.

I got out the door, with no excuses, and my running shoes on, and put in the first 5 miles of the day; it was a nice morning actually, with rabbits hopping and, well, the amusing sight of a pony rubbing its backside on the gate to its field. What has been seen cannot be unseen (you’re welcome for that mental image).

Back home I quite liked the thought of diving in the shower (my usual cold one), but instead I changed clothes and headed straight back out, this time on my bike to put those needed miles in.

I kept running through my head what route and turnings to take, and whether I would do half the miles now, maybe put in another run, and then head back out for the rest of the miles, or just do them all in one go. I chose the latter; getting them over-and-done-with was my frame-of-mind. I had the audio book of A Thousand Nights and a Night playing in my ear to keep me company, until that ran out and I tuned into the radio.

Still the day was a nice one with none of the wind and rain we had seen of late. With just one close encounter with a recycling truck on a narrow and winding stretch of road and, well, not much else to report, I got those 35 miles over-and-done-with, but they were hard work.

Back home a rest was in order, but only an hour slot to consume some food and down some coffee whilst listening to the final couple of segments of Jeremy Vine on the radio, before forcing myself back out for that second run. I only had 4 miles left to do to reach my target of 300 miles in 2019, but that would have meant doing the silly thing of running two laps of the 2-mile route, or doing my 5-mile route again (which is technically two laps, but at least not back to back). So, I chose the latter, but I was pretty knacked by the last mile, and found myself walking for some of that, and when I did try and run the last few hundred yards my hip objected, so I agreed that enough was enough. Actually, those 300 miles include those walks up Snowdon I did earlier in the year, so it’s not all technically running, but as far as I’m concerned the effort has been the same, my runs certainly aren’t sprints.

Back home for the… 3rd time today, this time I treated myself to a hot shower. I’ve grown accustomed to cold showers throughout 2019, usually dipping in after a run, but when I’m feeling worn out, as I certainly was today, I had some hot water ready and waiting, and now with actual heating on I can dry some laundry; the daily running and cycling coupled with a lack of washing and drying appliances has left me with a lot of damp and clammy clothes. Often I would start a day with a kick to myself when I’d realise I had failed to put a pair of gloves on a warm computer to dry ready for that day’s adventures.

For not the first time this year I had a bout of grumpy fatigue once my cycling and running efforts were done and dusted, which, noticing this recurring phase of mind amused me, even if it took some chilling out to recover from it. The cat got his evening meal early because he sounded extra naggy, and I had some phone-calls to clients that I really didn’t want to make (trying to give myself time off at this time of year) which didn’t go so well. I’ve downed a couple of cups of tea now and looking forwards to a relaxing day tomorrow.

Now I’m trying to focus on my 2020 New Year Resolutions but besides “cycling 6,000 miles, running 300 miles, and reading 25 books” like this year, I’m struggling to think beyond January, although more cycling and camping around Ireland is on the cards (which partly motivated me to keep up with my recent cycling efforts).

Generally speaking I want to build on routines I enjoy and find to be healthy because, after developing my morning one this year, I’ve seen that as a building block for which the rest of my days can be pinned and flow from. Part of the challenge is not to let things that are perhaps beyond my control from thwarting my efforts; such as scheduling in some work but having a client cancel, the weather, or a sibling having a day off work and wanting to meet up for breakfast. Some of these things I need to better let slip into my life without the friction I experience. On the flip side, nudging those unhelpful things away is also important, whether it be stuff on Youtube that adds nothing to my life, or getting caught up in draining loops of negative nonsense that is the drama of some people’s lives; I could say some escapism is perfectly fine, but is it? Kind of like setting fire to $5million, or perhaps not.

As for internet stuff, I intend to keep up with my blogging, in particular I want to better my efforts to write about what I read, rather than just making a bunch of notes and then immediately turning to the next book. I’ve enjoyed reading some short stories this past month so I also want to do that more regularly; talking to a camera/microphone and creating some “vlogs” also has felt quite “healthful” in a weird way, maybe it’s just the whole talking thing which I have lacked since some days I only have a cat to talk to! I’ve also had a good year regarding photography with a lot more uploads to DeviantArt in 2019 and also creating some “print-on-demand” products, mostly thanks to acquiring a car back in September and having trips out – those walks up Snowdon being a particular 2019 highlight – so I intend to continue such trips with regularity, for as long as the car obliges at least.

Other routines I want to focus on are the dreaded model railway, guitar and piano playing of which I keep promising myself to record things well enough to justify uploading them (but then don’t), and yoga, which was included in the December Challenge but was the one thing I failed to keep on top of… look out for January’s Challenge! I intend to focus on some things for a month, and other things for a week because this kind of approach seems to work well for me, especially when I can share my efforts here on my blog; so thank you for following along and helping me to stay focused!

The last sunset for 2019.

2 comments

  1. I’d add one suggestion to your 2020 list: service. Find a group of youth and teach them computers or model railroads or something. Seems to be an abundance of “me, myself and I” in your itinerary. Maybe you already have this skeduled (grin), and Tommy, Susie and Jake are eagerly awaiting your January arrival. If not… I know this sounds disingenuous coming from someone who does nothing but work, write and sleep. But my time coaching baseball and softball and setting up computers in local elementary schools (skools?) was some of the best of my 30’s and 40’s.

    Looking forward to reading more of your adventures in 2020,
    AM

    • I prefer leading/teaching by example. Maybe I’ll cycle more regularly past schools to inspire the kids to get on their bikes (they always look impressed) or their parents to stop driving them round the corner from home.

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