Things To Look Forward To

I’ve been peak miserable this week. Emotionally defeated, mentally exhausted – physically exhausted too. Lockdown and being on my own for the best part of 3 months has finally broken me. Well…temporarily.

Weirdly in the first lockdown, peak misery hit after a couple of months – and the same has happened this time. Though it is compounded by the strictures that I’ve put myself under, with no alcohol, no cake, no chocolate, no fun – as well as no face-to-face human interaction (bar occasional 5 minute chat with my housemate).

It’s kind of been like groundhog day for the last few weeks actually, though only really this week has it got to me.

Weekends have become nothing more than an extended lunchbreak, except I’m still writing code and studying – I probably did around 10-12 hours of studying and coding last weekend – though I do once again have a nice speedy roast dinners website.

This is kind of fun to solve problems and improve things, but it isn’t really what I want to be doing on a weekend. Mix in some cleaning, general life admin and some really boring things like listing CDs on Ebay or sorting out the music I’ve illegally downloaded over the last year (which means formatting files names so they all look neat…yeah I’m so anal) and my weekends are pretty dismal. And lonely.

My working week recently has involved re-doing work that I’d previously done – one ticket which took about a week of effort was to replace something that was implemented in a rather horrid hacky manner to test out a theory…the theory worked and is worth 6 figures of incremental revenue – but that meant I had to implement it properly and replace the horrid hacky thing I’d built (there wasn’t a non-hacky way to do this test).

Other tickets have had to be re-done because there was a backlog of code reviews – and those tickets being reviewed and implemented all affected each other so when changes were implemented in one, things then had to be redone in the other tickets in the backlog. Finally ready to test on the public come Monday – after nearly 3 months of work and re-work by myself and my colleague. So if you are buying a bra and see a matching items carousel, do add some knickers. Or vice versa. Thanks.

So it has been a bit frustrating at work – and dull outside of work. I know good (ish) times are tantalisingly close, but the winter of doom is persisting. Detox doesn’t help with the lack of fun – I would love a few beers or a bottle of red wine one night, I am soooo ready for it – but also I’ve lost 6kg in weight this year and am no longer obese. It has been a dull few months (it feels much longer) but a period of time that I think I’ve made as much use of as possible.

Yet there are moments, like now, when I just want to give up my efforts. If I think about it long enough, I feel weary, I feel isolated, I feel miserable – not depressed – but miserable. I generally avoid talking to people unless they instigate it, because I fear feeling like I am missing out. I sometimes wonder if this is comparable to being in prison but without the drugs. I really have had enough of this fucking pandemic.

I concluded that it was time to write about it. And what better after a moan than to remember that I do have some things to look forward to.

The list of things that I am looking forward to

So these are all things which should definitely happen in the coming months. I’m not even thinking of trips abroad or being off my head in some muddy field dancing to shitty tech-house. Just things I’m pretty certain will happen – things that are in my control – things that I dare hope for.

  1. I am finally going to see somebody other than my housemate or a delivery driver this weekend, as we are now allowed to meet one other person for a picnic, so my sister is visiting with a roast dinner from an actual pub. Yes we are going to sit outside in 11’C, showers and a chilly wind. Dominic Cummings.

2. A week off. I was a bit pissed off about being told that I cannot carry my holiday over until the next financial year, so I had to take it in March. Really would have preferred it in April so I could have actually done something like sit in a beer garden on a Tuesday afternoon. But I am looking forward to a week off, my emotional wellbeing needs a week off – even if the main thing I’m going to do is study – roll on the last full week of March and give me one day of warmish sunshine PLEASE! Alas, weather models currently suggest snow more likely than warmth. Fucking sudden stratospheric warming.

3. I’ve ordered a curry from the highly-regarded Clay’s in Reading. I keep hearing how good they are and keep meaning to order – finally I’ve done it. Arriving next weekend.

4. The end of the detox! I know this lockdown has been easier without drinking because I’m constantly needing to keep myself busy – whereas drinking gives me more downtime, and more time to ponder what life used to be like. Yet detox is far less fun too, and I have been avoiding talking to people because I feel like I’d be too tempted to drink. I am now bloody well ready for a beer or 5 – and my detox will end at some point on my week off – date undecided. I’ve even ordered some beer – and found some Bone Machine too. Hmmm Bone Machine.

5. Sitting outside in the warm sunshine and having a beer or two. Yes, I really cannot wait to be able to plonk my chair outside in the front garden (the back garden is a shithole), t-shirt on, short shorts hopefully on, beer in hand. Bliss. Those who read my weather forecasts will know that I’m expecting a sunnier and drier spring than normal – though that first warm day where I’m not working might take a while – if it happens on my week off that would be amazing (and will be my detox end date), if not then hopefully for Easter.

6. Blacklock. Ohhhhhh Blacklock. I think for my week off I’m going to order an all-in for the weekend. This may or may not be my detox ending celebration – and what better way to end my detox with a load of beautiful meaty goodness and a nice bottle of red wine?

7. Matlock. From Blacklock to Matlock. So I haven’t seen my parents since October and this hurts – especially missing out on Christmas with them. We realised that 12th April means that we can meet outdoors and stay in self-contained accommodation within our household (granted I am stretching that definition slightly) so we are staying in the same area and meeting up for outside hospitality and walks. This really is necessary for the soul.

8. Roast dinners outdoors. Also from 12th April I will be able to start booking roast dinners, albeit outdoors only and one assumes it might be quite difficult to find anywhere, especially for the opening weekend. I do need to pull my finger out on this one.

9. A trip to the Lake District. So last year 3 of us went to Cornwall just as London was disgracefully plonked into Tier 2 – gosh tiers really do seem like they are from a different age. We are repeating the feat this year and going to the Lake District – pubs and restaurants should be open indoors and our trip will be fully legitimate – 3 separate households staying in 1 house. They also have a goat. Yeah, the goat sold it to me.

10. Christmas 2. A date has been set – the final bank holiday weekend in May and we are going to faithfully recreate the Christmas that we never had, as best as possible. Presents, decorations, tree, turkey roast (not sure my mother knows this part yet), sprouts, mince pies, booze, Christmas songs, yadda yadda. Well…unless…Boris…

I feel a bit better now. Hope you are all surviving…if you survived reading to this point.

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