The practical one is that my MacBook finally gave up after over 9 years loyal service. The other one is more involved. Since the start of this year it feels like I've been like sitting on a rollercoaster that is slowly creeping up the incline with the fear and anticipation that comes with it. Just as I think it's about to go over the top and gain momentum it turns out there is further to climb. Now in the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that I am not a fan of rollercoasters or 'scaring yourself silly in the name of fun.' I don't indulge in horror movies or chase thrills of any kind. It's just not my bag baby. So when I say that's what it's been like I mean it's involuntary participation in something that I can't predict and that I didn't want to be doing in the first place.
The incessant journey has included bereavements, family illness, starting a new job and the stresses that go with all of these things. At each stage I've gone into practical 'doing' mode so that we can get through it. Then it's become too much. After a while being on the edge of your nerves becomes the 'new normal.' (I hate the word normal - it's so judgie, but it's apposite here). I've never needed much sleep and it's possible for me to function on very little, but I am at the stage where forming thoughts escapes me. Every day seems to present a situation that needs to be solved. A child who needs to be in two different places so there's the logistical planning. A work thing to attend or plan or deliver. Add to the mix the guilt at not being around to help with medical appointments or give sufficient time to listen to friends who are in difficulty.
All my energy was going into training for a half marathon and then it was done. My body kept going and going without enough rest. Each time I thought I'd get to rest it didn't happen. I gave up trying to get a break, it was pointless. Each time I think I will get to stop and rest something else happens. So I just keep going. It's like making a tower out of playing cards on a table with one slightly wonky leg. You know you're just putting off the inevitable. So I balance one more card on top. Yeah that's fine, it's only one more thing. I take another card because if I'm doing that I might as well just do this as well. The structure starts to look a bit wobbly. It's still standing though. Just.
I hate that whole, 'I'm more tired than you' competition that we're all supposed to be into these days. Everyone is busy - we're all doing too much. I'm not asking for sympathy. The reason I mention it now is that now I have a sense of a year having gone by without having had a chance to blink. The feeling of being in panic mode for the entire time has caught up with me. I am exhausted. My body aches and I am rarely coherent. This has been going on all year. No one can sustain that level of stress and be unaffected.
It's almost the end of the year and if I think about what has changed since this time last year it's been momentous stuff. Soraya was still alive this time last year. We were making radio shows and making plans for the radio station. I was at home and took my sons to school and picked them up and we were planning our first ever family skiing holiday (which was epic by the way !) I had more hair then - ok I know that's mundane, but it was a big deal to me.
So to go back to the rollercoaster analogy I am still in this rickety carriage that I don't want to be in. With fewer companions than I had before. The ones who are there are who I want to be with though. The sense of fear hasn't subsided at all. If anything that anticipation of something awful about to happen is ever present. I'm don't know when I'm going to arrive at the end of this ride, but I have to stop holding my breath in fear. After all, with everything that's happened surely I can deal with whatever comes next ?