Thanks to a prompt from Ewen I guess it is high time I popped up an update on what is going on with me at the moment.
Well, in a nutshell, life is different.
The change of jobs in January did not bring many dramatic changes at first as my boss was overseas for almost the entire first month, so I was twiddling my thumbs a bit. But once he got back I discovered what an earnest and intense and, er, moody, person he is, so work life has been a bit interesting since. More pressure, more stress. The job itself isn't especially taxing except that I am forced to try and perform it in Japanese, business meetings and the like, which was not something I represented myself at the interviews as being capable of doing-- in fact I was careful to explain my Japanese level fairly accurately. Daily conversation fine, but native Japanese technical and business discussions are beyond my comprehension, so I have a long, hard challenge ahead.
I have not been running much because I have decided to try to get my nasty left Achilles better. It is slowly, slowly improving, but the change is barely perceptible really. It doesn't hurt much in daily life, except sometimes in the mornings for a little while. It has a kind of hard swelling in the middle of the tendon, which is tender when gently squeezed, so I really think I am in for a long haul getting it to come good. My concern then has been how to keep my weight down. I've been going to the gym sometimes for weights and bike or X-trainer, but can only do that in the evenings and can therefore only fit that in once or twice on week nights and maybe once on the weekend. I ran a long-committed-to 6-km ekiden leg on March 20th that showed up my dwindling fitness (and made the Achilles hurt like buggery). I did a short (6k) easy run last Sunday and another last Wednesday night ... partly social, partly just to burn a few calories and partly to see how the Achilles felt. I haven't even logged them yet. In both cases the pain in my Achilles was much as it has been all along -- not enough to force me to stop, but enough to make running unenjoyable. So I continue to abstain and hope that the damn thing starts healing soon, but I am prepared to give it as long as it takes.
The other thing, of course, has been Dad, Mick, passing away. He has been on my mind, if not constantly, then at least very very often. We shared our birthdays, you know, and he was always such an enormous part of my life, my consciousness, even my identity. I am not exactly sad and mournful, because he had a good and long life and his death went about as well as death can go. We all had enough forewarning, got to say our goodbyes, and he himself was absolutely ready to go and kept his dignity through to the end, passing peacefully at home with a pain-managed terminal-stage cancer of the liver. So, his death itself is easy enough to accept and deal with. At the funeral we were able to celebrate his life while shedding some tears for the loss of this remarkable person from our lives. So I am not sad, and yet, I just miss him so much and somehow feel different with him being gone...I can't really put it any other way.
I suppose, in summary, I am currently dealing with three losses: the loss of my previously comfortable (though tending towards boring) work life; the loss of Mick; and the loss of running...at least for the foreseeable future. Considering this situation I think I am bearing up reasonably well (at least I still have beer and brewing and my family!) and am aware that it is just one of those flat periods that life throws up and it is up to me to deal with the issues involved with each loss. Work I am accepting as an interesting and exciting challenge, the pain of Mick's loss I know will fade with time, and running, well, that's the hard one. But I'm determined to get this Achilles right so that I can make and reach some new goals in the future, like running Six Foot Track!
I am also improving on my didgeridoo, so be warned, I might put up a little video one day!!