Saturday, August 20, 2011

20th August

I’m beginning to get stronger. Having a 3 mile walk nearly every day at an increasingly brisk pace has to be doing me good, and I’m quite surprised that I’m able to keep doing it. Last year I tried swimming every day and before too long the muscle pain started, probably caused by M.E., and forced me to stop. It’s a frustrating condition and I reckon the jury’s still out on whether it has a physical or psychological root. I’ve simply found that stress or over-activity of a physical, mental or emotional nature causes me problems. But walking in the sunshine through the peaceful environment of the woods at Kedleston Hall is not at all a problem. Whereas it was my youngest daughter’s birthday today and we celebrated at her house for tea, and that was a really busy time. A few hours of noisy conversation, together with the excitement of a family guessing game left me reeling with chronic tinnitus, mild dizziness and heavy fatigue. I absolutely love being with my family and thoroughly enjoyed the time together… but I hate M.E.!

Whilst out walking I met some old friends from a church we used to belong to a few years ago. And they reminded me of an ongoing challenge I have to find a way to deal with in the coming days. Everyone Jane and I related to together is married and it’s weird trying to fit in now I’m single as I don’t feel like I belong. I’m talking socially, not church meetings for bible study and the like… they’re fine. So who are my peer group then? Do they exist? I suppose Jane had a couple of single friends that she always found time for but I always gave her space when she met them and I really don’t know them. Similarly I suppose there’s always been a couple of single guys I know but I can’t say we’ve got that much in common.

The only inspiration I have is through the example Jane set when she went to university. She seemed to meet some really nice people and I always enjoyed the infrequent times I met with them, both male and female. Most of them were obviously a lot younger but until we went to a wedding I believe they were all single, and after the course finished they did seem to scatter across the country if not further afield. Only one caring friend living fairly close by made it to Jane’s funeral, although condolences from others as well as university lecturers was massively appreciated. They were a nice bunch of people so it’s a shame I only knew them through Jane. And the real question is how can I learn from Jane’s example of making friends? Is it possible to find a way to bridge the age gap as most singles are way younger than me and my clubbing days started and ended 40 years ago! I suspect the answer has to lie in the area of shared interest, be it education or a hobby and if I were well enough to work that would be ideal. But talking and analysing is pointless unless I do something about it so I’ll have to get out there sometime soon. I may need time alone to sort myself out today but tomorrow is another story…

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (NLT)

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