What a difference 2 years makes

In the last two years I have addressed what I thought was an issue for me (your experience and feelings will likely vary) and that was my weight. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t healthy (or I didn’t feel healthy) and I wasn’t fit, in fact exercise was tiresome and often painful.

So I went to the gym, and I started to run, and I learned to love it. The following pictures are 2 years apart. The first two from the Tree Top Nets in Cumbria on the 22nd October 2016 and the next two from this morning in a hotel room near to the Theme parks and the M4/M25. I am with my two oldest boys, and I feel better about how I look, how I feel and how much exercise I get with my boys.

Why are you in Edinburgh Markie?

or: My God that was a Long Road

or: My Wife is Smarter than I am

or: Filled with Awe

I know it is bad grammatical form to put three sub headings in a line with no text in-betweenst them but i felt it was a title thing, like the start of a silly movie or a book, and I like the notion…

Anyway…

My God that was a Long Road

It has been a long seven years for Leigh, in fact it is eight but that’s a complex story to tell and I want this to be the first snapshot.

We are in Edinburgh with the kids, the other kids, and the responsible person who is probably a kid, for Leigh’s graduation this weekend. She could have chosen almost anywhere in the UK, but she came home. Leigh was born in Edinburgh and spent her early years in Scotland. Like her mother she is Scottish in her heart and in her birthright, it is here she came home to for an accolade justly deserved. We are here so Leigh can go to the graduation ceremony for her Psychology degree.

My Wife is Smarter than I am

I am not trying to win easy praise, or give it either. I am not being an atypical male ‘oh she’s quite smart, possibly smarter than I in some respects, what, what, what…’. I am talking book smart. Dedication to theory smart. Follow the evidence/facts, deduce and infer smart. She is logical, precise and well structured academically. She is smart.

I am clever. But, like a monkey clever. Kinda like, oh dear it is too late and I threw it already so you can’t duck the poo, clever.

Filled with Awe

So why am I filled with awe?

  • 8 years;
  • A full time job;
  • A wedding;
  • Five pregnancies;
  • Two successful pregnancies;
  • A two.eight year old, a one year old and a going on 2nd-childhood-year-old husband;
  • A full time job (yes, it is there twice, think about it);
  • A science degree taken, completed, passed.

Do I really need to explain why I am in awe of my wife?

Credit…(?)

I guess I can claim some credit. I did a lot of housework, most of the cooking, a lot of the day-to-day life organising….well, shit, of course I damned well did, did you not read the above list? Were there hours in the day where she could have done that, well, yes. But you know we had to make the kids some way, and apparently she needed to sleep and occasionally we went on holiday…wait she took college work with her then…

There were very few hours in the day.

I did what I could, I could have done more, she is grateful I didn’t do less.

I wanted to mention me, because I partly share, I helped, but I helped because it is who I am.

She did it all.

I am in incredible awe of Leigh’s achievement.

(I hope this weekend there will be more words and pictures to share).

Scheduling Life

So it has come to this, we finally have such a busy life now that Leigh and I regularly sit down and have to write down the proceeding weeks times and events to see where we can negotiate who is doing what, when, where and how we can fit a social life into a now hectic family and work regime, and most important how we make the time for each other.

We were always busy, we are people who fill our lives, when we are not working, with interesting hobbies and pursuits and if we can a fair number of social events, games, and holidays.

But in the past year this has taken an extra dimension or two.

The first of these was the birth of our first son, Ben, who we both want to spend as much time with as humanly possible. The next was Leigh returning to full time work after Maternity Leave, add in her return to university (part time) and my undertaking of projects and responsibilities as part of a growing responsibility in the Perl community as an organiser and helper, and you have administatioclasm.

There is also the diverse group of people who are our friends who unfortunately bear the brunt of our disappearing time as we juggle their exposure to us on a weird rotation basis with no rules, but plenty of traps, pitfalls and the occasional Gremlin.

Then of course you have to consider family, who we are almost pathologically meran to as we shuttle engagements and apportion them meagre moments of our now precious time.

It has become a juggling act. If we sit down to watch a programme (television) or film it is a rare event, almost to be treasured, and if it is one that doesn’t fully sap our attention we also read, discuss or use a computer at the same time.

This now sounds sad. I am missing all the fun times we take Ben out for walks, or to the park and generally when we sit on the floor playing with toys and reading books.

I have not mentioned the holidays we get with Grandmas in the motorhome and visiting far flung relatives and friends and loving how they put all their attention on our son and let us rest while they entertain him.

Or the fact that we feel so much like a family, that we do all that we can to further ourselves both morally and intellectually, that the efforts we make are to strengthen and support the varying groups we belong to (not to blow our own trumpet too much but we are super).

And, we still find time to write in Nanowrimo, scriptfrenzy, run and play roleplaying games, read books and fight the occasional horde of pixelated monsters.

We just don’t watch a lot of contemporary television, and we miss a lot of theatre, concerts and films, those are the elements of our lives we had to remove to do all of the other things we want.

These days we catch up on contemporary film/theatre/music life months later, and sometimes I catch up on films when traveling. I miss seeing them first, or at the cinema, but I wouldn’t swap what I have even if you offered me a lifetime free pass to see all the music, films and theatre first.

Pictures of some friends and places

This is Matt and Dyana and the 'bunnies who put their love into the pot' on Matt's 24th Brithday in 2007

Leigh in the foreground and Nathan in the background, taken on Skerton Bridge, Easter in 2007

Linda and Leigh on Morecambe beach on Palm Sunday 2007

'The Lesser-Spotted Sims' Steph sans camera on the Beach in Morecambe on Palm Sunday 2007

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