Stumpy Makes a Return

I took some time off work yesterday and today. I had some things around the house that needed doing. The fireplace, for one, needed painting. The original coating was faded and buffed and rust spots were appearing. Some sandpaper, mineral turpentine, a paint brush and a tin of pot-belly black high temp paint solved that problem.

Now the house smells like turps, but that’s not the point. The point is that I knuckled down, got the job done, the fireplace looks a treat and I’m ready for winter.

I also needed to replace a strip of quad in the bathroom because it got left out during the renovations. Some stain, some gloss, cut it to size, stuck it on the wall, job done. And the lawn needed mowing – got that out of the way. Oh, the doorbell dinger needed to be replaced – done. The winder in the bedroom is failing – turns out I can’t fix that without replacing the box, so I’ll have to leave that to another day (and someone else).

So where does that leave me? It leaves me with some time to actually do what I want to do, which is finish off the sequel to Tedrick Gritswell. That’s right, folks, our favourite little spud from Borobo Reef is back in business and he’ll soon be peeking out from a bookshelf near you!

The Second Draft is complete. I’ve put my poor little printer through its paces (took a while to get the drivers and get it working) and it dutifully churned out 100 odd pages of words for me to read through and correct. Now I’ve got to go get another red pen. I kind of killed my last one. Time for a trip to Officeworks. After that, more editing and corrections and then onto the final.

In the meantime, I’m having a break. I’ve got to get onto the front cover, after all. I had decided this time around to do the cover first, but that idea got lost along with everything else that came at me this year, but don’t you worry, I’ll get out the tablet, crack open my Corel Draw and reacquaint myself with just how to apply a virtual paint to a virtual canvas.

What’s More Important?

When I was a kid, when the world extended as far as my house and school, when the only people who exist were my family and friends, it was easy to make decisions. As I got older and my world expanded and time weighed down upon me, as conditions altered and people came in and out of my life, priorities necessarily changed.

Things that were hard become easy and vice versa. When problem A was no longer baying for my attention, I had more time to focus my energies on problem B. Or C. Or D…

Constant reassessment of what’s more important, and urgent, is a factor of life. Keeps us on our toes, makes us more adaptable to the winds of change. Sometimes I keep prioritising things lower down than they deserve because I want to artificially increase the priority of other things in order to reach a goal.

For example, health. As a young fella, I took an able body and the ability to walk up stairs for granted. I could eat hamburgers, drink up-sized milkshakes, and sample super-hot peppers and not worry about the consequences. I could take the stairs, or not. I could walk, or not. I had the choices before me and, therefore, had no need to prioritise keeping in shape.

Then bones start clicking. Muscles start hurting. Tight skin becomes flabby. The time invested away from health, and into other activities, started to tell. Things become harder than they should be. I struggled to get up, to keep up. Add a little boy into the mix and it only got worse.

So what’s more important? Family? Work? Leisure? Community? Hobbies? Sanity? Or is it ‘Health’? Ask me about ten years ago and I would have put Health somewhere near the end. Ask me today, and I can safely say I’ll put it up near the top of the pile. Why the shift?

Last year I had a problem in my neck and shoulder. I had a tingling sensation in my fingers. My arm just wasn’t working. I couldn’t lift myself off the ground. That’s bad. I went to an osteopath and she helped lay it all out for me.

It’s actually quite simple – I can’t help with anything if I’m not alive and, to almost the same extent, I can’t help effectively if I’m not well.

How about that? I used to consider focusing on myself a selfish act, something that could only be realised once everyone else was satisfied which, let’s face it, is not going to happen. Now I see, and it has taken a long time, let me tell you, and a lot of introspection, that by neglecting my health I’m also neglecting my family, my career and my community, not to mention my own interests.

In short, over the past year, I’ve been spending a lot more of my time exercising and eating better and that means time for writing, craft, videos and blog posts. Cardio, weights, boxing, running, that kind of thing and I’m feeling a lot better. Like, a LOT. That said, I’ve regained strength in my shoulder and arm, so I’m looking to ease back on exercising and resume some of my other tasks.

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