I hurt my back. I’m old and I hurt my back while hoovering. When it happened last night it was so painful that I couldn’t put weight on my left foot without searing pain. Now it just feels twingey and delicate and I feel a bit sorry for myself. And I feel a bit stupid too. See, I had an internal goal to run 12 km, and I not only pushed myself to get to that distance when maybe I wasn’t quite ready for it, but I also pushed myself to do it at speed and with fewer breaks than I had previously been taking. So, I was still and over-trained when I got home anyway. I’m pretty sure that contributed to the condition in which I now find myself.

So, today I will rest my back nearly completely. I found a great yoga resource that really helps, but other than that, I’m going to limit my activity today. And I suspect I’ll have to take a good chunk of time off running, which is worrying as it is definitely one of my main mood defences at the moment.

Well, maybe this will force me to deal with things a little more directly.

I’m already feeling like I’m on the downswing of the ferris wheel; I’ve passed the peak of my very “off” mood – I can’t help but describe it as “off” rather than anything more specific. I find it wrong to characterise it as a depressive episode; it was both more and less than that: there were more symptoms, but less actual depressive symptoms. It was weird and I felt out of sync with the world and I just felt “not okay”. I don’t think I’ve more in me to describe it than that right now, though I will keep thinking about it, and keep up vigilance against its return.

So, while I do feel pretty sorry for myself and my old, sore back, I’m also feeling a bit like I’ve been given a warning and that I’m going to “get away” with it – this time. A night’s rest has undone the worst of the pain, yoga seems to be helping – yeah, I think time, rest and strengthening will get me there, and I don’t expect it to be oodles of time either. But I’ve been careless with my posture pretty much all my life, and I tend to recklessly increase my training distance when at this stage I should know that your mileage week to week shouldn’t increase by more than 5 – 10% or you’re asking for injury.

I’m also really grateful for the promise of a physical rest day without guilt. Thankfully this has happened coming into the weekend and G. has a plan to take the boys off for the day so that I can rest my back for most of it. I have a few small “on computer” tasks – catching up with finances and moving old website content – which will take up a few hours, and needed to be done by the end of the month anyway. I couldn’t really find the time to address them, but now I will.

Also, also, I had an amazingly long lie-in this morning. I kept saying I was going to get up, and then falling back to sleep. The excuse of my injured back minimised the guilt I was feeling over lying there and catching up on sleep, for even if I’d been up, I wouldn’t be of much physical use around the place. My children came in for a while and were playing in the room, but not demanding my input. For once.

Actually, more like for twice. I’ve been realising that I’m too easily drawn into referring their arguments and disagreements, and I don’t think it’s healthy for them or me. I need to stand back more and push back at them to sort things out amongst the two of them. So long as no-one is getting hurt, it’s not really up to me to be the arbiter of what’s “fair” in four-year-old world. I have a strong tendency to micromanage all of their responses to each other and to the world, when I observe them. I so desperately want them to skip over as many mistakes as possible, and to be decent people with an understanding of how to stand up for themselves in a gentle and reasoned way. I want that to pour into their brains and psyches the understandings of the world that I’ve accumulated over 40 years of living it in.

And that’s not possible – even if it were right. And it’s not. They’re not my clones. They don’t have my personality or preferences. And they need to make their own mistakes and learn their own way towards conflict resolution.

So, more standing back. More pushing it back onto them. With probably the added benefit of more sanity for me.

All the wins.

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