The car was covered in a thick layer of frost and the temperature gauge told me it was minus 4. I was already dressed for a run though: looking out of my bedroom window from my toasty warm house the sky was blue and beckoning. The plan was to go for a run and then get on with some work.
It’s a funny week so far though. I have plenty of things I need to plan but other than finishing off some valuation work yesterday, no ‘paid’ hours so far. I needed to get on with planning but then Claire asked me if I wanted to meet up for a coffee… well, one coffee and scrambled egg with smoked salmon and toast was followed by a another coffee… and by then the ground was warmer.
It was lunchtime when I eventually got out up the hill – my usual favourite Ridge route (if I’d had more time I would have headed up Talkin Fell, and if I didn’t know my toes were going to get cold I would have gone out on my bike). Having had a good chat with Claire and a similarly bolstering chat with Sarah last night (NB everyone I know is called either Claire, Sarah, Nicola, Kath or David/Dave), I was in a relaxed and fairly confident mood. Whilst I have some concerns about my lack of money-generating hours this week, it wasn’t enough to make me miss or shorten brunch with Claire nor to avoid going for a run. In fact it was such a beautiful day the outdoors was calling me to come outside.
I didn’t even have that many deeply philosophical thoughts, though I sent some ‘wishes’ towards a couple of people from up on the hill. What did run through my mind however was about people calling me ‘strong’. You may have read my post a couple of months ago when I was claiming that I wasn’t ‘amazing’ but just ordinary: sometimes I don’t want to live up to being strong either. However perhaps it is something to be proud of: and strong by no means equates to ‘unfeeling’ (in fact I sometimes think I feel things rather too much, but I’d rather be emotional and honest than not). What struck me today though was that my recovery from feeling so low in November, which is what has made people call me ‘strong’, is as much due to my friends as anything.
I wrote a ‘story’ yesterday, which is very personal and – even for someone as open as I tend to be – not for publication. What I can tell you is that it ended up speaking about the heroine having fallen into a deep black hole; a place she had been before but never so agonisingly painfully. She clambered back out, but due largely to helping hands from friends. That is me: if I am strong emotionally, it is only due to the enormous support of friends, who have listened when I needed to talk. The best ones, of course, have not told me what to do: they have given me the benefit of their wisdom and experience but supported me in whatever I felt I needed to do.
I also need to ‘give’ that to someone else. It’s not always easy: but true love is about accepting someone, including that they are – as we all are – trying to do their best in this life.
Meanwhile Claire gave me a limited edition print of her gorgeous ‘poenies’ painting – I will post a photo of it framed once it’s in pride of place on my wall too.
Thank you my friends. Without you I would struggle.