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This week the clouds have been hanging over me again, metaphorically speaking that is, although the weather’s not exactly been that great either but that’s by-the-by.

My mood has been a bit on the down side for some reason and I’ve struggled to figure out why, which has been frustrating and depressing in itself. Talk about a downward spiral!

Ever since getting back from the weekend my get-up-and-go and has most definitely got-up-and-gone and that’s worried me. My enthusiasm for doing pretty much anything has dissolved and I’ve struggled to do the things I need to be doing, more so outside of work as there’s always lots to do there to keep me occupied.

Yes, I’ve been a little tired after the weekend’s fun and games but that’s not been it. Hell, I’ve been tired for weeks if not months now and I still struggle to sleep properly, and by that I mean anywhere near my “normal” sleeping pattern of about 5 to 6 hours a night. So that’s not been the problem, although it clearly is a problem at some level right?

Shelli’s away on holiday at the moment and, as you would expect, I’ve been missing her. Even though we don’t normally see each other more than a couple of times a week – speaking on the phone the nights we don’t see each other – we’ve been speaking every day since she went away but I’ve missed the closeness I’ve come so quickly accustomed to.

It’s another week before she’s back, which I hope goes a little quicker than this last week, but again, I’m pretty sure that’s not been the problem as this mood wasn’t hanging over me last week; it’s only been this week.

While driving home from work last night I decided that, as the weather was pretty good, I’d go for a little walk. It’d make a nice change from just sitting in front of the iMac or TV. I’ve got a lot of work I need to do on the walking website but what the hell, it’s been a year since I got back so a little more time before all the information’s on there won’t hurt!

So after having my dinner I put some bits in my rucksack [coat, top, water and GPS], got changed into my shorts, put my boots on, popped my ear buds into my ears and off I went.

I’d originally intended on walking out to Wargrave over the fields and back along the roads, making it about a 6 mile circular walk. As it happens I headed out to Ruscombe over the fields past Stanlake Park vineyard, sort of in the right direction, but once out the other side I got my GPS out to see what other paths were around.

It was such a nice evening I thought I’d take a more interesting route and so I headed over the fields to Waltham St. Lawrence, the ultimate aim then to circle back to the A4 at Knowl Hill over the Castle Royal golf course and walk back home.

By the time I reached the A4 (7 miles into my little stroll by now) I still wasn’t ready to go home. I was thoroughly enjoying being out on the paths and as there was still daylight left I again checked my GPS to see what routes were available. I settled on a route up through the woods over Bowsey Hill before turning for home through the outskirts of Wargrave, eventually heading over the fields back to Twyford.

I didn’t have a clue how long this walk was finally going to end up being or how long it was going to take but you know what, I didn’t care! As it turns out, once I’d plotted the route (you can see it here if you’re interested: I covered 10.04 miles in the three hours I was out 🙂

On my way back into Twyford I phoned Shelli for a quick chat to see how their day had been touring round some rather nice sounding places in the south of France. Part way through the call she commented on how happy I sounded compared to other evenings this week.

This got me thinking and I think I’ve finally gotten to the bottom of why I’d been in such a mood this week: I miss being in the great outdoors!

On Saturday morning, while everyone else dragged their sorry arses out of their beds, I did a lovely 4km run along the Broads in the glorious morning sunshine. It was wonderful and it really did remind me of my walk last year and how nice it was to be outside instead of being stuck in an office every bloody day!

I think this had played on my mind and I ended up disappointed and angry at myself for not doing what I wanted to do this summer, i.e. walk the Thames path on my free weekends with Shelli. As it happens I didn’t end up with any free weekends what with having the girls every other weekend, and the rest of my time having a busy social life. I was the only one to blame for not achieving my goal and I think that really bummed me out, hence the mood. Sometimes I far too hard on myself but that’s how I’ve always been and I’m too long in the tooth now to change that.

Being out in the fresh evening air last night really did hit it home how much I’ve missed doing things like that and it is something that now has to change. I have to work to live – as do we all – but I’ve seriously gotten stuck in a rut outside of work.

I do nothing in the evenings (when I’m not seeing Shelli of course) due to lack of energy but I know I now have to push myself to get out and do something about it. I was tired as I was eating my dinner last night but I was determined to get out and what happened? I walked 10 miles with relative ease, that’s what happened! There’s a photo gallery of some snaps I took while I was out. You know me, never without a camera!

So the clouds are parting, a little bit…