Taking a Break

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.

Leonardo da Vinci

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

Audre Lorde

I have had so many personal issues in the last few months that I feel I need to take a break from routine work as soon as the current round of petitions is done. I intend to stick to my resolution to write a blog a week and I have plenty of material if I could only concentrate, which is very difficult in my current circumstances. I can do it, I did manage to graduate from university while struggling with homelessness and alcoholism, but I feel that I need to take a step back.

I suppose it started when I had to attend go to hospital three times in a week, and was waiting overnight on two occasions. Then my washing machine broke down and it cost me £85 for someone to come out and tell me I needed a new one. Fortunately the council came to my rescue and provided me with a new one. I originally approached them about getting a cleaner as I’m no longer able to do it myself and got a lot more help than I expected. I’m awaiting to here about getting a new carpet fitted – then I can rearrange my furniture, get musical instruments out of storage and start practicing even if I don’t have an audience.

I’m also expecting to have an appraisal to see if I can have a walk-in bath fitted, last time I had a bath I had to call for firefighters to get me out! I was already having trouble getting in and out of the shower when it broke down and I’m currently without water while waiting for it to be fixed. Thank goodness I have plenty of beer as I can’t make a cup of tea!

I’m still recovering from a fall a fortnight ago and find it difficult to find a comfortable position to sit or lie down despite a combination of therapies. I had a visit from someone t’other day to see about fitting a Lifeline but it needs either a working landline or digital WiFi so I need to see my internet provider. I’m actually hooked into my neighbour’s WiFi at present as mine isn’t working, I think a trip into Selby is on the cards.

I bought a self-propelled wheelchair that I haven’t used yet. I thought it would be useful if I expect to be out all day and need to be able to sit down. I would still need to be able to get to a rally or picket line (I have been offered a lift to join an FBU picket line) but it would give me more independence.

I’ve had to modify how I work online anyway. I used to schedule many petitions in advance but the app I used restricted me to 5 tweets a day which I’ve been using for my independent lifeboat tweets and that will soon end. I did consider crowdfunding the professional version of the app but it didn’t actually save me any work, I was just as easy to tweet manually. It did mean that I could promote more tweets but less frequently, once a week is quite enough. I was less obsessed with working to a schedule and was able to relax a bit. Recently I found that many petitions on one platform were no longer accessible, so I’ve had to delete many of them and check many of them before posting – which just adds another level of stress.

A get a lot of support from comrades for the work I do but – even without the trolls – some of it is downright depressing! I hope I’ll have something more positive to say next Sunday and my Friday and Monday tweets to friends will continue – in fact they’re vital to counter the negativity.

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