257. Enduring January

 

I’ve found that it’s worth paying attention to any blog from Mark Bickerton, on his website at https://markbickerton.com.

Mark blogs sparingly, making any new post stand out more clearly. His latest, on the death of his old friend and Coronation Street actor Neville Buswell, argued that if you live in Britain, January is the best month to turn your toes north.

Mark wrote: “It only feels right for death to be announced in January, when everybody already seems miserable. Much better is it not that if we’re to snuff it, we do so this month, when the streets are never quite aired and everything and everybody looks and feels like punctured mistletoe…..get the mourning out of the way and leave the rest of the year for kicks.”

Terrific writing that poetically nails a grim British reality. January is (generally) dull, cold, wet, shite, grey and anti-climactic. To be endured, mostly. If it wasn’t for the cluster of birthdays in the Godier family (11th, 13th, 22nd and 27th), I would willingly hibernate through the whole bleak month.

This time around the new care work has drained me. My back aches, as chunks of the work have involved bending over beds, pulling and pushing elderly bodies that require their continence pads changed. Mentally, it has been a challenge to accept being ‘carried’ by young, female partners that are energetic, can multi-task and have the experience to make quick decisions as I procrastinate.

I mentioned the neglect of one of the clients (I called him Keith) in a previous blog. It breaks me every time we leave him, alone, propped up on a settee, for four hours. It isn’t right. “Please don’t go,” he says, oxygen tube hanging from his nostrils. The girls tell me that you have little choice but to harden against these things, that others are in a worse condition, that our care “makes a difference”. But it doesn’t. Because he lacks company, or hope, and because his COPD and crumbling skeleton are irreversible, because the money for deeper care is unavailable, Keith wants to pass on. Our care keeps him in agony.

For sure is that the novelty has soon worn off. There was initially an adrenaline charge, driving from one client to the next. Now, because a choice had to be made, I’ve chosen to hand in my notice.

Every February/March I work for an insurance company in Belgium. They want me to start next week, and often need stuff at very short notice. Which means it could not be combined with the carefully scheduled care work.

I knew the choice was coming. Wasn’t sure which way I would swing. In the end, it was easy. I expressed my gratitude to the care company for the opportunity to learn and earn. Will look again at care options in April. Maybe personal assistant work.

The feeling of temporary freedom was palpable. I took a stroll late yesterday afternoon around the village. The light is seeping back. Buds are doing their thing. Gardening and cycling will beckon in a month or two. Lots of the darkness has been traversed.

 

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9 thoughts on “257. Enduring January

  1. A beautiful picture Kev. When you started your job I said to H ‘I think it will play on his mind too much, he is an empath like me’. I think you made the right decision Kev, life will show you the way. I am just about to blog about something similar. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You could be right Moisie…..I struggle to see people as ‘jobs’. No point in any relationship if there is no intimacy. I’m fairly confident that the path will become apparent as more time passes.
      Btw, your French adventure site was somehow closed for comments when I last tried..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Kev I take it that it’s okay now. If the one about my son’s book he asked me to take it down for a few days u til the interview went out, but I have re-posted now.
        Can I just say that you often ins me Kev, leaving that jib has enab,ed you to stay true to yourself, it is a soul destroying job, where people are not even considered as human beings in the planning (even they all spout that they are!). I always say if I won a huge amount on the lottery I would set up a charity to help,other charities. I am just about to post my third post today, you will relate. M

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  2. Definitely sounds like the right choice since you’re not one of those who can look at a person like a job and/or harden yourself to their circumstances. I would feel the same way. If I couldn’t make a significant difference and was just putting the Band-Aid over the wound over and over and again, I don’t think I’d last. If these girls have the rhythm and the necessary calloused feelings down, more power to them. I know it’s elongating some of the suffering, but they”re doing some good, obviously, so props to these gals, but what a sort of sad afterthought of parceled out “care” they have to deal with, what a sad, lacking system. The money that goes into so many other frivolous, meaningless things that should be funneled into these continuously desperate situations….
    Ah, well.
    Enjoy the sunlight and the new growth and promise of warmth ahead, Kev……………!
    xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t feel experienced enough to make any teling comment on Britain’s care systems Stace. Growing old is a lottery. Some may get close family, dear friends, and a healthy body and mind. Others may not be so fortunate. Yep, spring is my thing. May the light lengthen lusciously!!

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  4. Also not just commenting on Britain’s system, of course. It’s very similar here and I’m sure in many other places, although I haven’t been to those places, but I’ve heard unflattering things.
    Yesterday was a truly beautiful day here. I was actually glad to be alive.

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