I just looked back through posts from previous summers to see if and how often I mention sleep and energy levels through the height of summer. There are a couple of mentions.

Compared to the rest of the year it feels like it’s a different state, although without any records of my sleeping hours I can’t be sure. Regardless, there is this period during the summer when the nights are short where, on the one hand, I want to be awake, to take in all that the long days have to offer, and on the other, I slowly feel more and more drained.

Stuff that I do slowly gets paired down to the bare essentials. The things I like to do make way for the things I have to do. For example, posting here has tailed off completely for about 3 weeks. I have had things to post about but haven’t been able to muster the energy to write.

Weirdly, the running has continued. It’s really just a case of putting one foot in front of the other. I don’t need to engage my brain so much. And it helps my mood in a big way. So maybe the drain of energy is more mental than physical.

Needed an easy run this morning so before it got too warm I headed out with the young Spaniel for her first proper run. Stuck to the lanes, did 5k. I think she could have gone around again easily. Just have to build her up slowly.

Very pleased to see the Women’s Ashes is getting the same coverage as the men’s and they get a 5 day test.

That’s been an enjoyable first Ashes Test. Actually went to 5 days. No major collapses so balanced through to the end. How I like them. But.

I remain somewhat unclear about what Bazball is and how it differs, if it does, from England’s attacking style from a few years ago. I hope it doesn’t become such a rigid idea that adaptability is sidelined.

Ben Stokes’ innings at Headingley in 2019 is arguably the ultimate demonstration of adapting your approach to the situation. And there is no way that his batting in the latter stage couldn’t be called exciting. But that was after he’d laid the groundwork of wearing the bowlers down. I’d like to see that mindset at the centre of England’s strategy.

This hot spell looks set to end in the next few days. I’m not a hot weather person really, although I do enjoy the cool and light early mornings and long evenings, just not so much the bit in between.

I haven’t run while we’ve had this weather, decided it wasn’t worth trying to acclimatise to it given it’s not due to last. Part of my policy of not expecting ‘perfection’ with the running. I shall go this weekend and am looking forward to it.

I wonder sometimes if anxiety is cyclical. I mentioned recently that it had been on the increase. That carried on until about a week ago and then suddenly seemed to subside. External factors haven’t changed particularly so I can’t attribute it to those. And I don’t think my mindset has changed either. So I don’t know. Perhaps I should keep a record, see if a pattern emerges.

I look back over the last few weeks and it seems kind of alien. As if that was another person. In fact, my wife had said at times it felt like there was a different person in the house.

I don’t like the impact this condition has on my family. It makes me sad. I wish it was something I could shuck off, like an unwanted skin. At the same time, anxiety feels so embedded, so much a part of my personality, I worry (there it is!) at what would be left. Would there be much of a person?

Enough rumination. Time for a run.

Since picking up the running again, I have managed to go once a week. So far, it’s actually been a run/walk. Starting small, not overreaching. According to Garmin, my training status is sitting firmly in the recovery zone, so I’m really not pushing myself much at the moment.

It’s more about building the habit at this stage.

I’m enjoying doing it. I look forward to going. Two important factors.

I’m not spending too much time researching the topic online. Honest, guv. This is where it can get tricky. Those tempting Rabbit Holes of the Interweb. It is fun learning and building knowledge but the capacity for that to get in the way of actually doing a thing is dangerous. Plus the all consuming nature of ‘research’ causing overexposure leading to mental fatigue and the inevitable giving up of a thing. That’s the bit I really want to avoid.

A good recall has been top of the list of skills we want to teach our young Spaniel. We’ve used Pippa Martinson’s Total Recall (nothing to do with Arnie) as a guide. While we haven’t quite managed the rigourous program that she suggests, we have stuck at it.

I was particularly pleased with our girl today, because while walking her she scooted off twice to try and play with other dogs, being a very sociable sort, and both times came back instantly on the whistle. I only wish I’d had an extra special treat with me to reward her with.

While the training for recall perhaps never quite comes to an end it gives me a lot of confidence in her to know she can come away from such an appealing distraction.

The great tits are nesting where the blue tits usually nest. The blue tits where the great tits usually do. Sparrows are nesting in one or possibly two of the swallows nests, so the swallows are confining themselves to the remaining nests. It’s like a bird version of musical chairs.

Its been a full on week. A combination of unexpected hiccups, a long day trip to visit ageing parents, demanding work, and so on. Not much space between.

In what little time there has been to stop and think, I’ve been pondering the relationship between stuff that happens, mental processing, journaling and blogging . Most days I have gone to write something in my journal(Obsidian), from which blog posts tend to originate, but have found I am too tired to write.

Usually there is a flow that goes something like: event>mental processing>journaling>blogging. Events can be either external things that occur or internal trains of thought, research and so on.

That flow happens along a spectrum where, at one end very little happens, either externally(which is rare) or internally(which never happens. Way too much going on in my head is the default), to the other end where too much is going on.

If not enough is going on then I’m unlikely to journal or blog. If too much is going on, like this week, I can’t process anything and so, again, I am unlikely to journal of blog.

So there has to be a sweet spot in the middle, where there is enough mental stimulation to promote creative thought, and enough space to balance the stimulation to allow that processing and creativity to occur. The Goldilocks zone.

This past week has definitely not been in that zone. That’s ok every now and then but I’ll be happy to get back into that sweet spot.