My Routine Provides the Smile

Friday 10 November, 2000

Despite a late night, I got up at 6:30 this morning to exercise. I realised that no matter where I am, if I exercise I can always be with myself in my routine; in my life. This is important because there are so many distractions for me ready and waiting to pull me away from the path I have chosen. I have found this often enough in the past on my visits back home. I used to treat them like a little break from my routine but now I realise that it is my routine and discipline which provide the smile, not the holiday. After E&M I went for a walk. It was a lovely morning. Beautifully autumn.

Dad was losing his patience trying to fix the patio door. I joined him and together we sorted it out. I asked him what the learning points were. He started with a joke: ‘Don’t buy doors from…’ but I told him I was looking for positives. I suggested, ‘Two heads are better than one’ and ‘Relax and the answer appears’, and then he came up with his own, ‘Don’t be afraid to ask for help’. Perfect. That is one of the main themes of the men’s group. We cannot do this on our own. We all need help. Good one, Dad.

We went to see Gran. I asked her if she liked Dad’s short hair and all she gave me was a subdued ‘yes’ despite the fact that it has been a desperate wish of hers for 30 years to see her son with a ‘sensible’ haircut. Plus, as we were leaving, I pointed out my thermal vest and long johns as I stood there in my coat, hat, scarf and gloves. Gran is always telling us to wrap up warm and both Dad and I had thought that it doesn’t get any more impressive than what I was wearing. So, what did Gran say? ‘Tuck your vest in, then’. Brilliant. As we had discussed in the men’s group yesterday, there are times when, whatever we do, it’s never enough. QED. We left and Dad explained that my Granddad worked very hard to keep his family but had never done anything around the house, so his wife, having experienced his inability to look after himself, assumes that all men are incapable.


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