It’s been a little over ten months since I was last knocked out with a chest infection.

School had broken up for our Christmas holiday. A bunch of us had taken part in an ‘come and sing’ of Handel’s Messiah - to celebrate the retirement of our Rector of over a decade. I am not sure if the piece was picked due to it’s popularity or the implied relevance of the title. Either way. A romp was had.

I don’t know if patient zero was a colleague or a pupil at school, or perhaps a parent. It could be that the source was actually sharing the lung capacities of my fellow choristers, or perhaps a chance encounter on my limited travels of the preceding days. Or maybe it was me.

Whatever the case, the Winter Solstice was the very next day, and the start of it. Holidays were over before they truly began.

As our planet hurtles around that great ball of fire in the sky towards another solstice, one year on, I have only been in work for 39 days. Now, in the strangest of years that is perhaps not that unusual. After all, schools were closed here from March until August anyway. But I have been working from home since a little before lockdown, and now well beyond.

In these last 315 days I have successfully neglected many things. With some gusto, but without intent. I had enough to do most days just keeping on top of work and keeping awake. I have had waves of energy which has allowed to me do a little bit of exercise and a little bit of gardening. These bouts of enthusiasm have come and gone like the tides - well, without the water, or the predictability.1

Most frustratingly, I have lacked the mental acuity to think. This has brought the blessing of allowing me to give up on being any kind of completionist. But the reading has suffered, as has the odd side project like working through the #100DaysOfSwiftUI. Replaced by such intellectual pursuits as watching the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in chronological order. I do not recommend it.

I have struggled with extreme physical and mental fatigue. And while I have now been at the point, two or three times, when I feel there is a light at the end of the current tunnel; every time it has turned out to be a train coming in the other direction. Wile E. Coyote and me, we have a connection.

So there is another light. I am beginning to sense some activity in my grey matter. I have actually been reading books again. I started with the familiarity of Frank Herbert’s Dune, a nostalgic journey to past times prompted by the upcoming movie release. I have thoughts, but perhaps that’s a whole other story or two. And now I am on Jackie Kay’s Red Dust Road inspired by our new Rector’s2 Summer Book Challenge - I am finally catching up, with the challenge and with my ability to consume text.

And with signs of life showing in the ageing corpse-to-be that has been conscripted into carrying my grey matter around, I have signed up for the extended free trial of The Sufferfest in order to give their Transition Up training plan a go. Optimism? Perhaps? But without optimism, what do we have?

Here’s to the end of fatigue.


  1. Okay, so the analogy would have been more accurately waves than tides, I realise that now. But the Cnut reference was worth it. I think. [return]
  2. It all comes full circle. Rector to Rector. [return]

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