Brushing up the Static and Stale

Every breath of air just one degree above freezing felt worthwhile not just for the view but the breathlessness of it all. The gravel crackling and popping under the tyres of my cycle. The stillness where, thankfully, no breeze blew on the top of the hill between giant wind farm turbines towering above that lay dormant. That unbelievable silence in such a vast open space – you can’t do anything but have thoughts.

It was all part of that blending in of last year to the new year. Enough of a change to feel like there is change but not in such an abrupt way that within a couple of days get fed up with it all, drop all motivation and return to old habits, ‘out with the old, in with the old.’ No way.

Like I said about coming from the gender identity clinic and jumping right onto things straight away before confidence fades, New Year and the refreshing need for changes for the positive, I want to make a start now. Dust those tables and clear the clutter. These new year resolutions of mine aren’t January fads waiting to be broken but continuations and corrections of what I was already doing with a sprinkling of new ideas to make life and the year feel fresh and new.

A few days ago I opened last years diary to finish off what needed ending. A few notes about Christmas week and things that had happened. I neglected the rose gold diary too much last year, but then I can only write in my diary when I have something to say or feel I can. I just hadn’t been in that place to feel to write about things, but may be if I’d forced myself even just on a couple of days it would have helped with stresses and problems.

That week after Christmas day comes with a sense of renewal. I don’t know what it is, may be someone gives a gift of something I’ve never tried before and that starts some kind of sense of trying new things. That with the approaching new year gets my ideas of new year resolutions. It’s never strict resolutions but just making some tweaks and anything new I might have time for that will make me feel more positive.

I started with some basics. My first twenty-twenty-one run during my work lunch break. It was bitterly cold, even hatted and gloved-up my lungs were filled with cutting cold air, but it was something. I wish I’d been able to run over the Christmas week, I even took my running leggings and top to my parents but I just didn’t feel well enough. Bunged up a bit with a headache and a light cold, it just wasn’t going to happen.

My first January day of work started with all the computer equipment thrown on the dining table which was great for having the sun rise through the window and easy access to the kettle and coffee machine but it was temporary. Not being able to close the door on work at the end of the day isn’t mentally good in the long term and clearing the dining table at the end of each working day didn’t appeal to me. 

My next basic new year mental clean out was to dust my desk in the study (spare bedroom with a desk, plants and plenty of lighting), tidy up, shift my blank art canvases that were stored behind the desk and regularly took up my foot space, reset my clean surface attitude and vacuumed the carpet. Finishing up by plopping a little air freshener pod thing on the desk. I returned all the work-computer equipment to the study and a nice environment waited for me the next day.

It didn’t seem much of a start but when I really thought about it, it was a step towards starting the new year with a new hope and cleaner mind. I sat on the sofa that evening after all the cleaning up and decided to clean myself too. I grabbed a pack of face wipes from the bedroom, sat on the floor of the living room and cleansed my face. I still felt a bit bunged up in my sinuses from that afternoons run and so this felt like a way of making me feel at least as good as I could before the end of the day – the first normal day since the new year began. I say that, the Christmas tree is still up, I never believed in that January the 6th nonsense. 

Starting work that next day in the refreshed study felt so cleansing. It felt spacious and chilled and even though work that week was extremely stressful due to the type of work we’re doing right now I hate to think how I would have felt without that clear of clutter. The challenge this year will be to keep that mental cleanliness by keeping a physical declutter.

But for my gender identity this will be extremely important. I found over the last year with everything everyone has had to go through along with everything in my life that feels like a weight, I’ve had the perfect excuse to put my identity on the shelf only bringing it down when I felt like it for a brief look before putting it back. A thin layer of dust had settled on my gender identity and it felt it had become static and stale.

I really needed to do something about all those distractions and while there is still a lot to do around the house and a few things to clear up in other areas of my life, some things out of my control that will remain too, I will hopefully have a clearer mind to deal with my gender identity. Question it further if I need to. Decide what is denting my confidence. Think about what I really need.

It’s funny but when I have a good day with something, whether it’s the elation of forcing myself on that frosty cycle ride into the hills and feeling euphoria with something with no cost or just a successful day at work that reaffirms why I work there, whatever it is, sometimes at that moment I think, ‘that’s what it’s like to feel good about something that’s not about my gender.’

Until next time.

Hannah x

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