Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Jake's cleft and 2009 - in context

It's so weird to think how much of a big deal it all was when we were told that Jake would be born with a cleft. Understandable still, it was huge news after all, but it's funny how time levels everything out. Time and obviously the operations have helped put it all into context.

Finding out that something's not going to be quite right before the birth of your first baby will always (and rightly so) be difficult news to hear. I remember talking to a friend of a friend who was then pretty much where we are now in terms of the initial process. He said everything would be o.k and of course it is, but when you're the other side it doesn't necessarily feel like it will be. Experiences like these have to be experienced, empathy is impossible without experience. You can sympathise and try to know what people are going through but unless you've dealt with it first hand, you'll never get close.

I would say both Clare and I are different people. There would be differences anyway given it's been 18 months since we had the 5 month scan and we've become new parents but there are other changes probably directly attributable to the cleft thing. I think we're calmer (granted, not always behind the wheel) and smaller stuff bothers us less. We used to waste a lot of time worrying about what other people think, trying not to bruise egos, treading on egg shells. It's not like we go out of way to put noses out of joint but we have more of a feeling that it is what it is, let's just crack on.

I feel older certainly and I think a consistent lack of solid sleep will do that to anyone. People can stay looking young into their thirties but I think it's that decade that puts most years on and the link between parenting during that time has to be paid attention to. I find myself tutting at sections of society and then letting it all go in one fluid movement. I still get irritated at people but I also think that it's not worth worrying about because it's out of our hands. All that matters is your family, your friends and your wellbeing, be in health, finance or mindset.

Jake is growing up and I'm there for him. I want to protect him from the cynicism I have running through my veins. I guess it's only recently that I've started to accept that I'm not going to be a billionaire and that, in all likeliness we'll be living in a two bed semi (albeit, a very nice one) for the foreseeable future. I've mentioned on here before that Clare and I are always looking forward to the next thing, a holiday, the (bloody) extension, a new job, more money and so on, but I find I'm doing that less now. Which is good. Learn to enjoy now, chill. Life happens 24 hours a day and it happens now, not next week, month, decade.

I'm very much looking forward to Christmas. This year the physical break in the work calendar feels more welcome than ever. Since the disposal of the media division of the business I have been lugging desks around, chucking almost ten year's worth of collected cabling, client folders, out of favour secret santa presents and god knows what else and cleaning parts of the building never before cleaned and in short, I'm knackered. No matter how much five a side or squash I play, I still feel shattered most mornings and a few days off but that don't involve an airport or foreign travel, ought to do me the world of good.

The end of this year and decade is a real watershed for the company and it'll be nice to come back into work with a sense of opportunity and a new start and then perhaps I'll be able to make a billion or two.

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