A Million-Step Challenge

Walk A Million

Today is the start of a challenge, until 10 September, to raise money for a suicide prevention charity. The goal is to walk one-million steps in between then; on average, slightly less than ten-thousand steps per day. I have a built-in pedometer on my phone and can upload pictures with the help of Dropbox. Body-Magic on Steroids. πŸ™‚

I have decided to form a one-man team since I’m not associated with any Primary School or Gaelic Football Club. I called myself ‘Des the Proclaimer.’ 500 miles in roughly one-million steps; oddly enough. πŸ˜€

I had my daily ten-thousand steps for record achieved by 1:15 pm today; to free up the rest of the day. I was up pretty early and had to walk to the shop and back for items.

Tomorrow, I plan to visit Belfast for the first Post-Lockdown trip. I want to get my steps-worth done there with a friend from Stranmillis who began Lecturing Nursing Students last Autumn. Thrown straight into the Bearpit.

Memorial day tomorrow in America. If only the Indy 500 was still on. 😦

Also, I am catching snippets of the Streamed Manchester Jazz Festival.

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Managing a crisis

In the Eighties, there were tv commercials here for an English Insurance company called Commercial Union – with a CitroΓ«n 2CV crashing down a cliff. Their buzzline was, “We won’t make a drama out of a crisis!” That’s my motto for Covid-19 survival. It’s not precisely ‘Fight Club,’ but I am better equipped for underground lifestyles than others.

I ended up having to apply for a tax book to get my car back on the road. And the guy I bought the car from will pay me back the Β£25 I had to pay – by postal order – to apply. Then, I spent the road tax online. As Benjamin Franklin said, “The only sure things in life are death and taxes!” 😐

Today, I drove to the Chemist in Coagh – to collect a repeat prescription- then withdrew cash at Ballinderry Post Office to last a week, or more. My local shops deliver to the homes – until now, I paid them either by bank transfer or PayPal. Tomorrow, I will get gloves and masks from The Hub in Cookstown, buy A4-sized picture frames at the Home Bargains beside there, and get photographs at a Chemist in Magherafelt- to renew my driving licence. (the one I have expires in June)

Today, I improvised the gloves and mask rules, wearing work gloves and a Jason Voorhees Hockey Mask for this afternoon’s errands. At least, I have a sense of humour. πŸ™‚

The picture frame is for handwritten lyrics of an album track by Mansun – I paid the singer by PayPal. (Check out his solo work) Considering that Italians and Spaniards are singing from the balconies, I need musical therapy, too. πŸ™‚

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Golden Opportunity

I was at a Christian CafΓ© this morning, the one I regularly attended last year, and the woman running the place asked if I may volunteer there. I had said that I was feeling lonely and depressed. However, this is a golden opportunity to learn a must-have skill for employability. I will ask them if they may teach me how to operate a barista.

Infamous Bank Robber Willie Sutton was asked by a reporter, “Why do you only rob Banks?” His response was, “‘Cause that’s where the money’s at!” I need to strike while the iron’s hot and make myself competitive, before I look back and wonder, “What if?”

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Back on the job hunt

My online tests for the Civil Service recruitment drive was complete yesterday. Plus, I’m applying for two more jobs, filling in the forms this weekend, and also sent my CV over for a job at Victoria Bridge – between Newtonstewart and Sion Mills. Going to any lengths, and all that.

I had contemplated getting a car from a classified on Facebook. However, I was hypomanic then. It was more desperation than sound reasoning.

January has hit me like a ton of bricks. However, success is getting back up again. Giving up isn’t an option. πŸ™‚

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New Decade – New Plan

This evening, I weighed myself at Slimming World in Ballinderry. After getting down to below 20 Stone – 280 Pounds – eleven days ago, I put on eight pounds since then. There were a few boxes of biscuits and Chicken Chow Mein deliveries along the way. However, I manned up about the weigh-in, and got a recipe book and ordered stuff for delivery from Sainsbury’s – to make Veggie Chilli Con Carne. I’ll NEVER go Vegan but remain open-minded to Veggie options.

Christmas itself was great. I spent FOUR consecutive days with my neighbour for meals. Then, I bought her Jimmy Choo perfume and a bottle of Australian Sauvignon Blanc to show my appreciation. One of her brothers from Philadelphia flew back to Ireland on Boxing Day and he gave me a Philadelphia Eagles Toque as a gift. I also got, from my Skype buddy from Toronto, a Leafs t-shirt, a George sweatshirt, two pyjama bottoms and a Greatest Hits compilation by the Headstones – Canadian Punk Band from the Nineties. I was landed. πŸ™‚

Twenty years ago, we faced the Millenium Bug. Now, it’s the Millenials who are bugging us. πŸ˜€ My Toque proved to be a good-luck charm, as the Eagles secured a playoff berth last night. πŸ™‚

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Having to give up driving

On Sunday afternoon, I was returning home from a Gaelic Football game whenever I suffered a meltdown, and only God’s grace prevented an accident. Then, yesterday – Tuesday, I was getting a taxi home from a bus from Belfast whenever I had a case of PTSD and grabbed the driver’s steering wheel impulsively. His response was, “Don’t do that, again! If you’re that nervous with my driving, you shouldn’t be driving, yourself!”

That was when it suddenly clicked. I CANNOT maintain a car with the income I currently have. I plan to sell my car by placing it at the car park of a local gift shop with a ‘For Sale’ sign that I ordered from Amazon. Hopefully, someone will buy it. The Car Salesman I contacted, who’s related to me, said the mileage is too high for him to trade the car.

However, I know that this is the last house on the street for me. Just like my own home. 😐

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Expenses

Yesterday, my car was serviced for Β£100. Not bad. But, whenever you have very little income coming in, and one is eating into savings, that’s still sore. I feel that I could never get any financial luck.

Also, the ‘r’ key on my MacBook Pro is broken. The guy who fixed it reckoned it was due to dust. But I feel that cleaning my keyboard made the situation worse. I am feeling despondent again.

This evening, I went to another Slimming World class, and I lost another half-pound. But I feel that I want it off NOW! However, I just have to keep doing what I am doing and the miracles will happen.

Exhaustion is an issue fo me. Yesterday, I went on a few bus rides en route to Belfast. While I got home safely enough, I had so much to do at home, I wore myself to the ground. Now I know how difficult it is to be a Single Guy in this world.

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Being considered for Condition Management Programme

Condition Management Programme – Northern Ireland

 

I had to turn down THREE offers for an interview to prepare for this scheme, for twelve weeks, as my employment advisor said that I am not currently work-ready. However, I have other plans for my life. After heading across various places on Meetups and other trips, I guess I have to slow down. Not just for my health but also as I can no longer sustain my current lifestyle.

My only concern is the issue surrounding my benefits. I am only entitled to PIP – as it isn’t means tested – and this scheme used to be subject to means-tested benefits. God willing, they will have removed that precondition.

Also, I have plans for getting a cake for my brother’s thirtieth birthday. Watch this space.

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Taking a Rest for Jobseeking

I was advised last Wednesday – February 20 – by my Employment Advisor to take a break from looking for work. At the end of the day, she was vindicated. For so long, I had run myself to the ground looking for work left, right and centre. But the last interview I had – February 18 – didn’t materialise in an offer. Plus, it was work for a company whose work makes me feel uncomfortable.

I plan to resume painting. Watch this space. Also, I am undergoing counselling. Getting used to self-care.

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Good news and bad news

Bad news: (Bad news ALWAYS comes first)

I had to resign from the job in Portadown I got over a bureaucratic rigmarole regarding Occupational Health at the agency involved declining a fit for work certificate required. After contacting the agency and health professionals, it was too much stress and strain in the end. Therefore I resigned and the agency will keep searching for other roles that don’t require that fit for work certificate.

Good news:

I was paid for the two days I did work last week. πŸ™‚

 

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