I’m beginning to think I’m the wrong shape. Actually – scratch that. I know I’m the wrong shape.
I don’t for a minute think that I’m particularly unusual in this – but it’s not doing me any favours at all when it comes to finding outdoor clothing – which I need to buy relatively soon for Snowdon.
Oddly all of the walking trousers I’ve tried on lately have a very different ‘give’ in the thigh department in comparison to my jeans (which as I firmly established in public the other day have ‘stretch’ in them). They all noticeably tug when I lift my leg up and I can’t imagine happily climbing lots of stairs in them, let alone a mountain.
I can get into a 3XL walking trousers in ‘Trespass‘, which demonstrates the same thigh (and crotch) problem. In ‘Sports Direct‘ it’s even harder as there’s no changing room – so there’s a lot of guesswork. The Karrimor brand they stock seem wider in the leg but oddly much smaller in the waist. The small belt that came with a 3XL pair of them barely touched end to end around my jeans when I tried to put it on.
They had a 4XL which frankly looked massive.
More annoyingly if I go to ‘Mountain Warehouse‘ I’m faced with the reality that they don’t seem to want to acknowledge my existence at all – and for the most part are sticking to a 2XL in trousers (but a 3XL in jackets) yet oddly go up to a 44in waist in the more fitted examples that they had (which is easily a 3XL).
Adding a specific number to the waistband also appears to double the price and extends the standard leg length to ‘baby giraffe‘.
Plus the quality of the stitching in their garments looked suspect at best. If I managed to get up and down Snowdon in a pair of them without at some point presenting a bare gluteus maximus to my walking companion then it would be a miracle.
Finally (at least from a high street perspective) Millets aren’t even close.
Annoyingly they had the best quality, the best selection – and the best price (£12.50 for Peter Storm dual purpose zip leg breathable trousers) but these only went up to a 2XL/40in waist. I tried them on just in case – but there wasn’t a hope in hell that I’d be doing them up any time soon. I even checked their online inventory and this is the largest size that they make in any of the walking trousers that Millets sell.
Consequently I’m no closer to getting either walking trousers or waterproof over trousers – although I’ve yet to try Debenhams – which did some limited lines in this area and have occasionally larger sizes.
The hunt annoyingly continues…
In other news I don’t think I’ve done enough (of anything) this week and I’m beating myself up over it.
I know that deep down this is because I’ve been battling the impulse to hibernate and hide from the world. I’ve managed for the most part to ignore this and just carry on, but yesterday I stepped out of my front door, locked it behind me, and just stood on my path looking at the sky.
I’d already started my exercise playlist but nevertheless I continued to just stand there – looking up and down the street.
The sky was grey, it was drizzling and my road was deserted. Everything was still. It was just me and the grey world.
Very unusually (and probably for the first time in recent memory) I decided not to go out, took my front door key out of my pocket and went back inside. Although I still completed my planned level of exercise for the day I felt like I’d retreated (and therefore failed somehow) and I was left pondering why I’d done that.
I know that cumulatively I’ve been struggling (and I mean genuinely having difficulty) with the question of what to do for future employment. There’s still no sign of a magic money tree in the garden and I’m acutely aware that frugal shopping can only do so much to stem the flow of cash that for a long while has been going on one direction only (outwards) from my bank account.
The phrase ‘what comes next?’ Seems to be playing (like the last song you hear on the radio when you leave the house) on an infinite loop in my head and periodically it’s been driving me slightly potty.
Maybe rather naively back in March I thought that the answer would just come to me. If I’d gotten a job as a postman (I have applied and subsequently failed – but not yet given up) then I think all would be well with the world – but now that’s fallen through for the moment I’m faced with a similar situation to the one I was in last November – and annoyingly I’m now also finding myself lingering on thoughts about going back into an office.
This is particularly galling because I left the last job I had in such an environment because it was too sedentary. The problem is that I still don’t know what to replace it with. It’s been a feature of my life for so long that it’s like a huge wall that I can’t see round or over.
It’s not as if I haven’t talked to a LOT of people about this. It’s been an ongoing twalking topic for months. The issue is that despite all of the suggestions my generous companions have made nothing is jumping out at me as something that I’d want to start charting a course toward.
I’m consequently beginning to feel paralysed by indecision and a lack of impetus.
I’m also starting to second guess myself over every related thought and question all of my motivations on the subject. Part of me thinks that deferring work related decisions ‘because I’m in no hurry’ or ‘because I am ‘enjoying a career break’ is infact just me avoiding decisions because they scare me.
Another part of me knows that I want (and need) to make a choice – but every time I get close I get stuck in an almost infinite loop of internal arguments and counter arguments, meaning that I eventually get so knotted up about it that I wind up feeling totally lost and my mind begins to withdraw.
It’s at times like this that my bachelor status is dangerous. There’s no-one to kick me up the arse if I’m wallowing and there’s no-one to shake me out of it or change the subject unless I choose to go out and talk to a friend – which at these times is very counter intuitive. Maybe unusually this element of being single (as opposed to the physical side) is the one that sometimes hits me the hardest, and makes me feel quite alone.
It takes all my willpower at times like this to not just open the fridge and try to make the problem disappear under a mountain of food.
When I took the key out of my pocket and went back indoors yesterday I know that it wasn’t because I didn’t want to get exercise – it was that I couldn’t face walking on my own and being in isolation with endlessly looping thoughts.
Instead I drowned out my fear of the future with home entertainment, tidying, cleaning and floor exercises (those lunges for descending Snowdon still need to be done and they won’t do themselves).
Today though I managed not to turn around and go back into the house. Instead I’ve tried to walk faster and further than I normally would – and turned my music up loud, which is better than stewing at home – but if I’m honest it’s still stewing.
Although I’m doing something with positive benefits I’m also avoiding something I really need to face up to. Do I invest in re-training? Do I go back to what I know? Do I find a ‘McJob’ just to keep things ticking over?
I have no idea.
I’m not asking you the reader this question, or seeking an answer from anyone by writing this. I debated whether or not to talk about this at all in my blog or just write about it in private – but you know what?
Much more good in my life has come from being flawed and open instead of flawed and closed off so I’m doing it anyway.
I’m guess what I’m doing is publicly asking myself the question again – and forcing myself (in full view of others) to confront the reasons why I’m not making any current progress.
At the same time I’m looking within and hoping to find the currently elusive spark that I feel I need to ignite change.
I don’t know the answer though internet. In the meantime I’ll keep exercising, and keep looking for trousers, in the hope that somewhere they’ve been made for a non-giraffe with chunky thighs.
If I can’t make progress in one area of my life then I’ll damn well make sure I keep moving forward in others.