My perception of the month of July (one of the coldest in years) is one of being trapped in a deep, dark and sometimes dangerous place, far below icy cold, threatening waters, but now I have broken free and is slowly swimming up... up... up and closer to warmth and comfort of the sun... the bright rays of the sun, piercing the waters, turning them from black, to green, to blue, as I slowly rise to the surface and any day now, I will break the surface out into full sunlight on my naked skin.
If this does not make sense to anybody else, then so be it, but this is the picture I have in my mind of my life over the past month. I have been totally overwhelmed by too much work, too much stress, too much responsibility and too much just plain bad luck.
It all started with severe back muscle spasm that just would not let up for more than a week. Directly after that I had a bout of severe gout (don't laugh, it was not started by red wine, but by a simple single glass of sherry) so bad that I could not walk for two days and had to work from home, which started an avalanche of gossip and rumours at my workplace (some people do not have lives of their own so they have to find meaning for their measly existence through other people's lives).
My granddaughter came to visit for a week and her "Oupa" took leave for the week to spend with her as I simply could not get leave due to the preparations for the Change of Command Parade and the "Handing and Taking Over" procedures (my boss is retiring at the end of July) at work. She arrived on the Sunday and on the Tuesday her "Oupa" was unexpectedly admitted to hospital for three days (fortunately it turned out not to be serious) and I was forced to take leave for two days to spend with her at home and on the third day she went to work with me.
Swine Flu passed me by, but I did pick up a "swine of a flu" on the weekend when we took her home. "Swine of a flu" put me flat on my back for three days with my temperature soaring, only being "out soared" by my blood pressure due to the throat infection I developed as a result of the flu.
Through all this, I still had to handle all the admin and protocol for the parade and following formal luncheon for a bunch of very high-ranking officers, as well as preparing the "handing and taking over documentation" for my boss.
Now I am 90% back to being my normal, healthy self;
the parade has marched past in a halo of success;
the luncheon has been consumed with delight (and many compliments);
"handing and taking over" will be completed in three more days
and only one last farewell party on Friday remains.
I can already feel the comforting rays of the warm sun caressing my cheeks.