Despite trying to train myself to get up earlier last week, the last two days back in school have been pretty tiring. Luckily, they have both been inset days and so, fine.

It’s a funny feeling to be back in work but I feel a sense of purpose again. My career doesn’t have the same emphasis in my life as it used to but it is still important to me.

Added.. pressure, I suppose… was caused by having to see my friend who went AWOL over the holidays. As a recap, we had planned to go away, she became awkward and contradictory about where she wanted to go and then said she didn’t want to go at all despite my best efforts to appease her. She then didn’t get in contact for the last weeks of the holiday.

On Friday, I bit the bullet and text her… just hoping she’d had a nice break and that I would see her Monday. Despite being frustrated by her actions, I didn’t want an atmosphere between us. She text back, and I felt more at ease on Monday. Don’t get me wrong, there was still a little atmosphere but we at least pretended we were OK.

Today, as my children aren’t back until later, I thought I’d invite her for coffee, just to show there are no hard feelings. I have learnt now that I can’t trust that we will have the same adventures as in the past but I hope we can still be friends. Turns out she is ‘busy’ and I received a rather lame excuse not to go. (It was the way she said it, if you get what I mean). She intimated that she would be seeing a previous friend that she had fallen out with before we started hanging out. I got the message loud and clear.

So, as my beautiful puppy and I went our first training session last night, I decided to keep up the good work by taking him for a walk in a local country park after work and practise what we had learnt.

It was enjoyable to get fresh air, to take in the views from the hill, the pink and white clover in the meadow and feel the crunch underfoot in the woods. I enjoyed the companionship of my dog and pride in his progress.

But I also felt a loneliness too – no doubt lessened by my actions to go for a walk – however it was still there.

I am saddened by what has happened with my friend. We have had many enjoyable days out together, lots of them documented on here. I’m not trying to be negative but I can feel something has shifted with her. Being honest, I feel a little used: I was a temporary replacement when her friendship broke down, and as I can drive, the friendship allowed us greater freedom – I know we both benefited from this.

Truthfully, I don’t have many friends. I have five good friends, of which she was one, but the other four all live a distance from me. I’ve never been one to live in someone else’s pocket and I know each one are there for me, as much as I know that when I see them it will be like we’ve never been apart.

My life has been consumed with ill parents, a failing marriage and my children for so long, I haven’t always dedicated the time I perhaps should to some of my friendships.

I’m close to my sisters and we spend a lot of time together, but as they are both married with a toddler each, I know that I cannot depend on them forever. Dad dying has brought us together even more than I thought possible but life does, and will, move on.

And so, allow me to feel a little sorry for myself tonight. I feel Dad-less, husband-less and friendless and it’s not a nice feeling.

In a sense though, like my little pup, I’m in training. This is a new state of affairs and I need to deal with it. My life has been on hold for so long and whilst I would never change those years – they’ve made me who I am – I am definitely in a time of my life where I need to embrace the changes; train myself to make the most of them and this life I have been gifted with.


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