After 12 months out of the environment to which I was accustomed, I have recharged the batteries, got rid of all my stress, and feel like my old self from about 20 years ago. It is now time to draw a line in the sand to move on as a better person.
The 12-hour shifts, mostly at night, with every second weekend being day shift, meant that I was basically driving, sitting around waiting for fares, or in bed sleeping. This also did not afford me much time to eat properly, usually just grabbing a bite to eat when the opportunity afforded.
It also meant my walking went from 30 km a week to a big fat “0”. I watched my weight gain from 102 kg to 120 kg. My sleeping patterns were all over the shop and due to lack of activity my exposure to the sun was minimal. I started to feel lethargic, pins and needles in the extremities, aches in all joints, areas of numbness mainly as a muscle group, like my thigh muscles. Luckily my blood glucose levels were normal so type 2 diabetes had not kicked in again, but I am always fearful of regressing to that.
During this time, my earning from the taxi driving didn’t measure up to the the expected level. Of course COVID-19 didn’t help but there was enough work if the same number of taxis worked the area. Ride-shares had dropped off due to issues with making enough money to survive. However, due to the shutting of the airport and other travel, taxis moved out and infiltrated other areas. The result the earnings were watered down with the increase of cabs.
Since the relaxations have started, the bounce back has been very slow. So earnings have suffered. My earnings are boosted by JobSeeker but the reporting to Centrelink left me wondering what was the right thing to do.
Over this period my family has suffered immensely. I was not around for them when needed. My wife was suffering depression and I could not tend to that as much as I should have. I was the centre of a train wreck of a family.
Due to the maxi taxi driving there was no time to myself as my spare time was taken doing the business side of things. I was kept so blind to the whole situation that I just had to battle on.
Due to my maxi taxi driving, I was caught speeding, red lights and other traffic offences which ate up the 9 points I had available. I had lost 3 points two years earlier, and was close to having them restored, but not close enough. Subsequently, my licence has been suspended. This no driving gave me time to reassess myself.
An opportunity has now presented itself that will mean a large change to my life, and I am so motivated to do that change.
The line is drawn
Having reassessed my position, I found I was:
- Not being the father I should be
- Missing my place in the bushwalking fraternity
- Not getting outdoors keeping fit
- Not following my passions
With the opportunities that arose with not being able to drive, employed as a volunteer, getting proper sleeping patterns happening, I am now able to concentrate on the things that benefited me and drop the negative things.
With this decision being made, my mental health has improved, and my physical health is on the improve.
What am I doing or decided to do?
- Spend more time with my family
- Work in the capacity of a volunteer to maximise JobSeeker.
- Work with my passions to do the best I can to improve the bushwalking environment
- Regain the respect I had with colleagues
- Spend more time walking
- Go shopping every day – the extra weight coming back home is getting me better
- Go for other walks in the neighbourhood to strengthen my body
- Get plenty of sleep
So for me 2020 was a big change and the after effects is that I am so confident, happy and back to the person I built myself to be.