In our bedroom there is an old cast iron radiator, heavy, solid, painted in a muted gold. It sits against a purple wall and I love the combination of colours. It is the best radiator in the house, staying warmer longer than the modern, supposedly, more efficient ones. Occasionally, the pressure in the boiler creeps up, the pipes creek a little bit more as the cold bites and the heating is notched up. The old cast iron radiator whistles in response to the pressure. Not consistently, just here and there, it sings out, when it’s all too much. A reminder to sort the system out. I wander around the house clutching a radiator key, releasing air from the other modern radiators, who all appear to conform, part of the system, but each one needs individual attention. Tinkering brings it all back into line and the gold radiator stops singing and the balance is right again.
I feel pressure about my unemployed status. The local school isn’t suitable and that we need to move. I need a job so we can move. I need a job that suits childcare. I feel a pressure because my Dad is no longer coping to care for my mother. The News focuses again on the increase in unemployment. I worry about money. I worry about the future, about everything. Sometimes it feels insurmountable and the pressure builds up. The tasks ahead feel huge, a need for big change rather than minimal tinkering.
I’m sure much of the pressure I feel is self-imposed. It’s January and I feel sluggish and my confidence isn’t great. There is so much that needs to change, that isn’t going to happen immediately. I need to try not to get overwhelmed. I reevaluated my employable skills and surprised myself. A reminder that I’m OK. I just need to plough on, a step at a time. Take positives and grab them. It’s Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon this is especially lucky and brings good fortune. It’s a time to be bold.
I struggle with being bold, but small things count towards the bigger plan. Tinkering with the system counts. It takes the pressure off. I can do small. A step at a time. It’s about remembering that and believing in me, listening when the pressure builds and bringing back the balance.