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Into the Gap

Today, as a beginning to a new chapter in my Online life, you’ll be seeing personal posts on my Facebook page as well as on BOTH my Google pages. It will not be immediately apparent as to why this is happening, but all will become clear in time.

Needless to say, being organised is my new best thing.

Now, I’ll be off to the Gym :D

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The Test

I had a lovely day out yesterday, in which a lot of truths were revealed about my progress in the last year. It seems largely appropriate therefore to list these for future reference.

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The biggest single obstacle to Progress is yourself.

If you want something badly enough, you can make it happen. I had a cracking argument about this on social media a while back, with someone who stated because they were too tall for something, I was just talking bollocks. Sometimes, you can’t argue with individual logic. Their way is the only path, like it or not. That is, undoubtedly, because the person has decided that there is no other way but this. There are those I know like this who can get away with it too, because their reasoning undoubtedly is a damn sight more sound than mine has ever been. For me, however, I’d been talking bollocks for decades and enough was enough. This was my biggest single problem, up until about (almost) a year ago when I scared myself shitless riding a bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge. Suddenly, the World concertinaed out in front of me and I realised there was a choice: pretend for the rest of my life I couldn’t, or actually shut the fuck up and scare myself into progress, before I lost the chance. Most people don’t worry about shit like this, they’re out there doing it.

Now, I am one of them.

Yesterday I felt useful. I could contribute to a relationship, and be helpful. I wasn’t a mother, but a friend, and the moment mattered in a way that I don’t remember happening for many years. In fact, if I’m honest, this is the first time that, in the Real World, I think I’ve grasped everything that has to happen at once. Normally I’d panic about one thing or another but yesterday, I just was.

That’s a big step forwards.



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If it Hurts, don’t Stop.

Pain is normally an indicator it is time to stop. It’s your body’s very wise way of making you think twice and not do more damage. Except sometimes, your body lies, and with an overactive imagination? The World is going to end. A great deal of my physical progress recently has hinged on knowing that when it hurts, sometimes, you don’t stop. That’s the moment to go and dig deep, and move past the panic. Mostly, as an asthmatic, it is now grasping what’s an attack and what’s strengthening my lungs. That’s why yesterday I came out of the station, looked at the hill I’d normally slowly work my way up and thought ‘fuck it.’ Then I put on this piece of music, and I almost ran.

As I passed people struggling upwards, I pushed faster, and when I hit the top I didn’t slow down, but kept going. Before I’d only test myself in the Gym but now, I’m confident enough to extend the remit. Given the choice I’d far rather be outside anyway, and as the weather deteriorates I will do my utmost to keep walking to and from the Gym, to make the miles count on pavements and not treadmills. The mental clarity this process is affording is not to be overlooked either. I’m in a different place than I was, and I love the focus this process is affording. Now it’s becoming less about knowing what to write, but more around finding the time to do so.

I can live with that.


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Just Be Happy.

There have been, in the last couple of months, a lot of things that have vexed me. Many of these are completely beyond my control, but those that are not are being addressed. I no longer just sit by and let shit happen without consequence. I am confident fighting my own battles in a way I cannot ever remember being before, and as it happens, I think I’m quite good at it. No, it’s not perfect and yes, there is definitely room for improvement, but that comes from the continual process of refining and reassessing how I deal with the World, and sometimes asking politely it do the same for me. I’m not looking for validation nearly as much either, I just turn up and get on with shit. Giving things the finger has definitely, positively, absolutely helped with this progression.

Happy now is not needing the cake until such time as I can eat it without doing damage. It’s looking at work I wrote a year ago and knowing it’s good. It is understanding my judgement on things is never going to be 100% accurate but frankly, I don’t care is I’m still able to maintain a level of objectivity and comfort. Most of all it is sitting here, sharing this with the World, and being confident that is the right thing to do, because this has the potential to help someone else. I can’t tell you what’s wrong with your life, but I can use my life as an example of how things have changed, and will keep doing so for the foreseeable future. If you really want a different life? It could be possible, even in the dark place you currently inhabit.

The only person with the answers, ultimately, is you.

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Games without Frontiers

I made the effort this morning to walk to town. I’ll grant you, there may have been some Pokemon-related activities on the way, but the main reason why I went was to get a haircut. The last time anybody did anything to my hair was eighteen months ago. That’s probably going to send shock waves of terror into the hearts and minds of some of my readers, but I’ll be honest. I’m not bothered. The last time I wore makeup was probably in my early 30’s, but I never did the job well in my teens and just stopped. Many people have tried to politely suggest that it would be an idea to make me feel more comfortable and confident, but I just don’t see the point. I had thought that maybe I’d need to do this for my daughter’s benefit but she, in no uncertain terms, has no desire to wear it either.

If I were in a high profile job I might think differently, but as I’m not?

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I expect my best friend to read this post and make some comment on it when I see her tomorrow, as I’m off into London to pay her a visit. I totally and utterly ‘get’ why the rest of the world does this, why so much money gets thrown at the cosmetic industry. It just never, ever factored in what I’d wear, or how I’d act. I never relied on it or used it to cover flaws. Somewhere along the way I dispensed with the need for it. I’m not sure as I grow older I even want to hide what I am any more, or pretend I’m younger than I am by slapping some concealer on and pretending this is the right thing to do. What matters more than anything else is the health from within, confidence I can gain from other things and in different ways.

My hair needs a trim. I’m getting it coloured because it seems like a good idea. However, that’s where it ends. I think maybe I’m a failure in the beauty thing, but I really have better things to do with both money and time. I lift heavy shit now and write words.

Yup, that works just fine for me.

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Default

It’s Week One proper of the Summer break for my kids. Yesterday and today have been put aside for sorting out issues and problems, and it is only now that I’m able to sit down and look forward. The To Do list isn’t as long as it was either, and I had a killer PT session today to cap off a week where I know that progress really is happening. Now, however, I just gotta get the creative side of the brain working again. It’s there, just being unwilling to co-operate, but even that’s not a problem right now.

Also, two weeks tomorrow I’ll be on a plane to New York. To say I’m excited is the MOTHER of all understatements. I’ll be blogging it all this time, not the peace-meal effort I made with the West Coast run. This matters enormously to me, and as part of the birthday celebration for 50 years? GONNA MAKE IT COUNT.

I have a deadline piece to complete, then I’ll be back to regular posting again in the morning.

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New Rose

The last couple of days have been tough on the brain, heat notwithstanding. I’m having to grasp a lot of things that I’ve intentionally steered well clear of in the light of this being my daughter’s last week of Primary School, many of which are wrapped around the nature of change. I’ve also begun to react to my surroundings in a manner which is not what I’m used to: mostly, if there’s an issue or a problem with things I tend to act as I do with Twitter: keep a discreet distance and say nothing. What I’ve begun to understand and really grasp is that sometimes, they’re not my fights. Maybe it is the understanding that I won’t have a chance to make a difference, and that actually intervention will make things worse. That’s why today I kept quiet in the virtual world, but didn’t in the real one.

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I spend a lot of time at my Gym. I’m beginning to get to know the staff who work there, who are lovely people, and who work hard I suspect for not the greatest pay on the planet. Today, in the restaurant/bar area, they were short staffed and instead of people trying to understand this, there was stupid. Lots and lots of stupid from people who should really know better, who weren’t listening to explanations that were patiently and politely given, and had decided that the enemy was the people who were doing their best to help, but simply couldn’t do it fast enough. I found myself thinking about the issues I’m seeing in social media over change in a computer game, and realised that actually, there’s a lot in common here. If all you want is to keep yourself happy? Sometimes, everything else just stops mattering, including the fact you are hurting real people with your condemnation.

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I watched the mum who’s son’s birthday it was, the heavily pregnant woman, and others come in to moan and be generally unpleasant, without grasping the situation and the explanations. They just wanted their food, and didn’t really care about anything else, and not once did the staff complain. They were brilliant and professional and focused and I sat and watched all this in the same way that I watch Twitter arguments, wondering if the people concerned grasped just how selfish they were being. Then I went and told the senior waitress she was doing great work as I know that if that had been me, I’d appreciate the gesture. The fact she hugged me back spoke volumes. Then I went and spent 10 minutes with the duty manager telling her the other side of the story, because sometimes it isn’t just the people making a noise. There’s another side people don’t see, and seldom grasp, that isn’t just them ranting.

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This does not condemn those with issues. They are not the villains in this piece, simply the antagonisers, the instigators. Whenever conflict occurs, it is up to both sides to try and reach a solution that works: some of the complainers did this, others didn’t. Many assume that because they pay a monthly fee, they should be provided with a decent level of service. This is undoubtedly true, but what that doesn’t take into consideration is that occasionally, stuff just goes wrong. Sometimes it isn’t just getting a refund or blaming the company for bad service. Occasionally, the fault is yours to take. What seems to be happening, more and more in this instant reaction World, is that fact is forgotten. It becomes just easier and simpler on both sides to blame anyone but yourself.

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Then, the individual really can make the difference. You don’t wade into the argument, instead you support a side, help the people struggling to cope. With the benefit of a step back, things become a lot easier to rationalise. Often, it seems to me, what helps people more than anything else is looking at both sides and not simply one. yes, you may have a problem, but there are things at play apart from those that you can see. Elements are involved beyond those that are obviously apparent. If you can help, then do but if you’re making things worse? Step away. This is the thing I’ve always been bad at, and today I did think before wading in, long and hard. That says to me I’m getting better generally with confrontation. Needless to say, everyone I spoke to was nothing but grateful someone could see the good in a situation.

In that respect, this has been a Good Day.

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The Last Worthless Evening

I have an awful lot I want to talk about, but do not possess the ability at this point to translate it into something workable. For now, I’m happy in the knowledge that my daughter’s pretty much kitted for Grammar School, my son seems the most relaxed I’ve ever seen him and the next six weeks of Summer Holiday are gonna be great.

They bloody are.

Come back and see me tomorrow when I’m actually articulate.