Nobody Wins

It is depressing, out there, even more so than has been currently the case. Yesterday evening therefore, when the US Democrats did the first sensible thing to have happened in several years, it was even more depressing to see people complain about the choice. Humanity does not seem to be grasping the seriousness of its situation here. Sometimes, it isn’t about the right choice, it’s that you’ve been given a choice at all.

It was like being back as a games journalist, when the major complaint when anything got altered would inevitably be ‘well, that’s not what I asked for’ which only went to prove, if it were actually ever needed, just how ignorant and short-sighted a lot of people truly were. We know this now quite easily: we can spot those people because they wear masks around their necks, or just over their mouths. Yes, I’m absolutely judging them.

Right now, being able to grasp real truths is a rapidly diminishing skill.

Nobody wins here, at all, going forward. Victories are only declared by those who believe that you somehow can declare a human being as illegal to fit your warped view of justice. True success is getting through the day with nobody getting sick, and with the second wave now very much on Europe’s mind, and US government basically pretending nothing is going on…

Nobody is right either, there are just those people who have grasped that the only means by which anything gets better is when people stop assuming what they want is important. What is NEEDED as a country/planet is not the same as what is needed as an individual, and there’s going to be some quite spectacular wake-up calls served in the upcoming months.

You wanna survive at all? Time to put on the Big Person Pants.

Not everything is as easy as wet shorts. You can work out the other shit that makes life easier when it’s hot: why can’t people work out how to deal with fascists? It’s not like there hasn’t been fascists before. This is not a new phenomenon. There have always been refugees too: you’d think by now those of us with freedom would realise why those without it will keep risking their lives to attain it.

Are people really that stupid to not work any of this out…?

Low Mist Var 2. – Day 6

There is a lot coming up on ‘television’ in the months that follow that I have an interest in. This is both good and bad, because when I get distracted by TV or films, a lot of my work suffers as a result. It’s why I’m trying to keep my game playing to a minimum at present. Mainly, I need to be focussed on what needs to be done before I’ll allow myself a chance to kick back.

August was always gonna be a busy month. Fortunately all the significant submission work is done (and I sneaked a cheeky extra one for September in there as well) so all I’m now left to worry about is how everything else is done for Patreon. I have time to work on a vanity project too between Mental health Champion commitments as well. It’s all perfect.

Except the reality outside my sphere is anything but.

Yesterday was significant for a lot of things. I appreciate that we are now existing within a massively uncertain future, but hoping things will get ‘better’ is not really the best way to cope. You have to make your own luck, and push for change whenever it is feasible. So, it is time to let some things go, but at the same time focus on what can yet be achieved.

I let myself dream today I’d be good enough to win a £10,000 poetry prize. I have no doubt it won’t happen, but allowing yourself to believe these things can be possible is an important part of the growth process. It was also important to understand and grasp that certain things that would be great to happen really aren’t practical currently and it is time to move on.

What matters most now is making some money.

That means September will be filled with designing my own inaugural self-published chapbook: twenty poems on a pretty niche subject. It will be time to see if I can sell them to conjure some much-needed Christmas money, and to push myself into the realms of formal production. I might yet use this idea too for a bigger project, right now it’s a broad umbrella on Instagram for faffing about.

There’s lots of potential on the table, and I like it…

Musclebound

… and you’re back in the room.

This weekend has taught me a lot about stamina: not just getting my legs to a place where I can sweat out a training programme without fear, but how things really can improve if you stop giving up. It is about pushing through the pain and discomfort, and so much else. Knowing what you can and cannot do are important benchmarks. Once marked, eating into them, subsequently improving them is less terrifying, because they’re static.

Someone I care a great deal about pointed out to me recently my propensity to try and do everything simultaneously, and how that ultimately is destructive. Yes, it absolutely is. I freely admit this, and will happily attest that having a brain that decides everything is possible when nothing is fixed is a sure fire way to hamstring yourself. It’s happened for years.

Not any more.

As it transpires, taking a day off was all that was needed to let my brain relax into new ideas. Therefore, I will start scheduling rest days for writing as well as exercise. It also helps immensely that everything that was done last week was scheduled into next week, thus freeing up a ton of space that previously did not exist. I’ve also recycled an inordinate amount of old work into new spaces.

There is also some though being given to dismissing an original plan and producing something completely left field as my inaugural self-publicised work. It is already made, which in itself saves on effort. I’m still thinking about the options available. If you’re a Patron, I’ll be talking about it more this week via your blogs, and on the IoW website.

There is suddenly a great deal of possibility in the air.

The Call

You’ll be reading this as I walk to the Gym. Yesterday I ignored fitness and concentrated instead on literary momentum. It was hugely productive as a result. I also ate far too much sugar and didn’t once stress that there should be an exchange of effort for input. Calorie deficit is imprinted now. I get how this works.

In fact, its one of the few things I can guarantee as a constant.

It took me all day yesterday to answer this question. I’m on board now, understand exactly what is expected of me. The stuff before 40 I’m often mortified about, especially the obsessive introversion of my 20’s. This is a far better place to exist, and because there’s a realistic chance of altering myself for the better going forward, I’m in a pretty optimistic place right now.

There’s also a fuck of a lot going on but all of it is under my control. As long as it stays that way, it’s not going to be an issue. The plan to shift everything to earlies this morning is because next week is the start of a fairly intense three-week period of work I could do well to be better prepared for, and far more work gets done when I start exercising before lunchtime.

So, let’s do what works and see how that changes things.

This weekend I am not working. At all. No blogging, no writing. Two days of attacking the clothing that no longer fits around either arse or arms. Garden work. Throwing away piles of detritus. Finally, attacking my reading pile. Finding some movies to watch… and most importantly, not allowing myself to feel bad.

Relaxation is hard work sometimes, especially as someone who needs to keep themselves busy in order to survive. However, bike training has really helped focus the mind. Writing stuff like this ahead of time has real benefits too. It’s being able to see past the panic of anxiety and knowing that whatever happens, it won’t all fall apart. It’s covered now. You understand why your body does what it does, and you can deal with it.

It’s really refreshing not having to be frightened all the time.

Come Live With Me

There will be no cycling today but I will walk this muscle fatigue off before doing resistance bands and floor work. Today is upper body and core day as a result of yesterday’s suffer-fest. The heart data from that is a throwback to my 45 minute Blaze classes. Solid effort, nothing skimped. I even managed to keep up with cadence demands for the first time.

I realise now that the point of Blaze was to do this, only across your whole body: cardio, strength with boxing to combine the two. It makes a lot of sense in context to provide people with ‘a bit of everything’ and as a tool to lose weight and improve fitness it undoubtedly works, or I wouldn’t see people I know going back to it so readily.

However, for me as a tool it was, in the end, more social than functional, which is a sentence I never thought would be typed in this context. Once the red minute addiction was dealt with (there was for a while a real need to prove I was pushing via making a colour appear on screen) there was an understanding I didn’t go for the workouts, but to talk to people.

There, I’ve admitted it. I killed myself twice a week to be sociable.

What Lockdown was able to grant me was understanding of that motivation: without anyone else to encourage and support me, there was a choice: learn autonomy with weights and exercises or be unable to break the class dependence. Using the bike training workouts as I have for seven weeks now has been part of the rehab: you still get to work, but nobody congratulates you at the end. The only satisfaction is yours.

Undoubtedly mentally this has been part of the reason why my relationship with writing has changed in the last couple of months too: validation happens both in the saddle and on the page. Getting compliments for both are great, don’t get me wrong, but relying on them to stay motivated is never going to be sustainable long-term, which is why I find myself here, learning new exercises myself to keep motivated.

Your happiness should never be dependent on other people.

It should never be a contest either, and yet here we are, doing just that. I’ve seen the justifiable protests from those with sensible, rational objections to this. The idea that 21 days should be enough to form habits is great, but diets aren’t sustainable if you believe in the end you can just go back to the way life was before. Unless EVERYTHING about your life changes, you never do. Weight loss is one part of an INCREDIBLY complex puzzle.

As someone who’s very happy to have put on weight during lockdown, but who understand why that is and how I could still lose quite a lot of weight as a result, this is not the way. It’s a way, certainly, but without sustaining the concepts, and reconsidering what is considered as unfit and accepting too little and too much weight are also dangerous… nobody said this would be easy, and yet we’re selling it like it is.

After a lifetime of hating it, only now am I beginning to love my body. Claiming to be able to fix everybody in three weeks does not respect ANYONE in the process. Fitness should be a lifetime objective, not a vanity project or a hastily-constructed campaign.

There are better ways, and this is not one of them.

Iron

However bad it looks for you, someone else has it far, FAR worse and today’s blog is simply a paragraph where I understand just how fucking lucky I am, before getting on with the work. All I can do is here, right now, what is planned and organized with renewed realization it is all largely irrelevant in a wider framework. What matters most, undoubtedly, is to give to those who have nothing.

Please consider giving to a charity today helping those in Beirut.

Burn the Witch

Yup, they really are. Cramps in both hands, because holding my body weight for extended periods of time is HARD. Nobody tells you this shit when they write the exercise guides. Nobody complains about how much it hurts, because that’s what losers do. The pain is real, and enough to put many people off. Understanding it is not bad pain but the indicator of progress, also not nearly talked about enough.

There is not an easy answer to anything, people.

Have you not grasped this yet?

Except, of course, that’s what lots of people just continue to do, day in and day out. No achievement, just sustenance. Also, all you people who keep wandering around with the notion that if you can find ‘the answer’, everything is sorted? Hate to break it to you, but life has never worked like that ever. Maybe this explains why everything is on fire.

My body won’t get stronger if there are weak links in the chain: having shitty hands is going to hold me back. They need to work, just like everything else, and when all the links are strong, stuff starts to happen. We all can see where there’s an issue in our lives like this, where something small stops us from moving forward.

Fixing those small things can and does alter everything for the better.

Things will change for the worse, undoubtedly, and are. It means that those capable of keeping these things alive and vital will become charged with sacred duties: uphold the importance of history, words that record it, which will always remind of the true and righteous struggles. Just because you are presented with setbacks does not mean there is no point in fighting.

Giving up is not an option here. The planet depends on us to be strong.

Rise

Yesterday was a blockfest, with added muting across a lot of my timeline. What I continue to find disturbing isn’t that other people don’t pick up the cues that they’re actively promoting the behaviour that they erroneously believe they are condemning, but that they’re not able to work that out for themselves. The lack of understanding over how social media works is staggering.

You really don’t understand this at all, do you?

Social media companies need you to engage with other people. It is the fundamental principle of how this all works. I’ve seen people’s graphs on how using TikTok has quickly and effectively pulled in new audiences. It’s seductive enough right now for me to be looking at the app and considering an entrance, and I am ABSOLUTELY the last person you’d ever expect to go there.

All content is relevant as a result, even the hateful stuff… in many cases, especially that, because it picks up traffic from both supporters and detractors. Both sides do a pile on, for different reasons. As long as people use the site to do something, it doesn’t matter what that is. That’s the key here, engagement is profit. It grants the fuel for Trending and gives online news organisations filler stories when there’s no news.

Except now, of course, people are using reach to create their own news.

Lewis as a brand is totally lit right now, and with a performance like this… well, it only gets better. This tweet therefore is notable for a number of reasons. F1 aren’t likely to flag for use of broadcast content without a licence: this guy is a brand ambassador. Most newspapers may well struggle to be able to shove actual footage on their sites, making this tweet valuable in many ways. Crucially, third parties can’t remove his dialogue from it.

Here is a man who totally and completely grasps what he is capable of doing, and is pushing for change. THIS is the kind of content EVERYBODY should be promoting, and yet the drop off from Black Lives Matters proves that most people in power want to remain so, and therefore have no intention of passing the mic any time soon.

If you promote people’s hate agenda, you are part of the wider issue.

There are more than enough fights going on in the world over disparity and power as it is right now, without actively contributing to any more via stupidity. Picking the right ones to be involved in shouldn’t be hard, but beware of spreading yourself too thinly. It’s always better to focus on what you’re good at than try and learn on the hoof.

For me, that means focussing on what I know most about which in this case is how the Internet operates. I am building a brand with a steady decline in numbers, which tells me something is going well here. Maybe ascribing to someone else’s notion of success is the bigger issue. Find a niche and settle in. Respect the rules of common decency. Don’t make things worse.

Make every day a school day.

Strong

Friedrich Nietzsche’s doctrine of Eternal Recurrence gets a lot of time in my brain, for reasons that will be unsurprising to those who know me well. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it is the quote that really matters however (which was George Santayana, a Spanish Philosopher and NOT Churchill, who paraphrased as all good politicians are wont to do.)

It is continually depressing to watch Social media implode over the latest indignation and learn nothing from the experience. Educating people on how not to repeat the issues is, undoubtedly, a hit-and-miss affair. However, what it clearly highlights is who is paying attention, and sometimes, as has been the case on several occasions today, it’s apparent that the people I thought were listening to me really aren’t.

Yet again, I’m stanning the wrong people.

I don’t expect you to hang on my every word, it’s not devotion in return that’s crave, but looking as if you actually read what is written would be a start. Before I’d just put it down to people being busy, but now understanding of the platform and who uses it is a real eye-opener. You can literally work out who is talking AT you, without them grasping any of your hard work, and it is.

This is my home now, and I’m taking Social media far more seriously than you people who just turned up to use it as promotion. I live AND work here, you just try and coat-tail trends to keep people engaged. There’s a WORLD of difference between being professional and being honest. I can do both, easily now without thinking. These people struggle with one. I don’t need to stan them.

They should be fucking stanning me, because they’d actually learn summat.

It is time, yet again, to reorganise the Socials. I think I’m gonna be quite brutal in the cull.

Let’s see who actually notices this time.

Life is Life

Nobody else is gonna sell me. I know I’m getting somewhere when somebody draws one of my OC’s or does a tribute .GIF. These are the markers which indicate you are being listened to and that people are paying attention. Maybe this is the month, but I’m not waiting around for someone else to do the legwork.

If it’s gonna happen, I have to instigate it.

Therefore, starting today, it’s about doing the miles, not the journey. YES I KNOW about all that motivational shit involving process but unless that actually happens, nothing changes. That means WERK, and GUBBINS with the minimal amount of FAFFING along the way. It also requires an absolute kick ass soundtrack. This is all covered.

Time to proceed.

Most importantly this month, I have real, tangible exercise goals to aim for. I’ll be avoiding the Gym at weekends, but there are spaces I can use alone away from the main body of people to lift and train. Those are going to be utilised a lot going forward Monday to Friday. I’m into week six of my 12-Week Bike Plan too, and it’s not letting up. I am working HARD, not just typing a good game.

Now I know weight gain isn’t nearly as dire as was thought, I’m pretty sanguine about the loss process. It will happen, but not at the loss of treats and giving myself the opportunity to enjoy food and not just fuel with it. I’m back to daily protein shakes. There’s been some quite important changes in my body since March too, some which appear to have manifested through my hair ^^

The back shave is back, but returning me to blonde/white is going to take a bit more work than first anticipated. The red, although fantastic for my confidence, decided after about three weeks it had no intention of staying put, except (rather oddly) in that particular band of hair. I know that your hair strands can be tested for drug use and mirror issues with your general health.

I’d love to know why that patch won’t shift, and I’d also bet good money the reason I’ve become more sensitive to bleaching than normal will be related to stress and anxiety, which there has been a lot of over the last couple of months. No matter, colour right now is irrelevant: it’s neat, I feel human again and it’ll work wonderfully on camera when I start doing my mental health champion business next week.

Talking of which, must get on. Lots to do.