Stepping Up

I’m not doing the right kind of exercise.

This is absolutely not a problem: my PT pointed this out yesterday, and I grasp entirely where she is coming from. Pure walking has now become insufficient to burn the calories I require to get my body to shift fat reserves that have existed for a very long time. If I’m going to move the last vestiges of my problem areas, I will have to work for it. That’s why I went to the Gym this morning and ran for 45 minutes before my scheduled Sports Massage. It is why I’ll do the same for the rest of the week (except tomorrow, I have a Mental Health Day with my daughter) and hopefully, by the time I get to next week, we might see some progress.

However, if we don’t, I’m no longer allowing this to derail any progress.

ohhellno.gif

I’m plucking up courage to take some pictures of what has changed. My arms especially, bear no resemblance to the things they were six months ago. To do that, I need to be comfortable, and this is not the best time for this with the other stuff going on with the World, because I am not more than aware how ridiculous vanity seems when the World is going to Fuck. If you’re interested, and you read this, let me know in comments, because that a) tells me who’s reading and b) will provide actual incentive.

Needless to say, Hard Bastard exercise just got even tougher.

Little Things

Okay, lot to tear through today, let’s get to it.

Iregreteverything.gif

Thing #1. You people over there trying to pretend that the World isn’t going to shit, and that if you just ignore all this trauma it’ll just go away. Don’t you DARE start lecturing me. You tried that once before, remember, and look what happened then. I don’t need people trying to be ineffective and woolly right now. What is craved more than anything else is positive, affirmative action. Also, don’t be the person who tries to start a fight about something you know full well will set fire to me or my timeline. Have some fucking compassion, why don’t you. However, to the friend today who declared they were deleting Twitter because they couldn’t cope? You go right ahead. I absolutely do not blame you one iota for just walking away. In fact, I can see more people doing the same.

I’m sorry if I’ve driven people away too, and I know this has happened in places, but I can’t just stand by and say nothing or pretend this isn’t happening. I have to react to it. People need to deal with Extreme Twattery in their own way. This is my way.

escalated.gif

Thing #2. If you wanna make me feel better? You don’t tell me to shut up. You most DEFINITELY have no right to inform me of facts that I know are patently untrue. What I need right now are friends that are there for me, and don’t fuck off as soon as things get a bit difficult. Who gave you the right to start imposing YOUR rules on this shit show and that I should be following them because it will make things better? The only way this gets better is when I see someone else in Number 10 and the Americans find someone with a fucking spine to impeach the Orange Twat, because THEN you will take out the real troublemakers. Hey, you keep telling me what a horrible alternative Pence is as President but trust me, next to Bannon he’s a fucking saint.

Right now, I have enough shit to wade through without you adding any more. Maybe next time you dump all your issues on me and I tell you I’m not getting involved, you’ll actually listen.

duhbunnyears.gif

Thing #3. My weight hasn’t changed since last week. I’ve been working non-stop. There are no let ups and no cake days and in fact no bad shit AT ALL. Honestly, I even went up by 0.1 of a kilo :( There may have been tears, but it wasn’t because of my lack of progress, because if I took pictures now of myself without clothes I wouldn’t recognise myself. My arms are like, COMPLETELY different. Massively huge. My waist is becoming more defined with each session. I can run faster and further, for longer. I feel more energised after every gym trip, and the cold that my son tried to pass onto me has pretty much bounced right off my body. The sadness is that what I want I can’t get. However, when I weigh it up against everything I have?

It is time to finally forget the weight goal. Once and for all, it does not matter. What I have now is a better, stronger me. That matters far more than a statistic, and that’s what will matter most going forward.

One Week

God, what happened?

There was always the potential of a train wreck, but I doubt ANYBODY thought a week ago they’d wake up this morning to pictures of Lawyers waiting for flights so they could offer their services to US citizens who overnight had become the enemy. No-one anticipated Canada would welcome Asylum seekers with US passports. Most of us never considered the possibility that less than ten days after the Orange Twat came to power, there’d be a petition on the UK Government website wanting to ban him *for a second time* from the UK because a state visit would be an embarrassment for the Queen.

This petition will top half a million signatures by teatime at the current rate of uptake. However, some people have no idea there’s a problem. Many, many people do not see the issues at play here: not because they’re ignorant or stupid, or indeed because they don’t care. Half the planet lives in ignorance of all of this, and most don’t do so by choice. They are more concerned with a meal and a roof over their heads. Internet for them is a luxury that is largely irrelevant if you’re unlikely to live to see the end of the day. We are, like it or not, an entitled bunch of whiny, self absorbed wankers.

This afternoon I had a discussion with someone who told me, in all seriousness, I should advocate the banning of the BBC. On any other day this would have been an interesting discussion to have, but I hate to break it to those people not paying attention that there are more important things to try and get stopped, banned, revoked and removed than an institution that does a phenomenal amount of good amongst legitimate claims of bias and self interest. Yeah, no massive corporation is perfect, this is hardly news. However when you realise that in many countries without our level of opulence the BBC is often the only uncensored or ‘independent’ reporting some people get, and even if you think it’s biased, marxist crap it’s still news. Not everything is a conspiracy when you’re unable to read or write, or don’t have a home that’s your own. Still, people peddle their own agendas without a grasp of the wider world. What we need is MORE objectivity, new reporting mediums, more feedback and not to ban or remove ANYONE who’s trying to educate or inform. We even need the enemy to keep feeding us their crap, so that eventually it can be swept aside in a tide of revolution.

I’ve seen inspiration in a lot of places this week. Good people, doing their jobs. My legal friends have gone silent on Twitter and I hope this means they too are out there at an airport somewhere, pro-bono-ing for all they are worth. Someone asked how you help people in the US right now and all we have effectively is ourselves to offer as raw materials. That means this week I listen to anyone who needs it. I can be a sympathetic ear, or offer words of comfort. I can write blog posts to show that even in the face of overriding terror and disbelief for many, there is always hope if you don’t shut out all of the possibilities. That means you read the stories but you don’t take them as truth until they are proved. You learn to do research. You check people’s Twitter profiles for who they are and and then question why they are saying what they do. You don’t shut out the BBC because they’re marxist, or Fox because they’re fascist, because there is the potential for BOTH to teach you something. You learn to adapt, your skin hardens, and you never forget how fucking lucky you are to have the Internet to begin with.

These are dark days for many people. However, if we all stick together and help each other, we will get through this, and it will be okay. 2016 will be remembered as a brilliant year, the time when all we did was celebrate the lives of good people who left us, and had fun with stupidity that was presented because we didn’t have a fascist madman or genuine threats to world peace to defeat. Nobody expected what happened, and maybe that’s our bigger lesson to learn. Now we’re all in this pit?

Time to start planning our escape.

I am what I Am

I will do this.
I am able to get stronger.
I can cope with the unexpected.
I survive the unwarranted.

You will not crush me.
You cannot silence my voice.
You are not my spokesman.
You are nothing but foolish.

We will prevail.
We have strength in numbers.
We care despite suffering.
We are the future.

This is not over.
This has only begun.
This life is not yours to destroy.
This life is ours to own.

The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret

Social media has made everyone stupid. Even the most articulate and sensible of people has a moment, from time to time (I do NOT count myself in this number, I’m perpetually dumb on Twitter) and we forgive them, mostly, because we are generous and kind-hearted rhinoceroses. I’m watching with increasing humour, for instance, as the White House Press Secretary who shouted at the media on Saturday appears to keep his phone in his pants pocket and is tweeting gibberish (or possibly his Twitter password, hard to say…) For some, technology will always be the enemy. It is one of those things you either use or don’t, get or loathe. I grew up with a father who was obsessed with computers, and still is well into his 70’s. It was inevitable that would rub off on me, on reflection, and now I can’t think of a time when I won’t be pottering with something.

Except yesterday, I did my very best to stay offline.

brah

Some days, distance is the only thing that stops me from putting a foot through a screen. My anger at wanton and often specifically targeted selfishness and thoughtlessness is beyond the limit of my ability to either rationalise or cope. In fact, if I’m fair, since Monday I’ve been dealing with issue after issue where, like it or not, I can do nothing but stay quiet and wait to see what happens next. Last night I didn’t go and play games, I made a conscious decision to go to bed and this morning I went to the Gym with one thought in my head, to just not look at my phone until I’d rationalised the week. Amazingly, it worked. I have a handle on this now. Putting distance between contention and me does make things better. The catalyst, I now grasp, is that what is big up close is actually minuscule at a distance. I’m reminded, unsurprisingly, of the Father Ted sketch.

When you’re used to filling content with stuff that isn’t really significant, the moment a real huge-assed Drama comes along, everything shifts perspective. What was major and life changing a week ago is now small potatoes, when you look at the potential chaos in the bigger World. However much I’d like to make my issues important to a wider audience, I think I’d rather we all got to the end of this whole shit-show alive and in one piece more. That means, it is time for some adjustments. The first one, amazingly, is just to carry on and not collapse in a heap of emotional trauma.

Taking personal time for yourself when the relentless stream of horror shows no sign of stopping is REALLY important. The rules of Personal Care remain largely the same as they did when I was taught them as a child; in fact, this poster remains where I come back to when reality gets too much:

basicrules

If you substitute ‘work’ for homework, frankly, this is my start point. All these things suffer when I’m stressed, and having the basic foundation of routine is what is needed to stay sane. It’s the reason why I write every day too, because habits formed then become harder to break and help sustain your momentum. That’s where I’m starting from again today, and once we have all that sorted, then there will be an opportunity to arrange the other parts of existence in a sensible order. I haven’t cried today, despite a number of moments where it would have been entirely acceptable to do just that. Here is the line, and there is the progress.

This is where I realise I need to reassess all of my priorities.

The Sound of Silence

Occasionally, I’ll end up in a situation with the kids where I’m forced to make a difficult decision. Inevitably, this will boil down to their word against mine in any given scenario: you were asked to do X, why are we at Y? Once upon a time I’d attempt to assert a measure of authority to remind them that at some point, they will need to deal with contention, and how you react to that is often more important than the argument to begin with. However, you reach a point with a young person where it becomes obvious that forcing a point will only make a situation worse. In fact, you could end up causing more damage in the long term than would ever occur even if the issue is dealt with incorrectly. So, as a parent, you learn to step back. You keep thoughts to yourself. Then, with the benefit of distance, you can grasp what will be the best course of action moving forward.

Watching The Orange Twat settle into the White House has been at times terrifying and laughable, especially as it has become apparent he’s actively responding to Social media’s comments on his actions. Yesterday it became apparent that the full force of that ‘scrutiny’ is beginning to exert some influence:

It’s the equivalent of the entitled teen who can’t understand why, when he’s the best he can possibly be, that he’s not getting either the credit or the changes he demands because, honestly, that’s all that matters here, right? The self is all, because as President (obviously) you are the centre of your Universe. That works, right up to the point where it becomes apparent that maybe, just maybe, you’ve not been elected for your own reward. You do this not to become the leader of millions of people, or just to feel good about yourself and be cool at places and show off how great you are. It doesn’t work unless you start giving shit back, but more importantly nothing changes if you can’t become a useful part of the place you live in. Assuming the world revolves around you is beyond dangerous. Suddenly, everybody becomes a critic overnight. The more you shut down bad press, the more anonymous sources spring up to discredit… and then you realise the only way to shut people up for good… and nobody wants to even think about where that train of thought might end.

Sometimes, the best thing you’ll ever do is walk away and not have the fight.

downwithtissortofthing.gif

As you do, you hear the person whisper under their breath that you’re a fucking idiot, and have no idea what’s being discussed. How can you understand what’s wrong when you refuse to accept that your point of view is flawed? Isn’t it simply easier to pretend the argument never happened to begin with? Well, yes and no, because when you’re fairly confident that you do have a point and perhaps there is more going on in the World than just this one flashpoint… this is a really tough ask, most days. As a parent you know what growing up was like. You can’t get a child to grasp your view of it because, in most cases, it’s a world away from their own perception of reality. So, do you push it or do you walk away? Sometimes, your inability or reticence to engage can be enough to make your child think that perhaps there is something up. It’s not a given, though. However, after I’d seen Executive orders signed in the Oval Office with a posse of grim male bystanders and watched countless women on Social media hate the decisions made over their own reproductive rights by a bunch of guys… lo and behold, women started showing up in the background of shots. This doesn’t make pillaging native lands or shutting down environmental projects any less galling but HEY we got the memo about needing diversity in the room, so come on, cut us a fucking break already.

There’s a piece of video I can’t bring myself to post here from the Inauguration. It’s when The Orange Twat turns away from his beautiful, elegant First Lady wife and the smile she’s saved just for him vanishes in a heartbeat, like a lightbulb being switched off. It is the moment I realise that even being close to someone is no guarantee they will ever listen to sense or reason. It is the reinforcement of the understanding that in the patriarchy that is now running the USA, women don’t stand a fucking chance. This man’s Campaign manager might be female, but she’s never going to be given anything but a notion of control. There is no equality here. There is simply a desire to roll back any good that the previous Administration did, and stamp agendas to the country that further prove how wonderful the President is, and how much money he will make from being in office. This will not be the most successful Presidency in anything except financial gain. I cannot believe, having watched the last year play out, this man cares about anyone or anything except himself.

dontknow.gif

I interact every day with people exactly like this. The world will never revolve around anyone except them. It is depressing beyond belief but inevitably it boils down to someone at some stage in their childhood not pointing out that life isn’t just about what you want. Yes, this matters and it is important, but never at the expense of understanding you are part of a whole, a planet full of people who often don’t have a voice, or are suppressed from even expressing an opinion. The bigger picture matters more, ultimately, than anything you might want or need when all is said and done. It is only a game, nobody makes you play it. You don’t need to be either rich or famous to be happy. Popularity is a game you would be best never to play to begin with. On the flip side of course, people I disagree with see me in exactly the same way. I’m the selfish one. I’m the person who doesn’t care about them.

It’s really easy to blame someone else for your failings, far harder to accept you’re less than perfect. I know my flaws, and I’m never going to be a perfect person. I have to work every day, long and hard, sometimes to even keep my head above water. This isn’t about winning, or who’s the best, and most certainly has nothing to do with belittling anyone else. The problem here is self-awareness. I know what’s wrong with me.

Can you say the same about yourself?

Your Cheating Heart

As computers systematically take over aspects of our lifes, I find myself quietly despairing at those who think that the only way to ‘success’ is to cheat the robots. Undoubtedly, if I was the kind of girl who SEO’d ahead of worrying over content, the latter would be largely irrelevant. In fact, I could probably spout rubbish 24/7 and it wouldn’t matter, because if I was top of Google’s search I effectively win the Internet anyway. I remember all too well being berated by someone quite early into my blogging career at how useless I was for not doing this. How would I ever make money from my website to begin with? It was at that point I grasped I’m pretty much failing to be a sucess, and have been for close to eight years. I couldn’t be happier as a result.

If I wanted to make money by doing this, you’d fucking hate my guts by now.

dontcare8.gif

Many people on the Internet are not listening to anybody except themselves. This is abundantly apparent wherever you stand, or whatever you listen to for protracted periods. The decent people, the lovely individuals amazingly always seem to make time to do both of those things, and I watch them with an increasing sense of satisfaction. These are the people I wanna be friends with, that are genuinely concerned about the stuff that matters. Their success is almost directly proportionate to decency. That seems like an equation everybody should have to work under, but sadly it is rarely the case. For many, the Internet’s a place to either exploit, make your fortune from and then leave or a place to take a dump in. In the last week, a lot of these types have been making life utter hell, yet I salute these people’s ability to survive without either a spine or indeed any sense of a moral compass. The problem is, that’s a norm for an awful lot of ‘legitimate’ business too, and it depresses the fuck out of me.

lifeisnotfair

This morning, I wake to a ‘business proposal’ in my Inbox. A legitimate UK company wants to pay ME $100 for the right to print an article on my website. I could see the possibilities: link us your WordPress login details so we can upload the post, let us have your Paypal details so we can send you the $100… and then, even if either of these weren’t blatant phishing grabs, the thought of becoming a legitimate home for stupid internet spam? Honestly, just how gullible do these people think I am? I wouldn’t mind but there’s also an increasing stream of ‘SEO service emails’ being shoved into my Inbox as if I really give a flying fuck about anybody else doing this for me. The only thing that I’d ever benefit from doing this would be to make money by lying. I’m sorry but, I’m never going to do that.

shitsreallyonfireyo.gif

And yet, people still try. They attempt to sell me services I don’t want and have no need for. They labour under some misapprehension that I don’t have enough content for my websites: if I wanted to link other people’s shit, I’d do that myself. I don’t need a third party ‘helpfully’ giving me the stuff, I want people to use my things, but because I refuse to play the game and produce the right kind of content? I am of no use to them. Sure, they’ll attempt to exploit me for all they’re worth but they won’t use my content because it doesn’t contribute to the global conspiracy of ‘ranked content’ and ‘top SEO material’ and SERIOUSLY SHUT THE FUCK UP. None of your ‘posts’ have any rational value. It’s rubbish, pure and simple, empty vacuous bobbins that has no relevance except to sell people more shit they don’t want. If you wanted to be useful you’d get off the fucking internet and have real lives, and not spend all your time staring at a screen to begin with. Try optimising your real life friends with SEO relevance and see how far that gets you.

whatiswrong.gif

On a day where I’ve seen the Orange Twat ban his own government staff from using social media, this playground is rapidly deteriorating into a battlefield. You need to know who your friends are, and if your business is attempting to somehow ignore the real human crisis at work? I want no part of your agenda. Seriously, go shove your ‘rankings’ where the sun doesn’t shine. Nothing you can say or do matters to me. I am my own content creator, and if you can’t find me except by word of mouth? That’s exactly the way I’d like it to stay.

Yeah, I’m done now.

bestgifever