Happy

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Have a great Friday.

Look Up

Sleep is not for the Weak, but for Winners.

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Once upon a time, there was a scepticism about knowing too much about my body. After all, the more details possessed, the easier it becomes to obsess (see: weighing myself daily) and that’s never going to end well. However, there are undoubted benefits to understanding what is normal and what isn’t. I’m also beginning to reconnect with the whole of myself: this began after the Mindfulness course, and has now extended to bodily control itself. Believe it or not, this is something that is struggled with, especially when tired.

My sleep patterns have undoubtedly suffered in the last twelve months from a combination of menopause, mental stress and physical exertion: that situation is slowly improving. The immediate and obvious consequence is an increase not in productivity, but physical co-ordination, and to capitalise on this I’ve been doing rehab therapy on my left hand side which (at various points this year) has suffered as a result of that clumsiness. The benefits are considerable, and add that to my physical training for the Ride London 46, and there’s an awful lot to be happy about.

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However, it isn’t weights or biking that’s affected the physical change, but the Bosu. I will be asking for one of these for Christmas, because the benefit of relaxing on one has become the most surprising part of my entire journey into fitness thus far. Yes, that’s relaxing, because standing on one now is the perfect means by which mind and body connect and stay focused. ‘Getting in the zone’ isn’t just about physical attainment either, it has mental benefits that are only now becoming apparent.

The importance of Mindfulness in reconnecting body and mind is more important than anything else that has happened for some time. The benefits are far-reaching and hugely significant, and only now is that becoming apparent. Every day, I am becoming physically stronger.Β With that basis, more is possible, and is happening.

The future becomes mine to shape with confidence.

Moving On Up

I’m not entirely sure, but it does feel as if progress is being made.Β There was a silent promise at the end of August to wean myself off the scales, and that means I won’t weigh myself until October 1st. It is an incentive to go and work REALLY hard at the Gym, plus eat better than has been the case since the holiday. This far, both are being managed without stress.

Once I’m caught up on writing posts, even though it is blowing a gale out there, there’ll be a trip to do some weights. After THAT, there’s four new poems to insert into my collection for next week’s deadline.

Yeah, this is working.

Personal Jesus

Here we are, at the start of a new week: already, there is a feeling of cautious optimism. There is a list of stuff I’d like to doΒ before bedtime. That’s it. No stressing or forcing. Before arriving here there was some progress on written projects, a plan for today’s scheduled work and how I knock off the last two pieces of backlog. Arguto gets some love today. However, that’s not what I’m here for. Today, I want to talk about guilt.

Every so often you’ll see someone who’s catapulted to prominence have a hater go digging back though their tweets to find summat to smear them with. With over 200k’s worth of stuff to my name, that’s gonna be a fun ask when the time comes… but yeah, there’s probably a lot of regrettable stuff buried in all of this. In fact, should it ever come down to that situation, that might be the moment to start again. If you want to know after that, go look in the Library of Congress. They’ll have it all saved regardless.

Then I look at this, the story of a woman who has made her name attacking people and things she does not like in public, and increasingly finding that those actions damage her own existence, to the point where she’s now personally in financial trouble. I’m not sure if the fact her kids are protected from her shortcomings is really a redeeming action, and I certainly don’t possess Jack Monroe’s generosity of spirit. This is the perfect example of ‘actions have consequences’Β and the warning anyone in the public eye should be using to think twice before ANYTHING stupid gets tweeted in anger.

So, does anybody really learn from Social media? It is hard to believe that’s the case when certain individuals continue to tweet hate-filled diatribes. Those who go to the other extreme and want only love and compassion might also find themselves in a bit of hot water if they’re not 100% watertight on the persona. That’s the thing with an abundance of data: at some point, somebody will test the waters. Spotify is the latest online giant being questioned by the mediaΒ but honestly, wherever your data is shared, this is now a very real possibility.

There’s an answer, of course, to all of this. Just be yourself, and be honest. If yourself is decent, mostly fair and tries to be kind as often as possible? Really, not an issue. If you’re a racist xenophobe, well that could still be mostly okay because there’s 40% of the UK right up there with you. At least you won’t feel alone, but there MIGHT come a moment where you end up being challenged on those beliefs, and you never know. That could cost you a job too.

Some days, personal shortcomings are the least of your problems.

One Better Day

Number of Days Since a Debilitating Mental Episode : TWO


The menopause has thrown up an interesting development in terms of mental faculties: the distance down holes has increased in the last few months.Β To place this in the simplest terms possible, this translates to panic, anxiety and mental shutdown on a scale I have not previously experienced, enough to often bring me to my knees. The last couple of weeks since the holiday have then involved me attempting to not only adjust to this shift, but drag up a lot of pretty painful and emotionally difficult emotions to put into poetry.

This has been a pretty perfect shit-storm of my own creation, but is now beginning to offer some interesting new directions forward. It’s the mental equivalent of taking years of carefully organised notes and references to everything and setting fire to them, before flooding the entire storage area, then expecting to carry on with recall as if nothing happened. There are going to be consequences to all of this, and this will be me, trying to reintroduce order into what was, for a while, total chaos.

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I’m telling you this now for several reasons. The main one is that, in the weeks that follow, there will be a palpable effort to translate into words what it is like inside my head, in the vain hope that a) people might read it and b) then understand what its like to have to deal with this kind of shit on a daily basis. No, it’s not going to be used as an excuse, or a ‘you have to be nice, I’m broken’ stick for me to poke you with. I’m not expecting sympathy, but understanding would be helpful.

If there’s a lack of that, then there needs to be work on my explanation skills.

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I am immensely lost, and quite lonely right now. This is, it is now apparent, not going to be fixed by following more people on Social media or finding new hobbies or things to do. The loneliness is undoubtedly a result of being unable to communicate in a manner that allows brain to feel wanted. Having grasped that revelation over a period of several weeks, dealing with it is not an overnight task. It has to involve a reassessment of how life gets done, and what is written. That starts today.

There will still be observations and ruminations, but no longer will there be the belief that lying to myself is acceptable. Accepting someone for what they are, good and bad, is a tough ask. The new wave of honesty that’s been employed in certain spaces has already had an effect, and knowing that is where all of this deconstruction began. I am, literally and metaphorically relearning some pretty basic stuff, and the consequences are quite staggering. You’re never too old to readjust existence, just too scared.

Sometimes, you just have to do the hard shit and hurt.

Crying

On five hours sleep, I wrote today’s blog post using Tweets. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Occupy Your Mind

Knowledge is power. We all know this, in many cases based on a simple understanding: the more informed a choice, the greater the freedom attached. If you want to scare someone, a page of dry commentary on an oncoming water-fuelled Armageddon is not the answer. You want pictures, and if there were ever a more compelling demonstration of why you get the fuck out of the way of a Hurricane, then this video is it.Β 

My daughter this morning prompted a conversation around honesty, and how learning when to use it can become a useful tool when dealing with confrontational situations. Allowing both kids a freedom with information which is clearly not the norm around their peers has bought consequences, but a parental decision remains sound. Discussing issues that cause anxiety or fear, dealing with concerns… all these allow a mind to find optimal means by which knowledge can be processed.

Yup, I’ll admit I never grasped that Red and Yellow Peppers were just Green Peppers that had been ripened until VERY recently. Why would this need to be something I knew? It is a perfect example of how new knowledge is applied to old experience, showing that if those two concepts aren’t forced to interface from time to time, mind can end up almost wilfully ignorant… typifying an attitude that means that no good music was ever recorded after the death of Elvis, or that the only good car is the one with the biggest engine.

Knowledge, however, is as only as good as your ability to process it effectively.

More’s been learnt about myself in the last two years than ever happened in the previous twenty. Not only must there be a desire to learn, but comprehension of how others perceive the same process, because undoubtedly you will encounter those for whom the journey isn’t about self-improvement. Often, those simply managing to stay stable won’t want or need your outlook, or indeed take kindly to any assertion they could do more.

Education of any kind is often a state many people simply never want to return to, because of bad memories from childhood, but remaining in a place where your knowledge never grows or is added to seems… well, an awful waste of life. I’m not advocating that everybody goes back to school, but even an occasional push out of comfort zones to look at bigger pictures could have massive long-term benefits to mental longevity.

However, you have to want this, and it is apparent many people are simply happier not knowing.