Relax

And Lo, it was Sunday.

Honestly, this is a very strange headspace right now. Last night’s dreams were full on 100% Guilt Edged Wish Fulfilment Exercises. I cycled for nearly an hour last night, at levels that are now close to where body was fitness wise two years ago. There are undeniable signs of body-wide fat loss. Is it really possible that all of this has come as a result of daily, focussed exercise?

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Yes, it is. No mystical teas, or diets, or ridiculous new age flim flam. Fucking hard slog, every day, so that twelve days feels like about three months, if truth be told. First breakthrough was Thursday, only because it then became apparent my brain had got the memo that sleeping longer because I’m knackered will have unexpected fringe benefits. Last night’s dreams are absolutely the product of a well-fuelled imagination.

This is the point I wanted to be post Mslexicon, if truth be told. However, I wasn’t physically fit enough. Now that’s being addressed, everything else appears to be falling into place. Parts of me are still scared, of course: that’s only to be expected. New things are frightening. However, if you do them long enough, and try and learn about yourself whilst that happens, you have more than enough to help combat inability.

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That means this is quite enough time sitting in front of a computer. I wanna try and run further than has ever been managed. There’s a fairly significant application form to be filled in before bedtime. Then, as washing clothes is no longer a national emergency, I could have some time to archive old work and start on some new things. However, nothing takes place until I move.

Moving is the best thing.

Listen To What The Man Said

Yesterday, I took a misstep. It’s done now, no going back on it. The trick, of course, is not to pick at that spot and make it worse, but simply to leave things as they are for a while. You can always tell when you’ve really fucked up on the Internet, of course. I can remember being convinced once that someone whom I really wanted to meet because they lived reasonably local, moved house to avoid me.

If they’d really hated me I’d have been blocked and ignored. Instead, in time, I ended up with the realisation that their interests and mine would never have actually meshed at all. Perhaps I try too hard at internet friendships, I dunno. When you just wanna be nice to everybody and some people only want the sound of their own voices, or to live in a particular decade or mindset…

It’s tough doing this grown-up stuff, innit.

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Talking of which, I need to update the Just Giving page with my daily workouts. Tonight, I think, will be Zwift, which ought to factor in more daily than it does. Some interesting things are happening with the app, including running tracks, which I ought to investigate with my watch. Can I use the Garmin to virtually run? There’s a Google search for when I’ve sorted myself out.

However, the most exciting thing by far to be happening today is the man coming to replace our washing machine. Then, the most important thing I have to do is to register that with the manufacturer for an extended warranty because when it goes wrong (and it will) I do not want to discover that doofus brain here didn’t do that with the last one meaning it would cost more to get the damn thing fixed than it cost.

Like I said, grown-up stuff is hard.

Think

Following on from Wednesday’s ‘it’s not them, it’s you’ discussion, yesterday’s Twitter flashpoint became frustrating beyond belief, finally resulting in me having to sit on my hands for most of the afternoon. The details, of course, are irrelevant to everybody but the person who, ultimately, decided to make everything about them whilst completely missing the point of the discussion.

We really, REALLY need to have some rules about what is acceptable behaviour when people are critical of something you are involved in. Individual interpretation is unique. It does not represent ‘all experiences’ and when someone is trying to make a larger, more important point, assuming they’ve had a dig at you along the way when that absolutely didn’t happen isn’t just churlish, it’s potentially dangerous.

You’re not brave any more, but ignorant.

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Spending an entire month trying to encourage discussion on mental health has pulled up some very interesting debate: the most important part of which, undoubtedly, being how to react when other people opine. Overcoming shortcomings in your head will end up colouring EVERYTHING that you hear and see: trust me on this. However capable you might feel, it’s incredibly easy to be derailed.

That’s happened two nights in a row for me at Blaze class: on both occasions, there’s been a board of entirely red heart rate monitors, except mine. Being different is okay when nobody can see that difference close up, but once it ends up being splashed across multiple TV screens for an entire room to see? It is really hard to ignore the truth. Then it isn’t about other people being nice to you. It’s you, reality that need to be addressed.

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I know why those red numbers don’t happen. All the really sound, based in science, nothing I can actually fix right now issues sit in my head, clearly defined. I also grasp what needs to take place to make them happen. That’s a task that’s being chipped away at, day at a time. Doing it in public has a useful, constructive consequence. Maybe people will be able to identify with the issue and feel affinity.

The last thing I’d ever do in these situations is engage with people who I feel don’t understand or grasp what I’m going through. It’s really, really easy to make the assumption that people will attack you for being different, and in the modern world it’s almost become a badge of honour. I was brave enough to speak out and then nasty people trolled me. Except, more and more, that’s really not the case.

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Having different ethical ideas to someone else is not an attack. Pointing out your experience will rarely be unique is not abusive either. Using you as an example in a wider issue does not mean that person is trolling you: this is a public platform. I see that Twitter this week will be rolling out tools to allow you to decide who gets to reply to your tweets: soon, if all that matters is saying stuff without being challenged, there’ll be a setting for that.

Of course it’s meant for people who just want to post their news without a bazillion troll accounts hanging onto the tweet for traction. It’ll undoubtedly be used by people who just want to be seen, and never challenged, and this is the bigger problem. Discussion means people are allowed to have an opinion and say it, even if you don’t like it. If you choose to interpret a civil discussion as a personal attack on the state or existence of your backbone?

That’s still your problem to solve and not anyone else’s to care about.

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There are too many fragile egos on Social media… far, FAR too many people who don’t get that to survive long term, you will require mental strength. If you sign up to be famous, it comes now with responsibilities and caveats, and those in turn have important mental health implications. There’s a lot of people doing great work on these, across the wider spheres of the internet. Seek these people out, they will educate you.

I keep seeing other people interpreting ‘speaking out’ over mental health issues as bravery. It isn’t, simply an essential part of the process to help yourself get better. Admitting you have the issue in public means it won’t go away. It also means, inevitably, you will be criticised. There will be backlash. Ignorant people will not understand, but others will want to have a discussion.

The LAST THING you want to do is then decide that nobody gets to talk about your issues. If you are prepared to go public, that means you’re also prepared to deal with the consequences. This is how life works. If there’s not a willingness to stand by the courage of your convictions, then why bother saying it in the first place? If you won’t use these experiences to fuel your own evolution, what really is the point?

These are the consequences of your own actions.

Imagination

My brain is in an ‘interesting’ place right now: I think, if honest, this is probably the most creativity that’s sprung from one place at one time since my late 20’s. Trying to regiment and organise it is, as a result, proving to be somewhat problematic. However, it is also the gateway to other things: different ways of approaching problems, using flashpoints not to stoke fires but to redirect energy elsewhere.

I wonder how long I can keep all this going.

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Also, I am very hungry. All the time. It’s got a lot to do with exercise every day, of course, but normally that would mean falling off the wagon and going Peak Sugar and Fat. Not this time, body, this time is protein all the time and no cheating and nope, this isn’t happening any more. I have won, you are beaten, and cravings will no longer derail my progress. In fact, nothing derails progress any more.

Let’s go.

Life Gets Better

Everyone who cannot understand why these kind of stories won’t go away, I have a question for you. Have you ever been physically groped by a random stranger without your permission? Have you been cat-called in the street? Have you had someone mentally manipulate you in order to get what they want? Have you been pressured into something you didn’t want to do?

How many other questions have I got that prove there’s a problem everywhere?

No, you’re not that person. It’s okay, I know. Except, worryingly, so many people have the potential to be just that. After yesterday’s revelation that the UK’s most prolific serial rapist is gay, there are questions to be asked about how we go about the business of relationships in the 21st Century. It’s not just sexual either: if someone pisses you off, just how nuclear will you go in order to cause them as much damage as possible?

The opposite of course is probably more dangerous: those who can’t talk about abuse, as it destroys them from the inside out. After a week of exercise as a means by which people might part with cash to help others talk about their mental health issues, there’s the understanding we all have a phenomenally long way to go. It doesn’t help matters, of course, when you have rich white twats trying to cheat the system from the top down.

The missing factor in all of this, undoubtedly, is respect. Those who feel that influence, power or simply ego allows them to take what they want, without consequence, have existed in history since that bloke in the cave stole that other guy’s favourite club. It might have been a woman, but let’s face facts, more likely to be a guy. Sorry, men, but this is your world, and as long as it remains that way, lots of stuff stays shit.

I know lots of you don’t like the term feminism. That’s hugely obvious wherever I go on Social media. That one guy whose music taste I dismissed, the bloke who got upset when I couldn’t do proper grammar, the pedants and the blinkered who only see their world as mattering. You know them. You see them every damn day. The problem is, blocking and reporting that isn’t solving the problem. It’s ignoring it.

NOTHING gets solved if we all politely look the other way.

At some point, somebody has to stand up and make the difference. All of the victims of Reynhard Sinaga. Harvey Weinstein’s accusers. Without these people, prepared to expose their lives to public scrutiny, nothing ever changes. If you want the change, all that crap about becoming it actually does work. No, really, IT DOES. I can speak from personal experience. Stuff improves, at a cost. You have to accept the consequences.

That’s the kicker, this is never easy, or stress free. If all you really care about in life is no pain or drama, really, you are doing it wrong. These things happen regardless, the key difference when you dictate at least some of the terms is the potential good it can do you long-term. It’s why getting fit really is as difficult and stressful as it can undoubtedly be, but the benefits… honestly, they beat everything.

You have to trust yourself to take a leap in the dark.

Modern World

The washer dryer in our house gets used daily, and for a long time we managed with a single unit which seemed to outlast everything. Then, at the time our kitchen was refitted (2013 according to the pictures) we replaced it with a unit that was perennially unreliable. That went in 2016, and now the replacement for that’s dead. Like, completely useless, because it no longer primarily relies on mechanical methods to operate.

Technology is both a blessing and a curse. The electronics on board the unit are fried, thanks to the power surge yesterday. To repair it would cost more than currently it would cost to totally replace, and here we are, in a world where consumerism becomes the only alternative if you want quick and easy. Fortunately for us, there’s a laundrette across the road. We’ll live, and I’ll hand-wash my RED shirt for a few days.

Honestly, this is stuff you really don’t need or want.

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Today now also involves a complex set of ‘daughter needs to be at X whilst son home from Uni needs to be at Y’ within a timeframe which was previously impossible to complete. It’s a measure of how far I’ve come as a cognitive adult in the last twelve months that a situation which would previously reduce me to tears is now problem-solved without issue. Watching all those YouTube videos can make you smart, kids.

It is also the reminder that some days, I really am completely on my own. If truth be told, this isn’t actually a problem: once upon a time, I thought it was. Over the years, the issue hasn’t been lack of people that I’ve met locally to be social with, or the quality of relationships. It’s all been me. Now that’s getting sorted out, there’s some good relationships being developed, but that’s not going to help me now.

Sometimes, it is just up to you to be a grown up.

‘Look at all the White People who might win an Award’ season has begun again. No, really, do not care anymore. I’m sure they’re all lovely people, but if I were an actor right now I’d not turn up. Really, it’s fucking embarrassing. The most depressing thing of all, of course, are those people who think that you shouldn’t say anything about this and that celebrating art should stay that way to respect the people nominated.

White people winning awards voted on by predominantly white people is not representative of the Modern World. This has never been accurate, only divisive and dangerous. Sorry feminists, I get the point we’re supposed to be pushing for equality here, but it isn’t just men and women, it IS everybody that deserves a seat on the table, and they have done for many, MANY years.

Really, I’m done with this shit.

I Love You

If you spend more than an hour on Social media a day it will be impossible to ignore the stupidity around Fandom at any given moment. I follow a number of people for whom the observation of other people’s obsessive desires and interests is not only a lifestyle choice, but a full-time career. It is hard to escape the gravity of negativity in any aspect of current existence, but when it emanates from stuff that’s supposed to be enjoyment and relaxation?

Except, with the smallest of shifts of perception, one can see all of this as just another attempt not only for all of us feel we belong, but to self-promote in an increasingly open and understanding environment. Not every meme is toxic, or perhaps a flimsy disguise in which you’re prompted to share personal data that might also double as password information.  Just don’t get me started on potential facial recognition scams, okay?

We all want to belong, let’s be honest. That’s all of this online stuff’s about, when you get down to the details. If you don’t need the benefit of a massive virtual following not doing Social media‘s hardly a reach. I can look at many people for whom that desire simply never existed, or those who’ve shunned the practice because privacy means nope, you don’t get to know anything at all.

In the modern world, of course, it shouldn’t take much to find out everything about someone if you really want to, and if you’ve ever been unlucky enough to be stalked online, you’ll know just how hard it is to remain truly anonymous. That’s where fandom’s truly insidious underside can become not just frightening but life changing… but for every negative, you can offset the damage.

I remember that fan who married one of her idols…

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You get to know over time the people to trust, then avoid. Someone from an old fandom haunt appeared out of the blue late last year, still hugely dedicated to his cause, still happily living the life they were decades previously… and this is why changes in orbit can end up so potentially damaging. The good people rationalise, are adult and move on. It’s the people who won’t change, can’t alter their outlooks that become the unknown quantities.

I’m in a particular fandom right now where people are split down the middle, thanks to the main protagonist in their fictional lives having assumed a new gender. There’s an indignity for some right now that a man they respected has become a highly attractive woman. There’s psychology at play that is difficult to reconcile, and this TV show is becoming an unexpected test bed for what happens when you stop giving all the best roles to white men.

Who knew so many people were that sensitive to change?

Let’s be honest, you’d need to be from another fucking planet not to grasp how some parts of society are woefully unprepared for what’s coming. We need more common sense, and far less stupidity, and if you resent actresses and people of colour in traditionally white male roles? You are part of the problem. Don’t worry, give it ten years and there’ll be no planet left for you to complain about… ^^

Maybe what needs to happen now is change, and not resistance.