Do I Wanna Know?

I waa cycling when the alert went out that Boris had recorded a message. There was a bit of speculation beforehand: he’ll shut down London, maybe give the police more powersΒ  to sort out people flouting the advice. Locking down the entire country was a shock.Β It still is. You know I said I wouldn’t talk about the C-Word any more? After this blog, honestly not gonna do it again.

At least everybody is in the same boat now. I hope you all brought snacks.


kettleON3
When history recalls this period in human existence, these days will probably be granted scant attention. Reference may well be made to how learning to deal with contagion was never really considered on a global scale before, despite it having taken place previously. What will matter undoubtedly is what happens afterwards: how life changes when dust settles, as governments are forced to concede that priorities have shifted.

I’d like to think that it will be the virtual world which will emerge from this as the real winner. There’s been talk in certain circles of how the Internet has been wasted as a true communication resource, this is something that will now be pulled front and centre. Many people won’t be thinking further than tomorrow right now, but for those of you with spare mental capacity, this is absolutely the moment when new paths will be defined.

myturn

History will remember the foolish as a warning: you were told to stay in and not spread a virus that may not totally physically decimate a population, but has altered its mental outlook forever. The brave however will prosper. They will endure, and hopefully when the time comes can possess momentum to allow humanity to evolve a little wiser and more capable.

Don’t be the person who said ‘I told you so.’ Be the one who asks ‘How can I help?’

Utopia

This is how the game works.

Carrying on as normal is not possible with many things. However, for me at home, the routine is what defines a very fine line between coping and floundering. Therefore, as a result, today, and every one thereafter until we are out of this nightmare, has a structure. Other people can drink wine and eat biscuits. That part of coping mechanisms is well covered. I’m here to write, exercise and ensure the house runs like a military operation.

These are my tasks, and I will do them well.

That means not just an exercise plan , but not letting chores pile up. It means clearing space, removing things that absolutely do not spark joy, cleaning, reorganising for better efficiency… the list is endless. Boredom is never gonna happen, especially with the knowledge of how much I’ve not read, watched or indeed listened too over the last decade. That doesn’t include gaming either… don’t get me started.

Priority has to go to the stuff that’s sat, conspicuously avoided for the longest time, which means rewiring the house ethernet, clearing out kitchen cupboards, properly rationalising my own working space, keeping up to date with house filing and being properly brutal with the clothes upstairs. They’re all written down now, I can’t avoid them. It all has to happen under the auspice of Spring Cleaning.

That means, after this and a couple of hours work, I pretend I’m going to the gym and have a pretend PT. After that there’s some lunch, then all the planners get torn down and April’s finally put in place. Once all that is sorted, it all just gets done, and I go for a cycle ride, and then probably spend the evening throwing out old pots and pans. It doesn’t have to be reinventing fiction or becoming an overnight expert at summat.

In the beginning, routine is enough, and hopefully with enough time and space a brain in total crisis will finally, blissfully unwind. That’s how it has always worked in the past and I can but hope this is the way forward. All that there is is what is known, until the change process moves out of chaos and finds a transforming idea with which to work from. Its around here somewhere. Hard work will help it appear.

This is the path that must be trodden.

Heads Will Roll

The plan going forward now is simple: starting tomorrow, I’ll be using this platform to talk about anything but the C-Word.Β The writing blog will be back in April, as will the start proper of all my Patreon content. You can be totally reassured that at no point will I be selling myself based on the pandemic: a very snotty tweet sequence has just been thrown at Masterclass for doing just that. Seriously, no.

I am here for positive mental health and a sense of genuine progression. Technology is there to help, and that means using it in a far more positive manner than has been previously the case. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the negativity, just as it is to pretend nothing bad is happening and carry on regardless. To survive, everything must change. No really, it does, like it or not.

Time to throw away all that ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ merchandise.

Four times this week a static bike has been used. That will be updated to seven days starting tomorrow. Some days will be more effort than others, but for now this is undoubtedly the best way to keep my legs in fighting condition. It elevates the baseline level of exercise from something most days to constant effort. It’s the equivalent of that walk to and from the Gym, or the walk outside that yesterday reduced me to tears.

The endorphin rush can come from anywhere, it doesn’t have to be walking through the forest, and once my brain’s better adjusted to the concepts we now find ourselves living with, it will come back. For now however, it is time to build mental strength and physical resilience, in a time where both matter more than anything else that could possibly be done. That space, to my left, just became the Gym.

Time to make it work for me.

Closing Shot

Last night, I heard of the first COVID case in my orbit, then pretty much lost the plot. If this is the beginning and that above is where we will be in two months, this is already a nightmare. Every time I’ve thought nothing could get weirder, it does. The baseline threshold for Reality (Such As It Is)Β has moved so many times since Monday that, quite honestly, I have no clue where to pitch anything.

All that can happen now is control of my own environment, such as it is. Even that is proving problematic.

Hand cream is now not as useful as skin healing cream on my hands. Knuckles have split. Hay fever and dust allergies are making me sneeze and cough, and going anywhere right now is an exercise in holding my breath. The physio this morning was a total hero, and if the state of his hands is any indicator, he is taking duties extremely seriously indeed. Everybody is offering me refunds.

This doesn’t get better, only worse. Time to find where the real helpers are, friends to bed down with (at distance) who will be those who support and not criticise. Yeah, I get some of you don’t want me in your feeds because I was the noisy cow who caused trouble a while back.Β Your choice. Gaming now is the last thing on my mind, though if isolation gets really bad, I might return to a favourite god sim or two…

The biggest plan right now is exercise, and how it happens in a ten foot square space, so all those lovely gainz I made in the last six months are not pissed up the wall. Fortunately I have a TOP TEAM of supportive people ready to provide practical advice, plus raw materials to facilitate progress. It also helps that static bikes have been a fixture in this household for many, many years. Cycling will save us, oh yes.

Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been training for this moment for years.

Distant Light

Everybody, meet Pip, who with her sister Dot will be acting as Emotional Support RatsΒ going forward, and who take their jobs extremely seriously indeed. How things now pan out with both daughter and son out of education is yet to become clear: I’m grateful she is the year before GCSE and he only in his first year at college. How anything works later is not the worry right now. I’d just like to get through now first.

I will have to go to school today and pick up her art folder: son will be home tonight and both have home working to get used to. After that? There needs to be an imposition of routine that will last everybody until at least September, because I cannot realistically see schools coming back until the start of the new Autumn term. It’s bizarre writing that, especially as the first day of Spring is on Sunday.

Suddenly, everything has been pulled into very sharp focus.

A portion of my aspirations this year have become largely academic. There needs to be a complete and utter reassessment of… well, everything really.Β This is not the moment for that to happen, because first of all new routines need to be established. Once that foundation’s in place… yup, we start again. I have plans. Patreon’s role may yet still change. That’s where enthusiasm will be channelled.

For now, time to get groundwork well underway.

Ten Miles High

Yesterday was tough, but very important. Work got done, I made difficult decisions. There was also the decision to sleep without my health monitoring watch on last night, which is going to be a theme going forward. Over-analysing everything is not helpful. This has to stop happening, brain power needs to be diverted to more important tasks. Therefore, anything that could potentially cause an imbalance needs to be dealt with.

The biggest single shift in mindset however came with pushing forward on website development. Since last Thursday, when everything kicked off, brain and progression have been at a massive impasse. Something had to give yesterday, and that meant breaking down a task that would normally have been largely academic into smaller, bite-sized chunks, and taking it very much a step at a time.

Today therefore once I’ve done that last note’s worth of work (three new pages with headers, copy and links) we can move on to the next part of task, which is similarly stressful on my brain but which can and will be broken down into constituent chunks. That is how we will continue with everything moving forward.Β Sensible, rational steps, working in spaces and timeframes that make sense.

Let’s get going.

Here’s the Thing

guidance

It’s odd, looking at official guidance, and deciding you don’t need it.Β Except, of course, August’s hospital visit is still fresh in the memory. I do need it. Having spent the last three years pushing myself to be social and out of the stay at home mentality, this is a bit of a blow. The only overriding positive thought is that I’m not alone, even though that may not feel like the case right now.

The hairdressers phoned to ask me if I’d like next week’s hair appointment brought forward, because they have no idea if they’ll be open or not then, and if I wanted an indicator of the level of fear/uncertainty prevalent in the world right now, then here it is.Β The other key barometer will be my Gym: if it closes, and the chatter seems to suggest it is a possibility, that’s a line in the sand I really thought would never happen.

Talking of which…

I don’t need stuff like this, but having it happen is an indicator of where we are now heading. As time goes on it will be important to impose not only routine, but a sense of proportion, which right now is actually pretty tough going. It will undoubtedly get easier, especially if I can find enough stuff with which to distract myself with in the days that follow. I have a massive To Do List.

We will get through this.