Run for Home

I appear to be doing blogs in pairs right now, mostly because they’re being fitted in between other tasks. That meant recording a podcast today, which on reflection should have been done on Monday. It’ll get programmed that way for next week.

Today was also when I did my first 10 km for quite some time, and I know it can be done a great deal better. Finding time to do so isn’t necessarily the issue, but finding the mental space in order to function successfully whilst doing so very much is. That is the bigger ask.

I am making time going forward to address the mental consequences of my previous life choices.

You Wear It Well

This week has changed the game plan. A lot of that has to do with knowing I’m not happy with other people’s handling of mass participative events as someone with historic anxiety issues. Forget for a moment about all the other potential mental complications involved in next week’s Ride London, it’s all about knowing I’m uncomfortable in this situation on my own. Decisions need to be made best on previous experience and best principles.

Taking both of these things into consideration, everything is going to be better off for the next couple of weeks without that pressure. Part of the issue before has been the misguided conception that by entering something, I am then obliged to see it through to the end. This is no longer about commitment or expectation. We have entered the realms of what matters to me, finally, for the first time in many decades. I say this is not a priority now. There are more important things to do.

Let’s get on with it.

Fast As You Can

Today has had a lot happen in it. By far the most important part of that is that instead of being distracted by social media, other things have taken place. Instead of being dragged into things I cannot change or alter, I used time to write poetry instead.

Five poems have been sketched to first draft in time that previously did not exist. I would have been mindlessly browsing or being sucked into arguments that, at this moment, do not require my input. Instead, from the tyranny of always being present, I have produced something that makes me happy.

Not all problems are as easily solved, and this is why this time is doubly important. The time I have reclaimed has been used wisely today. Tomorrow may be different. However what is increasingly apparent is that these are problems I can solve alone. This is the key for my next step of professional progress.

You can always be more than you believe is possible.

Making Plans for Nigel

There is a LOT on at the moment and juggling all that I have to do with the time available in which to do so… the stress is manifesting as it always does non my body. There are boils, and skin rashes, and generally this is pushing out bad energy through my skin. Each time this happens, how to deal with the issue gets forgotten. This is not the case this time: there are plans and organization and, late last night, came a realization.

A new project is, in this case, not new work. It is old work that never got to see the light of day, and therefore requires me to start playing around again with the old and new. As a result, a space is set and some work has begun, again, at getting the party started. Of course, it’s not ‘popular’ until other people play, but in this case there’s little or no fuss over that. I’ve given myself until July to make it work. That’s plenty of time.

There are a lot of people doing the same things out here right now. I do not want to be them. I wish to be me and nobody else. Time to see if that is conducive with the current climate.

Filthy/Gorgeous

Not nearly as angry today as I expected to be, but for large portions of the working portion of business it did feel as if I was being followed around by Tim Curry as IT with a rubber hammer, with which he would hit me on the head every ten minutes or so before cackling demonically. I couldn’t breathe properly when weightlifting, nearly fell flat on my face on the run back. Of course, nobody got hurt, and it was all just minor mental inconvenience… but the point remains. some days it’s the stress that divides good work from just work.

For those of you don’t know, I’ve been accepted by the local NHS mental health unit for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) as part of a longer journey to uncover what is going on in my head. The wait for this has been three weeks to be initially assessed and a week for the okay, and I’ve probably had four good night’s sleep that entire time. I have, effectively, been running on empty and am only now returning to what could be probably considered as normal. It’s also played havoc with eating habits. I need to fix a lot of stuff.

One of the things I’ve stopped doing is blogging, mostly because once a week I record twenty minutes of video blog for Patreon and, at least over the last few weeks, after that there’s been no extra mental space to accommodate anything else. Last week however I did a Zoom event, a Poetry Book launch and an Open Mic poetry/prose evening. It’s beginning to fit into place. The only problem, such as it is, remains getting other people to appreciate my poetry enough to publish it. However, as we come up on four years of doing this shit, there is undoubted progress. If there wasn’t, I wouldn’t be leaving the old life behind for good.

In a certain light, things appear to be going very well indeed.

Therefore, having tried to do a Newsletter and having had nobody really that encouraged to keep reading, I’m going back to what I know best. It helps that there is now a regular stream of actual life to report on too, that I’m pushing myself into things properly for the first time in probably six months. Let’s be honest, a lot of the time when there’s been no desire to share has coincided in when my mental health was sub-optimal. With a haircut (finally) and some genuine encouragement on my work, it is all just better.

Yes, I KNOW my own validation is all that matters, but sometimes it really helps when someone else turns up and reinforces that.

Urg!

Should have been here yesterday, apologies for absence, there’s a lot on. Therefore, this is going to PRETEND it happened yesterday, and most people won’t even realize the difference.

Existing work is being repurposed for new gains. I am slowly pulling myself back to full capability. I have some backlog to deal with but nothing that can’t be sensibly rationalized. Really that’s what I should be doing right now and not posting here.

Also, this poetry is VERY good :D

Hey Ya

Yesterday, I made three videos in one day. Once upon a time, it took me a week to do that just once. Of course, it helps that it’s just me that needs to be edited, and there’s no extra elements at play. However, we’ve entered a new realm after the chaos of Christmas, and there’s a desire to keep the momentum going for as long as is conceivably possible. In the middle of all this, it undoubtedly helps that there is nothing else to do that focus on working: no School Run, nor any real stress from my family.

I also made it outside to exercise. There was shopping done, though the reality in my supermarket of choice is that Brexit is having more of an effect on supplies than anyone is really letting on. After writing this, I’ll pull a yoga mat out and see if I can’t do an hour or so, because there’s undoubtedly some benefit in having a decent stretch once a week. Then, it’s just more of the same for as long as I can, because there is this feeling that if I do stop, everything will just summarily disintegrate around me. A niggle with my left inner ear is a case in point… it’s better now I’m awake and upright. Let’s see how changes in balance affect it, shall we?

No, I’m absolutely sure I won’t crumble, but just in case…

The disturbing thing about this email that I was sent was, undoubtedly, that its title was indeed an old Facebook password. This tells me all I need to know about how safe (or otherwise) the platform was back in 2009 and that I’m really very grateful I have nothing anywhere, any more, that is of any interest at all to Zuckerberg. The next job on my list of Tech Related Gubbins is to delete WhatsApp once and for all off my phone. After that, people will just have to text me. I’m sure we’ll all cope just fine.

The more I go off grid and force people to have to interact on my terms, the happier I become.

Patience

For the longest time, all I have ever done is move my life around. The same shit, identical groups of things, rearranged from place to place without a goal. Two days ago, all that changed. Some would have waited for a new year in order to triumph this as some glorious, orchestrated start, but I’m tired of that bollocks, so very annoyed and angry at anyone who uses their existence as a lifestyle brand or the means by which people care about their social media. So, I threw things away, in some cases for the first time since my teens.

Nobody expects you to be a living history. In many cases, the weight of that baggage crushes your soul to a point where it is difficult to discern a consistent identity. Only through the process of poetry, over the past three years, has this fact become clear to a brain that was increasingly distracted by other people’s idea of what was good for me. Coming out of my husband and son’s Covid infections, it is clear how we create versions of reality with which to assuage terrors that are often never really confronted. In my case, 2021 will be where a combination of philosophy and dance music sets me free.

It is time to properly put certain timelines to rest.

I am, undoubtedly, in the best shape of my life. The resilience worked for will remain in place. There will be a return to places lost and forgotten, due to fear and disbelief. There needs to be a reinvention that isn’t because it looks good or someone else decided that was a ‘good’ idea. The only books read this year should be those that challenge my mindset… whilst creatively, everything is in flux. Blogging remains a consistently decent means by which the World is rationalised and summarily understood, so we’ll shove our face to the words for a bit and see where everything goes.

Then, when this is done, I’ll get on a static bike and then lift some weights.

There is no need to change that which already grants me strength.

Fragment

Objectivity in crisis is a hard ask. It’s why you have to feel for all those people unable to move forward right now, and there are a fuck of a lot of them. How will you ever shift away from the permanent, almost omniscient panic that accompanies not knowing what might happen if you get sick? These are difficult times, and they require unusual bravery to navigate. What this really means is so subjective as to often defy any ability to quantify.

Right now, forward is about realistic aims, in sensible timeframes. When I sat down to try and plan the next year on Patreon, there was the immediate and inescapable understanding that being creative whilst the world is on fire is great, but other stuff matters more… like keeping healthy, and self-care, and most importantly finding time in chaos to allow it all to settle and make sense. That means that there needs to be more time for me, or else we’ll just repeat the same shit that happened last time and no-one learns anything.

In this case, rest has become preferable to change.

It’s odd how we perceive things differently to other people. It’s almost as if everybody is different, and that our interests often need work to remain aligned. Hugh uses three words here, none of which I’d have picked to describe the content, but all of which are both understandable and relevant in context. The amount of assumptive posturing that has taken place as a result of it is unsurprising too. You can make anything relevant to your cause, given enough intelligence and creativity.

I appreciate that other people also view social media in a vastly differing manner to me. This is a fact, not an opinion. Knowing this should mean that you grasp that sometimes, like it or not, you’re never going to get along. Heading these people off at the metaphorical pass has never been more important as it is now. However, crucially, it means that what you hear and see will remain more sanitised and less realistic a view of the true unmitigated horror of reality, and it is horrible. I’m not talking fascism and populism either.

Your biggest enemy is the one with nothing to lose.

What I am is so complicated and multi-faceted even I really don’t have a total handle on what it means. However, one thing that’s inescapable is the need now to survive, and to minimise damage whilst doing so. That means looking for the right people to help and support, and quietly realigning my priorities. That’s what most people try and do at the start of years. This has been going on since the middle of the last one.

Finally, we are beginning to see some real, actual progress.

Arrival

I missed today’s blog in normal time for many reasons. The main one is that there really is no desire to write, which has not been an issue for some time. It’s not like I’m tired or without reasons to do so, it’s just the World right now is not making me happy.

Covid stress is back, and it will take a few days to readjust to the rest of the world working out what smart people predicted would happen in June.

What bothers me most right now, undoubtedly, is the inertia of others. I saw it play out first-hand at the weekend and, like it or not, this is what many feel is enough. I’m used to being disappointed by reality, it’s why I don’t get involved in as much as was the case a few years ago.

Yes, there are things to be excited about, and things to look forward to. The biggest issue right now is those individuals… well, appearing not to care about anything except themselves.

So, I’m not posting blogs to Twitter unless I want to make a point and today, let’s be honest, the best thing for my mental health is to be as far away from the rest of the World as it is reasonably possible to be.