Telegraph Road

NaNo continues to write itself. I also have absolutely zero desire to do anything related to submission at all, right now. This won’t last but really, truthfully, we are not out of the woods yet, and there is a lot that could go horribly wrong by the end of the year. Eyes on the prize, people, which is not winning, but changing everything so it is better. Winning is a construct, never forget this.

Mostly I am here, healing. That’s what I’m doing. Moving onwards, forwards, with purpose and determination. Words must be written.

Alone Again, Or

Yesterday was a watershed.

It began because I am no longer in the position to afford things that other people consider as essentials. The fact remains, FOMO is real, but largely pointless once you rationalise the expense. Sure there are alternatives too, but the larger truth is that when you know something is a distraction, it is better to walk away than towards.

This then sent me into an anxiety ‘loop’ which effectively curtailed my ability to be rational. However, instead of noticing this inside the moment, I saw it at the fringes and knew that if I just walked away from the things that were causing issue, that anxiety was manageable. So, that was yesterday afternoon: stress management and relaxation.

Then, amazing things began to happen.

When life runs without you noticing, things just look different. Slow down those moments, control their effects and you can see what looks terrible at the time is just an implosion and some fire that’s easily put-outable. Last night I fixed a problem that’s existed for about three years, I found solutions to writing cul-de-sacs but crucially, cooked dinner alone and amazingly.

Allowing myself permission to step back is a really new concept for me. Knowing I can fix the issues, without assuming there needs to be someone else to assist me, is also pretty virgin territory. That confidence that you are enough, that it isn’t about that you HAVE to do more than justification that this is the case. Stopping is the most difficult thing I ever do. Making myself do it yesterday was the absolute solution to my problem.

The change in me this morning is… well, significant.

Sometimes, you are the change that needs to happen. It isn’t other people’s jobs to help you. Occasionally, you do actually need to do the things that scare you to make progress.

Most importantly of all, knowing when to ‘fail’ is really a game changer.

Blues Walk

I no longer have an office chair. I’m typing this whilst sitting on a yoga ball. Over the years I’ve trued various things in an attempt to deal with a back problem that stems from my first pregnancy, and a hastily-applied epidural before an Emergency C-Section. The ball, amazingly, is turning out to be not just a revelation, but the writing accessory that keeps on giving.

Of course, this isn’t going to be for everybody. However, the benefits to posture and general productivity since I blew it up 72 hours ago are significant. Most importantly of all is not the times I’m sitting and using it. I used to idle hugely in my chair, sometimes for hours without making any progress. If this keeps encouraging me to move, and it is, that’s the biggest gift of all.

Slouching is constantly being corrected, and I am here for this.

There is a lot to do, stuff to reply to, and things to write and archive. This is, all told, how I’ve wanted life to be for some time. Everything is largely under my own auspice, with me making the important decisions. All that really needs to happen now is a better form of income, and then I know I’m getting somewhere. We’re working on that today too.

Expect something to purchase from me by the end of the year.

Simply The Best

Life is best, at least for me, when nothing of any real interest is taking place. I realised yesterday that, given the choice, excitement can be someone else’s job. In the general scheme of things, glam and bling and beauty and celebration are better experienced on your own, very specific terms. Being in lockdown has granted insight into what really matters. The superficial is definitely NOT on my list of stuff missed.

With the train wreck news currently resembles, this is a weekend to do as little as possible. I’m not gonna lie, not getting up tomorrow at 6.30am will be very easy to achieve. Doing nothing will not be a stretch. My obligations for the day, once dispatched, will lead to a state of relief that’s not been felt or experienced for quite some time. This is a week, done well.

That’s all.

So Here We Are

Whenever two or three people I know and follow, on Twitter, get together and have a conversation, Twitter actively attempts to involve me. Even on Tweetdeck, that interaction appears unavoidable. With my tech hat on there are clearly very good reasons why doing this is a good idea for the growth of the platform overall. Talking is, after all, the point.

However, it’s a lie, clear falsehood. It’s the equivalent of what used to happen in the playground at secondary school when someone wanted gossip to make them the centre of attention. I am well aware of the level of interaction at play on any given day, and these people would not, do not include me. It is an attempt to drive passive engagement, and I detest it.

It also drags me into issues I am often already trying to avoid.

This is, I will freely admit, the reason why some people I really like are at present muted. Mutes don’t stop the direct @ when someone talks to you with your username. Crucially it doesn’t remove likes or retweets being visible on Tweetdeck, at least initially. It allows me to acknowledge those who are my more enthusiastic supporters, who refuse to engage directly (for whatever reason).

However, of late, it means that certain discussions and arguments are unavoidable, however hard I attempt to curate. Part of this journey is realising I cannot fix everything, and I would be foolish to try, because the energy expended by doing so does and has deflected me from my path. Many people have commented on the downsides. I am going to take their advice too, because they care about me personally.

I know this not through here say, but through personal interaction.

It is apparent to most now how important virtual interactions are in modern life, and being able to place a measure of control on what takes place is as important as keeping your real life manageable. Watching other people make the same mistakes you have does make you want to wade in and point out the hypocrisy. It is not worth the effort.

Asking people if they need help is a better way forward. It requires far less assumptive reasoning: if someone says they are struggling, then that’s your cue. Again, it can’t (and won’t) help you save everybody. That remains the impossibility that it takes a lifetime to shake and will, if you are that person, wrack you with guilt when it becomes apparent you missed someone else’s cry for help.

All you will ever do is your best.

What bothers me the most right now are those people who depend on the Internet for their livelihood, who know what good can (and does) happen here yet continue to malign it because it gets them attention. We all know someone like this, and I watch people do this daily, in the hope it might illicit some sympathy. That’s not how this works. We see right through you.

By far the most successful people on Twitter are ignoring the fact they’re not being successful and just doing what needs to be done. When your creativity and enthusiasm shines through, amazing things happen. I’ve only just discovered this revelation, and it is still sometimes a bit hard to balance with everything else but the results are, it must be said, transformative.

Stop talking a rubbish game, and start changing your outlook.

Pick Up the Pieces

Attention spans are absolutely not what they used to be. Thought processes seems to have lost some of their edge. Investigative journalism leaves a lot to be desired. All of these statements are undoubtedly true in certain lights, but won’t hold up to scrutiny in others. It’s the classic tale of Perspective. What one person thinks is an apple, is absolutely an orange to someone else, when facts know full well that’s a banana.

This has been part of the Human Condition for as long as people have argued that their way is clearly best, because they’re right and you’re wrong. However, as has become more and more inescapable with the march of human evolution, there are some questions with only one answer. That’s where science comes in, and history, and those people who record facts without the taint of personal bias.

When I grow up, I wanna be one of those people.

shadow_government

There’s a very good reason why the sky is blue, and trying to argue anything else is really a bit dumb. Similarly, when people are surprised that I offer them virtual food as means by which to feel better, increasingly not on their birthdays, they haven’t picked out the fact this is part of my irrefutable personal makeup. The issues with comfort eating will never go away, it appears, because it is very much rooted into my issues with trauma.

However, having been able to identify this objectively, life becomes easier. It’s a roundabout way of linking the irrefutable: I am exactly the way I am for an increasing number of very good reasons. Unless those are communicated to the wider world, people will not grasp why decisions are being made. Therefore, it is up to me to communicate this, in the vain hope people might actually start listening.

I can but hope, after all.

April 8th

Therefore, apologies in advance for those of you who might have heard some of the stuff that now starts appearing via social media and though my blog channels. It appears much of what I am could indeed bear repeating, now more individuals are paying attention. I’ve never been a big fan of repeats, because the assumption is that you picked up the point the last 15 times you were told.

Maybe humanity hasn’t yet evolved as far as I’d hoped…

The Real Thing

Star Wars, despite its title, is not an accurate depiction of the battles between the Rebel Alliance and the Imperial Empire. They are undoubtedly cyphers around the underlying  narratives of love, devotion and loyalty. I also reckon George Lucas is a Lover, and not a Fighter as a result. I know there’s been a lot of muttering about The Mandalorian, many of them based around the concept being too much western and not enough sci-fi.

This is the first time I’ve seen at least that someone’s pulled the military tactician card. Of course, they’re applying 21st Century Tactical Ability to a show that’s… you know, set in space, where doing the exact opposite of what happens on Earth could easily be considered as military genius. The fact someone’s applying their labels to this approach is increasingly where we are in fiction: this is the state of play.

Communication is becoming a Problem.

I wonder, is this statement is blanket, or does it depend on the person speaking. I don’t have any more context, just this one line, which I feel needs a bit more meat on its bones, but frankly at this stage I’d feel genuinely afraid to approach the author. If we were in the same room, face to face, that would not be the case. Instead, as this is Social media and I am not a mutual, it remains a retweet and no more.

The means by which I am able to learn about diversity right now is dependant on quite a strict set of rules as a result: mostly, I listen. I am often afraid that what is said and done could not be interpreted as the support I’m trying to show but in fact the exact opposite. I’ll look superior, or act as if that’s how things ought to be, and that’s why quantifying a lot of queries right now is becoming something of a worry.

How do you ask questions you never had until now without looking like an idiot?

A lot of it, of course, comes with time and patience. If I’d have waited and watched, this tweet would have appeared and given me context. Following this person, listening to their tweets should, in time, give a decent grasp of what it is they’re attempting to communicate. The biggest single issue with so many of us right now is not taking those vital moments to stop and think. The author, I’d say, is worth following too, if he was prepared to offer what was required for better comprehension.

The reality of life right now is that doing this, thinking through what we see and read becomes increasingly difficult on top of everything else being asked. Someone I really like unfollowed me overnight, and I’m fairly confident that my output over the last few weeks will have been the reason. It’s been political, controversial for some. I could ask for the real reason, it would be really easy.

However, I’m not sure I will end up liking what’s heard as a result.

I did that once. A person I really enjoyed reading, and interacting with, cut me off so suddenly that I had to ask why. That email is kept, printed out, as a salutary warning: sometimes, your heroes are the villains. The people who play a certain role because it keeps people interested are, in reality, nothing like what you wish they were. They end up knowing that what you are is not what they want in their lives.

Trying to work out the reason for that is pointless: it goes back to that word, ‘tolerance.’ Eventually they grasp that perhaps you don’t belong in their feed: too preachy, not fun enough, don’t get the point of the way they use their platform… because it is their platform. They are the main point of it. Everybody else is there because they allow them to be. Is it pedantry, or is it arrogance? Is there even a difference online?

It doesn’t matter. All that matters, in the end, is how it is said.

kindness

I read something yesterday that was amazed at how those who advocate kindness can then be so angry and combative when challenging other’s opinions. Passion, I realise, is not a good emotion to try and demonstrate in a text-based medium. Undoubtedly, people just look at you and decide you’re angry instead. So, if you want to communicate better in the modern world..? Learn how to make your points in 280 characters or fewer… 

Before you reply, consider the consequences of your words. Pedantry is becoming an art form. Everybody’s looking for that unique angle, when what really ought to happen is honesty. You can do it without starting a fight, if it’s done well, with thought and application. Most importantly, you can be kind and still make your point. It just takes more thought than many people can afford to spare online.

That’s what I need to work on going forward.

These Foolish Things

Won’t mention it here again, because thirty days of telling people you’re exercising when they’re quite happy not to is quite likely to result in losing friends. This morning is noted here for two reasons alone: I turned up, at the Gym, and had to awkwardly stand in reception until they officially opened at 10am. That’s a first. It’s also hugely satisfying when your instructor tells you she thinks you were the only person actually pushing themselves in their class.

That’s a massive compliment.

It’s two weeks before my scheduled Cholesterol and Anaemia blood tests. If I eat REALLY well and am not a complete idiot, both of those are more than likely to come back normal. If they don’t? I’ll cope. A month ago, that might not have been the case. A lot has changed since the start of October, mind. The biggest single problem however will not be falling off the sweet wagon. However, not a single mince pie or Christmas Pudding has passed my lips this year. NOT ONE.

strawberrycake2

Lots to sort this evening, then it is back to rough approximation of normality tomorrow. School runs recommence on the 6th, and I’ll be making the most of every lie-in until then.

Lots of stuff will slowly begin to alter starting tomorrow.

Waiting for the Man

Normally I’d write this blog early, preferably before starting work on the week’s project. Except, today that direction took precedent, then there had to be some PT (more of which at the weekend) and I’ve only just recovered sufficiently from that to be here and ready to write. Needless to say, it’s been a BIG DAY.

It’s my birthday this week: no, there is no celebration scheduled. I’ll go to the Gym in the morning, probably work on some writing stuff, maybe treat myself to a birthday cupcake. There needs to be pictures taken, and some made into blog headers. I can afford to go buy a couple of pairs of new glasses from the discount store down the road. All of this is a world and a bit away from how I felt this time last year.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt this positive ever for a birthday week before. Normally summat is bothering me, or there’s a moment of panic the World is getting away from me. This year, none of that: I am truly in the moment. Problems are dealt with as they happen. There’s less worry over everything than has ever existed up until this point. Truly, this is the land of new and unexplored possibilities.

It’s a fucking great time to be alive.

When I grow up I wanna be able to dance like this. I’d love to be a freerunner. All these things that (quite obviously) will not come to pass can at least be entertained in my head, whereas before there’d be just anger that time wasn’t being properly used and that everything was awful, and it was all my fault. I don’t want to go back to that past, the places that existed before. I know where the true joy lies for me now.

It’s great not to be on places like Facebook any more. The people who used to be part of my life are gone, truly history there is absolutely no desire to ever revisit. I’m not interested in my ancestors, or school reunions, or having those moments when others go ‘oh yeah, do you remember that time when…’ because I don’t. My life now is the last decade from time to time, yesterday maybe but pretty much now.

I am here, and ready to roll.

I’ve learnt the lesson. I’m never going back.