Do I Do

WordPress have introduced an upgrade to their editing pane. Whether I like this or not remains to be seen: a user can still edit raw HTML, so that’s fine, and we’ll see how it goes as time goes on. However, I’m not here to complain about change [inevitable, unstoppable] but how I react to it. Right, how does one stick a horizontal rule in now…?

[EDIT: The new Editor won’t let me specify Twitter posting options. Until it does? We’ll stick with actual flexibility and not showy cleverness :D]


Witness the Fitness

I weighed myself yesterday on the home scales, which has not happened since mid-October. Part of the plan was to get myself out of the daily habit of micromanaging rise and fall, and that’s worked really well. In 25 days, I’ve lost no weight. I’ve not gained any either, which should be the bigger takeaway, but what has happened is a fairly drastic alteration of body shape.

So, tomorrow I’m gonna go do the bio-metric weight scale at the Gym, which will show a weight gain, as there is considerably more muscle than fat on me right now. The problem, going forward, is how the latter gets shifted from areas it has been stuck to for the last 18 years. The current health regime will have an effect, it already is. I haven’t ached this much for at least a year.

Five times a week on the bike as well as PT was doable for a few months last year before the arm was injured and it all fell apart. HOPEFULLY the same problem won’t present this year, though there have been a number of unexpected aches and trapped nerves as muscles grow beyond their normal dimensions. The key of course, is to make sure there is rest (Saturdays has no exercise at all, I’ll probably skip Gym training Tuesdays too after PT which now happens on Monday.

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Time to stop typing and get on with it, then.

Games Without Frontiers

I’m getting tired of this. It happens everywhere. People are lazy, and especially when online if you want attention, honestly doesn’t work. The way to get your Tweet noticed is to make it more controversial than it really is. As it happens, this article’s quite interesting: people are challenging convention. You don’t need to have all your limbs or look like an athlete to be a personal trainer. It doesn’t matter about your religion or your dress size. That’s far less dehumanising than leading with ‘fat people’ but hey, whoever was scheduling the weekend tweets for The Guardian’s clearly past caring.

This shit should matter, and it never does.

Last night, someone tweeted this into my timeline. Now it’s been deleted, I have to tell you that the person running the I L0VE the 80’s account clearly got a bit annoyed about last night’s Doctor Who (which was set during the partition of India in the 1940’s) and decided to make his own comment using a picture of Tom Baker. ‘His’ Doctor, he told us, would fight Cybermen and Daleks, and not social justice issues. The responses that followed were, it must be said, not unsurprising, and came from both sides of the current spectrum of reaction to a woman, doing a traditionally man’s job.

This however, wasn’t controversy. I genuinely believe this was anger in response to the alteration of an institution that’s remained staunchly male for over 50 years. This wasn’t in an attempt to generate interest for the account either, it was using a platform that has 196k followers to make a political statement.  I suspect the reactions that were garnered were enough to make him delete the tweet. They were certainly enough for him to block a number of respondees. It is perfectly acceptable to hold a differing opinion to others, but if you choose to share it? Yes, there will be consequences.

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Everybody posts stuff they regret, it is a symptom of modern life, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve done the same. However, that doesn’t happen now (except for the occasional typo correction when I’m using a Tweet to start a Thread or as a daily entry to a Thread.) I will no longer get involved in arguments before there’s been at least one cup of tea consumed, and often I just won’t bother at all. Undoubtedly, the best lesson ever learnt in the last seven years is knowing when to keep my mouth shut. Both of these things yesterday were commented on, because this is the kind of shit nobody needs and is of no help long term.

Most of the problems in the World could be solved with better communication, and yet people still don’t think beyond the sensational or confrontational to make their points. It’s not hard to be smart.

Really, you don’t have to show the World how you feel all the time.

This is the Day

Right then. Found a new hairdresser that I’m happy with. She worked miracles on the youngest, and next week (hopefully) will do the same for me. Badminton courts are booked for the next ten days. I have a Blaze class next Thursday, and my PT will now be on Monday to accommodate this. This has taken three weeks of domestic upheaval to organise, but now? It is done.

I’m beginning to stop to self-care more, too. The benefits this gives to just being better organised and aware is enormous. That also means making myself more accountable too, sticking myself out into the world regardless of what is going on in my head. Sometimes, it is about pushing past tiredness and discomfort, trying to fundamentally alter how things get done. These are inevitably the days when stuff really does change for the better.

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I’m back on Instagram as a sort of acknowledgement that there needs to be a place like this for stuff other than art and poetry projects. The problem now, of course, is getting myself back to posting on it regularly: plan is for this month to post my haiku there, and then start doing a second post of ‘background’ to how my day works. If that can be done for 21 days, it is supposed to be habit forming. It’s really hard to do this at present. Most of the time, I don’t want to talk about or photograph the personal details.

In that regard, this is a good process to force myself into.

View this post on Instagram

Body today was VERY specific about post PT food.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

Don’t expect anything flash or fancy. I’m not here to try and aggressively build a massive fan-base. In fact, if that happened there’d undoubtedly be mass panic followed by hasty retreat. This is a careful, subtle redefinition of how work gets done and so far, I am very pleased with progress, regardless of stones thrown.

Yeah, this is good.

Long may this continue.

Let the Right One In

Anyone making money off the Internet cannot afford to upset anybody. The plan has to be, like it or not, that anybody’s money is good right up to the point where people get hurt. That certainly seems to be the case with Gab, a social media platform ‘that doesn’t police hate speech’ which had the rug pulled out from under it by infrastructure providers after one of their number went on a shooting rampage in Pittsburgh. With each new outrage comes the call for other places to crack down on hate speech. Without strong leadership from places normally meant to provide such guidance, individuals and organisations are taking matters into their own hands.

This month’s #Narrating2018 soundtrack on the IoW site covers great speeches from movies and TV, and for my last entry… there’s two films that do some very good work screwing with the fundamental set of rules and beliefs for a proportion of religious folks in the Western world. Bruce and Evan Almighty might seem like fluff, or an excuse to make God even more contentious, but inside both movies lies a significant, beating heart of enlightenment. Can you really change the world without massive organisations behind you? Of course you can, you just have to want it enough.

It may seem sometimes like there’s a massive mountain to climb in terms of changing people’s outlooks or opinions, but there’s always a way if it matters enough. That’s the key, of course, why God laughs when Evan complains he doesn’t even know how to build an Ark. None of us are born with the tools required to overcome our lives. EVERYBODY has to learn. Your willingness to do so is a measure of our flexibility as human beings and demonstrates a desire to grow. Those who can only see their own inflexibility, narrow minded thinking or are constricted by fear… well, we all know what happens then.

Giving a platform to hate is utterly unacceptable. However, ignoring it is, at present, probably a greater sin. Hoping somebody else deals with the issue isn’t going to work either. So, whilst some’s response is to filter out noise and ignore the issues, people are dying. Although there’s an understanding of why having a quiet life would be lovely, the reality remains that nothing is not an acceptable response to your way of life being slowly eroded. It might mean some of us have to work a bit harder than was previously the case. I really don’t see that being a problem.

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So, how do you know what works? Good question.

The best way to start, undoubtedly, is to admit there’s an issue that needs solving in the first place. Pick a side (in my case education and truth) and away you go. Nothing will happen if you expect someone else to do the work.

Starting with random acts of kindness is as good a place as any.

We are the World

The more I look at the news, the more comes a sense we are close to a crossroads. Twitter announced profits this week, with the revelation that millions of accounts had been removed or deleted which were being driven by AI. I’ve spoken before on how ‘robot accounts’ can create wonderfully diverse works of poetry and prose. Those same architectures, when loaded with hate speech or abuse and driven by those determined to wreck lives, can (and are) getting high-profile individuals tossed from their jobs. It is easy to see why those who use Twitter to sell themselves want this kind of stuff removed and silenced.

Except, as I have found to my cost, removing what you think is bad has unforeseen consequences.

Manufacturing a place where people can’t say bad things about you is a dangerous game to play. As a writer, criticism is an absolutely vital part of the playbook; you need people to point out what they think doesn’t work. Except, of course, many actors and creatives won’t even read reviews or consider a contrary viewpoint. I’m seeing increasing numbers of online individuals either embracing the abuse head on or, as seems to be the case for certain individuals, remaining online but curating their feeds to a point where ‘bad stuff’ is not sorted or even filtered. If you aren’t nice, regardless of who you are, you get blocked.

This is where I sit right now: people never spoken to, or interacted with, block me because a) an awful lot gets tweeted  and b) a lot of that output is retweeted into other people’s feeds, something others don’t want. I am curated out because these individuals don’t care what is said. This seems harsh, but fair on initial examination but as people start dictating to others what they think is bad and good and others don’t think and blithely just copy and import block lists… this is no longer a public forum. If you place yourself here and have an opinion, there are always consequences.

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I spend a lot of time getting annoyed at how easy some people expect their lives to be. In fact, there are days when there’s genuine disbelief at the narrow mindedness and arrogance of individuals who clearly think that unless it is all done for their benefit, then what’s the point to begin with? We’ve had the absolute pleasure of a house guest for the last five days, who has taught me enough stuff in his brief presence to keep brain busy for weeks. Under normal circumstances, I would never have interacted with this individual (a friend of my son’s) and to do so is the constant, unerring reminder that the unexpected brings reward. Opening yourself to new views and attitudes is a vital part of existence.

Those who malign far right (and far left) as being the enemy yet block out all noise that doesn’t suit them seem not to grasp that the only way to truly be free is to embrace everything as an intractable and inevitable consequence of humanity. Ignoring anything, like it or not, remains a form of wilful ignorance. How we deal with such noise as society moving forward will become almost as important as what is said in ‘public’ places where, perhaps stupidly, we believe ourselves free of criticism or consequence. You might think nobody listens or cares that you too are restricting your online existence, until contention arises, by which time it may already be too late.

Everything you say and do online has the potential to alter your life.

Love What You Do

This is one of many lines in the sand, drawn because I’m absolutely fed up of growth being used as a means to make money, and not betterment as a person. I have no desire to share my posts and improve likes by sticking a hashtag on the end. However, I’ve included one that will get me picked up when posting this by a particular group of people for a very good reason. This is a cautionary warning to those I began to follow using said hashtag because, rather naively, there was an assumption people would form relationships based on mutual interest and not simply for self-promotion.

At 52, there’s still an awful lot left to learn.

What matters far more than the number of people who follow each without thinking are those who do and then realise that looking to themselves for answers is a better use of time and effort. It is the complete antithesis of growth in a material sense, because to truly grasp the lessons required to survive as a person needs introspection, not a legion of similar followers. The single-minded pursuit of wealth and success is not the answer, and whilst such a small proportion of the worlds’ population holds the most money, it never will be. Praying at the Church of Consumerism is driving the planet towards self-destruction.

This is not what I want to be a part of, and it’s not the future ascribed to.

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If success is measured by volume, then follower numbers need to keep dropping. I’d rather sit in a virtual room with those who care and listen, and those who can help me improve than ever be associated with bling and noise. If I am going to make any cash from this endeavour (and at some point, not gonna lie, that remains an ambition) it will be from actual material output: my words, my pictures, that’s it. Their carbon footprints will be small, and I’ll know exactly how they were generated.

Therefore this needs stating: at some point in the next 12 months, you will be asked if you wish to buy stuff I make and do. However much I may malign consumerism, these websites cost a fixed amount each year to maintain. It would be lovely to earn a modest living as a freelancer. I’m not after massive success and adulation either. Nothing is further from my mind at this point. What matters is to be successful on my terms, confident in my space, whilst producing things that make me happy. It’s not a pipe dream either, other people can and still do this. My issue, such as it remains, is redefining a career path in my fifties.

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Those who support and nurture me are known and loved. These people provide a foundation moving forward. The next stage, undoubtedly, is the push towards making total strangers sit up and listen. There are shoots, first flush of new growth, and that’s my plan moving forward. Build a name for myself using honestly, humour and pictures.

Yup, that will mean video. It will happen, trust me, and probably before Christmas.

To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before

Yeah, I had the weekend off. It involved a phenomenal amount of walking, very little if any time on Social media, and the redefinition of a lot of future plans. It was also hugely enjoyable, quite indulgent in places with more than a side order of outstanding natural beauty. Oh, and there were frozen margaritas and Corona. That’s more alcohol consumed in a weekend than I’ve managed in about six months. It reminds me that an occasional loosener is never a bad thing.

I’ll upload the pictures to Flickr shortly; needless to say it was a brilliant weekend for photography. The brightness of the last-gasp Indian summer meant about six changes of clothes a day, but that was hardly an issue. I played badminton, not at all badly. There was running, and for large periods of time my brain fabulously just switched off.

Still in off mode now, truth be told. That’ll change in the morning.

See you there.