Firestarter

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Yesterday, I had BIG plans for the day. However, the opportunity arose for an extra session of PT, I had some unexpected cash in my hand and so I went and bought an hour of additional work. Once upon a time that would have been spent on virtual, in-game items, or maybe a new pair of shoes. Yesterday, it brought me a new PB for weightlifting and confidence in body that came as a surprise. I felt different, walking out of the Gym and home: maybe a wee bit taller, but within there was a strength I’ve only experienced a few times in the past.

This was the right path to tread.

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Yesterday evening was similarly gonna be a lot of work, which at 7pm I decided to ignore because my brain simply didn’t possess the mental capacity to cope. Instead, I played for a couple of hours, and treated myself to a dinner I’d wanted to eat for a while but didn’t feel I deserved. This was rubbish. I can eat Macaroni Cheese, bacon and peas, and not feel guilty after working as hard as I have. I can also enjoy myself for a couple of hours without getting feelings of guilt that work is simply not getting done. At just after 9pm, my body told me, in no uncertain terms, we were going to bed now or else we would fall asleep at the desk.

Looking at my Fitbit’s version of events, I understand why that call was the exact right thing to do.

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I woke up this morning, after the first red block of awake (husband coming to bed) and second red block (husband getting up) feeling frankly amazing. It is like my body just totally reset all the issues, and although there’s still tightness in lower back (because PB broken) everything else is… well, amazeballs, really. Instead of doing what I do every morning (start working on get-go) I have spent a couple of hours pottering about and enjoying myself. I did some in-game faffing, reset my mobile gaming missions, and have had a languid, stress-free breakfast.

Now, I am utterly ready to work.

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I am fairly confident I’ll have my To Do list sorted by mid-afternoon, after which I will go for a run. Then, tonight will be a combination of making Christmas gifts and mucking about online. Why am I telling you all this? Well, I grasp now that exercise is the path, at least for me, to a far better understanding of both body and mind. It has allowed me to become more relaxed with myself, better able to communicate with others and allows my mind to hear what body needs and wants with far more accuracy. Freed from the tyranny of excessive consumption and obsession, life just got easier.

Why the fuck did I not do this years ago?

Royals

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There’s an inspirational image out there somewhere if I could be bothered to look for it, that would state something like the following: Don’t worry about the haters. Just be you. That’s what I’m doing right now. Just being me.

Amazingly, this shit appears to work.

There is a fuck of a lot of stabilising going on, I should add at this point. I may look elegant and swan-like on the surface, but if you stare beneath the waterline? ALL THE PADDLING. However, I am quietly beginning to grasp that the less I worry, the more stuff coalesces. Finding new things to talk about has certainly helped, and keeping a focus on my novel is really beginning to bear fruit.

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Also, taking the piss out of myself is becoming increasingly less stressful. Yes, you cannot take any of this too seriously. I’ve seen what happens when you do that, and we’re not turning the bus back that way anytime soon. Therefore, genuine laughter has happened at several points this week. I’m still struggling a bit with decent sleep, but the trend is undoubtedly upwards, and yesterday evening’s message most definitely helped, even if I’m a little sore this morning. The bits all end up as part of my whole. I’d forgotten that: not just the sleep, or the training, or the banter or the words. ALL OF IT TOGETHER.

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Strap in, lovelies. Shit’s beginning to get REALLY interesting.

Even in the Quietest Moments

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I can now Tweet up to 280 characters. I don’t intend to do that with the majority of my output, and here’s why.

Watching the annoyance and frustration last night as the feature rolled out in parts of my social sphere and not others, it was almost funny to think that this change was, for so many, being considered as some badge of honour. The sole reason this change has been instigated is to help advertisers use space to sell more shit and make Twitter more money. This isn’t some great championing for more speech and understanding we’re talking about. For someone like me, it is a curse as well as a blessing. The biggest upshot is, undoubtedly, that people will just stop reading.

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The major winner for me will be poetry and short stories: I can now create longer works to post… but as some people mute the stuff I posted in 140 characters, to begin with, length will simply make those posts less appealing and not more. That means I’ll need to work harder on visuals and clever use of space in posts, that it isn’t about filling every character and ‘optimising’ the output. Undoubtedly the format can be finagled, but to do so requires a willing audience, and watching the annoyance last night as people simply posted 280 characters of ANYTHING to see if they had the new limit…

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Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should has become the phrase that really matters. 280 characters in a Twitter fight are just as useless as 140 if you’re unable to make the point without resorting to abuse and anger. Proving a point succinctly and well, without ambiguity is still something many people could do with learning. Word economy is useful: more significant still is an understanding of when a word dump is appropriate. That’s something I’m still learning after 51 years.

The moral of yesterday’s rollout is that sometimes, being first is all that matters to many. That stuff about the other person’s social media feed always being more interesting is all in the eye of the beholder, you know. I’m not special, you’re not lacking, it’s just tech, and what will matter more long-term are the people who use the system to their advantage by embracing the positives and eliminating the negatives. No, I’m not going to be clever with the format until I am TOTALLY confident it can be pulled off successfully.

Time to watch other people and learn.

She Needs Me

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The youngest is home sick today, therefore I am in Nurse mode… or I will be when she wakes up. Last night was not hugely conducive to the get a better night sleep plan but things are definitely improving. Now I’m working between being needed.

A remarkable amount of stuff has been done as a result. Time to not lose the momentum.

Express Yourself

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Some days, I am incapable of communicating successfully.

When this happens, I force myself to go back to basics. Don’t tweet. Think before mouth is opened. Stop and take time to work out whether it is worth even starting a sentence. Only when all the criteria can be satisfied is it safe to go ahead and make your point. Believe it or not, this thought process happens with every blog post. Those who have been aggrieved therefore when they somehow decided I was chucking rocks at them? Just no. I don’t know how stupid you think I am, but if you’re dumb enough to take the piss out of someone in public, eventually it doesn’t matter how many locks and blocks are on your end of things, the truth gets out. 

That’s why you don’t do it, people.

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My bigger issue is making sure the point I want to highlight gets covered. Slowly but surely, I’m getting there, and I (again) have Mindfulness to thank for the step forward. The mantra ‘thoughts are not facts’ gets repeated quite a lot of late: just because it is in my brain does not make it some kind of insoluble truth. Searching for real meaning on the Internet is often a mug’s game, to begin with: I’ve had enough of being told what I should be thinking or be feeling to last several lifetimes. The only person who really understands what’s going on, in my head, is me and that needs to be communicated in far better terms than is currently the case.

That makes all this poetry and prose not simply entertainment, but education.

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I’m going to start taking a notebook everywhere, which used to be what happened before I allowed gaming to overtake everything. Now that is back in its proper place, words happen a lot more organically than would ever use to be the case. It is, like anything, a result of constant training: my physical muscles grow from repetition, and so is the case with mental exertion. I’m becoming quite proud with not simply the poems, but the leaps of deductive reasoning and analysis that can be made. Discipline is allowing other talents to surface, and it is not simply fiction that benefits.

Today, however, I’m physically exhausted: PT was a slog, thanks to a body still struggling to recover from last week’s blood donation. Things are definitely better than this time on Saturday, so (body willing) I hope to be back to what passes for a normal routine before the week is out. What is left of birthday money will go to an extra session on Friday to make sure I’m recovering properly. This week, therefore, I’m back on the calorie counting, taking care of myself and trying to get early nights where possible.

This healthy living doesn’t organise itself, you know.

Toast

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Because I’m stupid, I forget just how much better everything is on a decent night’s kip. Last night’s nine hours plus is a case in point: it means breakfast preparation isn’t a slog, the tea tastes better and there is less of a desire to blow all my good work for the week by sitting and procrastinating. Therefore, today, there will be a To Do list BEFORE the Gym, some running for the first time (due to blood donation) and then some afternoon gaming. I’ve broken 10k on NaNo but need to go back and check my work. I know that’s not supposed to be the point but as I’m ahead, I want to make sure it all makes sense. Then the next goal is 15k before I go to bed tonight.

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That means being super organised on next week’s work, but a lot of that is already completed (YAY PLANNING.) However, the only way to continue that is BY MOAR PLANNING and so there needs to be the brain in gear and eyes on the ball. Every week, this dance gets easier (even if the metaphors remain sadly contrived) and once one thing is a habit, I can start working on the other things.

Who knows, there might even be some thoughts provoked next week.

[PS: Made it to 13k, never made the Gym but I’m BACK AT IT TOMORROW.]

Eat to the Beat

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It could be much worse, I suppose: there wasn’t much sleep last night, but this morning came one of the most succinct things I’ve ever written. I’m ready to go destroy my word count in NaNo today (for the better) once this is written and I finally did some decent work at the Gym, though the level of fatigue currently experienced is not optimal. Food logging has been temporarily suspended because my body just wants to be fed. None of it is bad though: lots of fruit, veg and nuts. This is not me stuffing my face with rubbish.

I’m too tired to work out barcodes and portions. I’ll get back to it on Monday.

AND NOW ON WITH WORDS.