The Last Time

Things Alt has Learnt This Week



Hangry
is most definitely a Thing.

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I’d like to apologise to my family, who undoubtedly faced the brunt of this last night.

In the end, I didn’t have that burger, I went for the Special, but if you want those details they’ll be saved to the fanzine later. However, before that point there was definitely some irritation at play. Having now embraced my hangry tendencies, it is time to ensure that they don’t end up irritating more than just the occasional family trip out. It is time to start shoving snacks in my handbag.


Consequences have Actions

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Everybody has a movie-mad friend who’ll use quotes from films as a means of sound-tracking their own lives. I’ve written characters like this in fiction, who mirror other such characters written in fiction, self-referencing themselves. It’s a reminder that your world, whatever shape it happens to be in, will undoubtedly end up as being a meta version of itself. This week has made a very salient point: it isn’t just your actions which present consequences. That works the other way around.

What happens as a result of what you do will, in turn, dictate action going forward.

That lesson has been learnt, with knobs on.


I am Good Enough.

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Trying to explain to other people why there is only so much self-help bollocks I can stomach in one sitting seems to be something of a theme in previous weeks. I can be kind, but sometimes everything, all at once is literally too much to cope with and there has to be a step back. This week, that’s begun on Social media.

Real life is now an overriding priority, and any aspirations must be tempered with the inescapable reality that sometimes, what you want is not as important. Therefore, once this is written I’ll be off out for the day, taking pictures, and catching up on everything else when there is time.

When the wake-up call comes, get up.


I Don’t Care

That’s a lie. I care far too much. It’s a big part of the problem. Turning off that intense desire to worry about everything is exhausting. However, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been asked to reassess everything that mattered. Not because that was a choice, you must understand, but because circumstance forced it to happen.┬áHere, I realise, is a significant deviation from the world that was previously my norm.┬áIt isn’t as if I can sit down and make a conscious decision to alter the way I feel over time. No option was provided. I have to just do it.

I don’t care about my results anymore, simply the progress.

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Sure, I was really happy last night when I dragged my FTP up three points. I got happy for a bit, wanted to share it with everybody who understood that such┬áresults are significant, but that’s it. My legs ache this morning, in a fashion that tells me there was not simply result but progress,┬áand that will be the next indicator of movement towards my required goal. However, that only happened because I pushed past the ache of the previous day’s PT, ignored the pain that would normally have hindered progression. My brain told me it hurt and I shouldn’t, and yet I did.

This is new.

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I’ve pushed through pain before, plenty of times. I understand the difference between good and bad. However, yesterday, sitting on the bike, came a thought that I don’t recall having before. You can do better. I don’t ever really coast whilst doing anything anymore, it is either all or nothing and yesterday it would have been effort but not determination. I ended up needing to push, just riding wasn’t enough, because last night was the moment when I grasped there’s nobody else to compete against. I’m not doing this to win. Nobody gets owned and I won’t make somebody a loser.

This is mine, and mine alone.

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Right now, a lot of people around me aren’t listening. They don’t care about anything except their own desires and needs, which is perfectly normal… but ultimately, that’s a path I’ve already trodden to ruin. I’m in no position to point out the fallacy because when you’re there it isn’t.┬áSo, the future is quite simple. If people aren’t listening, and you’re reasonably┬áconvinced they aren’t that bothered, it is simply time to leave.┬áIf by the action of doing so you make them think, then maybe that’s a step in the right direction… but the truth is probably that you don’t have that much in common. You have to learn the priorities, what matters to you above what is dictated by everybody else.

Your path exists for a reason, and you should not be afraid to walk it alone.

Yesterday I committed┬ámyself to writing a story I’ve wanted to tell for nearly two decades. Once it is done, I now know it will allow me to move past a mental block that has held me back for nearly as long. That hour on the bike last night is proof this is the right course of action. The feeling in my heart right now is the galvanising force required to push past the self-doubt. This is the path you strayed from, but for the most brilliant of reasons.┬áNow, it is time to finish the journey you started.

Let’s go.

Goodbye

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The first time I saw an Apple Computer was the 1980’s: the new vinyl cutting machine that my mother had bought to start a home business was run by a IIe, so that makes it 1984 by the Internet’s unerring reckoning. Ever since, there’s been one in our house or in my handbag. I took a tablet for both US trips as my laptop and it was perfect for purpose. Mostly, I’ve used the brand in the last decade out of a sense of misguided loyalty, because it is simply easier not to worry about alternatives when everything works just fine.

Except, in the past few years, I’ve begun to get uncomfortable. It began with the Watch, which I suppose was an inevitable evolution from the Phone but for me is too invasive for my liking. There is no avoiding the reduction in tech size, and as it becomes increasingly easy to pay for stuff by just wafting potentially unsecured electronics about? Security is a big concern. I’ve never sat well with the idea of ‘offsite backups’ for personal pictures, never used the Cloud to keep anything of importance, and now that’s being forced on me by iTunes my discomfort’s become irritation that needs treatment.

Yesterday’s new iPhone launch was effectively the proverbial straw.

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Facial recognition is something I have a problem with, for a lot of reasons, some of which are quite complex and psychological. Honestly, if I don’t want to look at myself in the morning and that’s the only way of accessing my phone? Fuck you, not happening.┬áThe automatic assumption that this is a) cool and b) desirable simply confirms the future as being dictated by a group of narcissistic wannabees staring at screen and not each other and frankly, I want no part of that. I’m going to find a new way of living without this version of tech: Fitbit are about to launch a watch/health tracker with a contactless chip embedded within. When this watch wears out I’ll upgrade to their service, link just one personal bank account to it and enter the Future that way.

The other, more concerning issue is pricing, and how people are clearly prepared to pay increasingly large amounts of money for a status symbol that’s driving the Planet to self destruction. Okay, so I’m a tad melodramatic but seriously, $1000 for a phone is stupid.┬áSpend the money on something worthwhile, or maybe give that money to someone who has nothing and would be forced to steal your phone as a result. I know I’m not allowed to tell people how to live, but that’s a food budget across a month, possibly two, for a normal family. If all you see is your life and not the consequences to everyone else… I’ve been writing about causality this week, and it’s been like clouds parting and a giant shaft of sunlight shining on truth.

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I’ve gotta make sure I don’t start being an evangelical about all of this, but when I think about priorities and what matters in my life? All I need is a hard drive for music and a phone to play an occasional game on that takes pictures. Everything else is covered in other ways, under my control and not a software company’s, and that’s the way I think I’d like it to stay going forward. The future, at least for me, is no longer praying at this corporate altar.

Grey Day

I don’t do ill particularly well, and yesterday was a case in point. I struggled through at least getting to the Gym before it dawned on me that if I pushed myself I’d probably go back weeks, and so came home again. I hauled myself to a Shopping Centre so my son and daughter could indulge themselves plus get presents for friends. Then I crawled into bed at 9pm and managed 8 hours of reasonably solid kip. I’m still immensely dehydrated however, but breakfast has at least improved the situation. If I didn’t know better I’d say I have the ‘flu, and there’s certainly all manner of nasty bugs doing the rounds at present. Mostly, everything’s a bit ragged and energy levels are at about half of what they should be. However, I will go to the Gym to try and do something later, because even if it’s just 30 minutes light pottering that’s better than nothing.

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A lot of stuff is making me angry too, so I think what I’d be best served with online is just keeping my head down and getting on with my own shit. Things have come a long way forward when it is clear you know what’s upsetting you without having to do a ton of naval gazing. It’s also a great way to save time and wasted effort on bollocks that really doesn’t matter anyway. So, if you want me, I’ll be writing and playing games today.

Sounds like a decent Thursday already.