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Number of days since Chocolate = 0

If I eat chocolate pistachio cake with a Bestie in London on a Saturday, there is inevitably a way built in to negate those calories. In this case, it was doing all the stairs at Covent Garden tube station: 195 of them, equivalent to a 15 story building (as was periodically and gleefully announced via tannoy on the way up.) Yes, I had to stop (twice) because however fit I might get, there is always a problem with stairs when I’ve not had a warm up, and next time I’ll just go a lot slower. Because yes, I will do that in one hit next time.

It’s almost exactly as I imagined it would be, if truth be known. I picked up a contest flyer where (gasp!) there is no online entry component: I will have to USE THE POST for submissions \o/ More importantly there is a notice board, and the next time I come down to town there needs to be something made to advertise there. It MIGHT be worth doing a secondary recce to work out what space to use, or what is likely to make the most impression.

I take this as a challenge to my artistic creativity.

The Next Chapter Bar

Having had a much-needed conversation with a grown up yesterday about writing, I’ve come to realise there is no anger really about rejection. Where emotion springs from is how such rejections are communicated; so generic as to be insulting, yet with vague specifics that can allow individuals to tear themselves to shreds and never enter another contest again. Should it be the job of an individual to deal with criticism better, or an organisation to present criticism in a more helpful fashion?

I’ll write about this on the IoW tomorrow, but for now there is a sense that progression with your ‘voice’ isn’t just about flow or output, but a potential editor grasping how speech is such a hugely subjective thing. To sound like me is a particular process. To be coached on how to write is acceptable, but to a point, because there is undoubtedly a difference to my speech and the perception of it that comes from a brain that simply does not operate the same as other people’s.

This is a discussion that will run and run.

The Golden Path

Day 5: I will be weighing in shortly. I’m going to the Gym specifically to do this, which might seem a tad obsessive, but when you realise how much more accurate the biometric scale is? It is a vast improvement on what used to be the better electronic scales we have here. I should look at whether they’ve improved the Aria or not over the last few years, I suppose, but the non-consumer in me just wants the old one to become useless first.


This week, I have learnt some important lessons. In no particular order:

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If you Life is Online, Real Friends will be too…

It is clear lots of you don’t use Social media in the particular manner I do. HOWEVER, both my best mates understand that it is the go-to medium for communication. They go out of their way to help promote what I do. They are the best support and cheer-leading squad a girl could ever ask for. This also fairly savagely exposes those who aren’t paying attention, despite being happy to use the medium for their own self-promotion. I see you, and find your lack of support largely predictable. You need to try harder in 2019. I’m watching.

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Mental Health Matters…

Those lame jokes at the expense of other people’s mental health are just that. Self depreciation is a tough cycle to break, but if I’m capable of defeating that temptation, pretty much all the rest of you have the means within to do the same. Except, of course, it’s never that easy when you challenge someone directly. It really is, you know. Fear is the mind killer. That’s also something there’s a wealth of personal experience to fall back on. I’m too old to play this game. Treat yourself better, and don’t use shortcomings as entertainment.

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Self Promotion is Perfectly Valid, if Done Well…

I’m not going out of my way for the perfect Instagram shot, fuck that for a game of soldiers. Pictures, words and projects are designed not to fit into someone else’s idea of optimal self promotion, but my version of enjoyment. I watch too many people thinking that all that matters is that huge number of likes and retweets. Fuck that too. This is not about conforming to a business plan. It is my creativity, above all else. Promote yourself with realism and integrity, or please don’t bother.


You’ve been warned.

Change

It may not look like it, but today is very much significantly more different than it was yesterday. OH YES REALLY LOOK things are being done differently as here I sit, with a full-on thunderstorm raging above me. It’s quite relaxing, as it goes, but knocks on the head a walk that was planned to the Gym. No matter, it is time to make the most of the time available.

How did we ever survive before the Internet?

The End

Today is the end of a significant portion of my exercise ‘life’ as my long-standing PT leaves the sector completely for pastures new. It’s been interesting watching how other people have reacted to this departure: some have angrily blamed her for ruining their lives by leaving, others have demonstrated quite frightening levels of passive-aggressive resistance. For me, although there is considerable sadness at the loss of someone so influential, there cannot be anything other than joy and happiness that she’s off to make her life better.

She has taught me so much about myself in that regard.

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This is a woman who flat-out refuses to use any kind of social media. She is kind beyond measure, and immensely thoughtful. Her capacity to organise is often staggering, but it is her warmth and consideration that rank higher than anyone else I have ever met. It is unsurprising, given the frankly unpleasant and thoughtless nature of many of her clients, that she’s picked this moment to leave. Very few people seemed to be prepared to do the work, despite the fact they were paying her to do just that.

There’s a lot of sympathy for her frustration with other’s inability.

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I have a new trainer lined up and promise not to take too much personal baggage to our relationship. It’s an opportunity to start fresh, without expectations, and should be considered a new set of challenges. My left arm’s at about 80% right now but there are press ups in me plus weights to be lifted, so it is all good. Plus, the rehab is going remarkably well, and my cycling is getting stronger every session.

This is the start of an exciting chapter of my life.

New York Minute

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This time last year, family were waiting at Heathrow to cross the Atlantic.

How much has changed since that point, I realise, looking back to ten days in the Big Apple. In some ways it is seismic: staring at my body, grasping how far things have shifted. However, undoubtedly the bigger change has been mentally. I’m very grateful for the support I’ve gotten since last year, through some quite difficult periods of time. Today is a bit of a struggle, but with that is the understanding that before, I would simply have ignored the problem and hoped it went away. Now, I know what has to be dealt with, and so am doing just that.

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That means, before I take a mini break to visit family in the South West next week, there are some things that need to be said and jobs that have to be completed… I’ve also grasped that what I do as a ‘normal’ day’s work during term time won’t be nearly as easy during the Summer Break because you know, I forgot to factor kids into the equation. The stupidity of this, albeit staggering, is a wakeup call to the selfish days of my youth when that’s what would happen as the default, and I’m ashamed enough to now admit that in public. Now I have, it is a case of playing catch up whilst maintaining momentum. I have a list to complete, a car to take for repairs, a doctors visit and my daughter to drop off at her grandparents for a few days. Breaking things down to Post it notes worth of effort might seem a bit basic for starters, but it is working.

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The biggest problem, most of the time, is managing expectations. It is often hard for me to express my own problems without a lot of thought and effort. Yesterday, for instance, an issue that’s been bubbling for weeks finally got expressed, and I wasn’t expecting the manner in which it happened. That means I can often be my own worst enemy when it comes to being organised. I doubt that part of my personality will ever change either, so planning needs to either compensate or be flexible as a result. Today, for instance, anxiety is really high because I missed a cycling session yesterday, have a lot of responsibilities for other people to deal with, and am behind on what was planned. Throw on top of that a rubbish night’s sleep and really, honestly, the potential for disaster is considerable.

Again, there is one sure fire way to deal with all of this and that’s to stop talking and get working. Let’s do that right now.