The Day Before You Came

I’ve had two journal acceptances over the last seven days. The good work is beginning to kick in, such as it is, and there are some important lessons to be learned from how work is edited and what will and will not work as content. As a result, this is literally the first opportunity that has existed to sit down and write a blog. I am exhausted.

There will be no letup to this: I am in Zoom meetings for learning/content/assessment/progression until Christmas. There needs to be the means of decompressing mentally as well as physically. As a result, I am attempting to be more flexible than previously. There also needs to be specific, mentally-targetted rest periods factored in.

Therefore, tomorrow is a VERY long walk and photos.

Respect

I’m pretty certain a food allergy wiped me out on Thursday night/Friday morning, so took a day off after 12 days of exercise on the trot having come to the conclusion that it’s really not viable to be that person without a notional change in approach. Regardless of this 10km happened yesterday and now there is a need to arrange myself, so that’s a regular, weekend thing, which means far better shoes as a priority.

It appears there’s still a weekend in the Lake District possible in September too, but honestly how well that goes will depend on the building site. Travelling for four hours and sleeping in an unfamiliar bed is great if there’s at least two days to adjust. Really, dunno if that’s a thing that will happen or whether Dad will go on his own because he just manages, and I don’t.

This week is my referral assessment. I need to go take my forms back to the Doctor, and see if my appointment is in person or telephone. As it’s timed, it could go either way.

Today

I am slowly adjusting back to what will be Normal, once all the chaos in my personal life comes to an end, which is probably happening some time in early October. For now, when I have stuff to write here it will, inevitably, be because none of the other places I’m currently operating in, suit my needs the way this place does.

A lot is changing, but if you follow me elsewhere, you’ll know that anyway. For now, I suppose I’m on something of a blog hiatus. It all starts again properly in September, and I’ll actually be taking holiday, such as it is. Needless to say, it is very much required and quite keenly anticipated.

Otherwise, things are okay.

9 to 5

I am still here. There is an Open Mic tonight. It is almost time to sit and write some poetry for the first time in a week, although there is a good chance I may end up asleep with an iPad stuck to my face. I need to finish the submission for the 31st as well. Then there *might* be an opportunity to work on the Patreon project, but don’t hold your breath.

Everything else is fucking mental.

Starlight

It was a Good Weekend (TM) and, as a result, this is scheduled from yesterday, because today I have to go out for the day, which is the first time this has happened effectively since COVID. There were moments before it all went horrible, but they were BM (Before Masks) and as a result do not properly count. I’ll be with my youngest and their friend, though, so it won’t be as stressful as might be the case alone.

There will be pictures too, and that’s not happened for a while.

The rhetoric is not stopping out here, it is probably getting worse as time goes on. That’s the way people think they can be when there’s no effective means for anyone to stop them, except there are changes. High profile libel cases, stupid people thinking they can get away with just deleting the Tweet and that’s enough. It won’t be. It’s also reassuring to see the Conservatives rattled, and the Green Party becoming a likely third force in British politics. Let’s just hope it’s not too late for the planet, eh?

I’ve done three submissions over the weekend, with a fourth ready to go this week. I have two places to send the novel to. Honestly, right now, there is very little else that I can do, except hope that one of these things actually sticks.

Keeping busy stops me from stressing about lots of things.

Living on the Ceiling

I am embarrassed and slightly concerned over just how often I switch browsers. I’ve become used to checking two social media presences, to the point where it has become a habit that needs to be broken. Instead, I have set the second browser’s leading tab to my work website, which is in need of a fair bit of work in the next few days, in the hope that when I do it as an impulse, it’ll automatically push me into beginning something constructive.

There’s also a minor triumph this morning that something which was worth absolutely nothing to me on Monday will now provide an unexpected financial bonus. It’s making me think that perhaps I could sell some more stuff going forward, if I can find space in my brain to accommodate the process. It is certainly worth some thought.

Less blogging, more actual work now.

Move On

Last night, I gave Blood. I’m not gonna bore you with trying to conjure an entire blog post on the thing many, many people do every day without either thanks or thought. The church hall was packed, yet¬†I’m reliably informed it was a quiet night. There’s¬†a bruise where they inserted¬†a¬†needle that itched the entire time it was set, an appointment in February 2017, and that’s that. I’ll do this every four months, assuming I’m able, from now until I’m 70, because this matters.¬†Change dictates that you must push past obstacles to become better. Remaining ‘the same’ is no longer a state I wish to exist in.

For now, I’m going to suffer if things¬†don’t keep moving.

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I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who is supporting me in this shift out of many and various previously comfortable zones. It really helps to know that people are supporting your efforts, and in turn I’m doing my best to pay it forward. That means giving some cash to a friend who’s struggling because I have extra in my pocket this month. It is the conversation with my husband over e-mail that could have been a disaster but that ended up as a triumph. Most significantly, it’s my son understanding that finally he might have crossed a line that requires more than the minimum amount of effort to correct, and that this is¬†the most encouraging sign of all in a week that I’ve not exercised in on medical advice thus far. I wasn’t sure how I’d cope with a pint less of blood in me, and on reflection I’m really glad I start my week on Wednesday. If I can do two walks this week I still will however, BECAUSE I CAN.

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Having lost a staggering two and half pounds overnight (and having woken up starving at 4am, presumably as a result of my body creating more blood) the temptation now is to eat everything in sight. Even the word BACON is enough to make me salivate.

I’m gonna be healthy, and we begin again with PT tomorrow.

Voodoo People

Today, I live streamed a video game to Facebook. As this is a sentence I never thought I would ever type in my adult lifetime, it probably deserves some explanation.

My PC is not old, but it’s hardly bleeding edge technology. It also refuses point blank to play with Windows 10, which I suspect may have something to do with the rather Heath Robinson manner of its construction. I’ve tried and failed on so many occasions to get Twitch to operate with it, and recording to video and editing is a process that I have neither time or patience to entertain. When Facebook Live was announced to work with World of Warcraft, I determined this was probably my best bet for giving streaming a try, because it did not involve real money to upgrade anything or any more technical knowledge than simply a few clicks of a mouse. However, the main reason I’m using a platform I detest is that, like it or not, I can ultimately¬†control EXACTLY who watches, and that’s not possible anywhere else on the Internet.

This is my project, and my rules.
 

 
It’s not an attempt to be popular or special, or become an Internet celebrity (at peak, EIGHT PEOPLE WATCHED ME) it is just a way to chat for an hour a week to people and add content to my arsenal. It works well in lieu of Podcasting. It allows people to see how I play in game and what matters to me. Mostly, I can fuck about and enjoy myself and record this to become a history of what I’ve done. If it works with this platform I can use Facebook Live to do video diaries for other stuff. In the end, it shows willing to give a bit more of myself than I have before.

Mostly, it is rather enjoyable.

If I keep getting people interested? I’ll keep doing it.

Violently Happy

I thought today was gonna be the one when I gave up, went home and just crawled back into bed. Then, I surprised myself, pushed to the Gym, walked for an hour and upped all my weights in the process.

I am oddly sanguine about everything. Even the poached eggs tasted better this morning, green tea making my throat tingle. I got rice stuck in the¬†windpipe last night during dinner. I think it’s all gone, I can exhale now without a wheeze.

I made a doctor’s appointment to see the Asthma nurse, to get my peak flow tested (that’s a science¬†way of saying lung capacity.) I want to see if my muscles are improving there, too. I’m also really looking forward to having my back adjusted during sports massage. Lots of things hurt, but none enough to be an inconvenience.

I’m fighting tired. My husband calls my exhaustion a First World Problem. I suppose he’s right. I’m just annoyed I never worked on all of this sooner. I’m really pleased that it is in my hands however to change for good, that I’m not reliant on anybody else.

I’m slowly, gradually moving forward. But it’s still progress.

Stop

Sometimes, it takes a moment of contention to highlight a point.

Once upon a time, it took weeks for news of disasters to reach a wider audience than those affected at ground zero. Now, with Twitter and Facebook I can know that Oklahoma City suffered a 5.8 magnitude earthquake this morning, as it unfolded ‘live’ on my social media feed. This is long before any major network reports the story, and probably several hours before it even hits the UK news providers. Mostly because (one hopes) it was just a lot of shaking, and no casualties, there will be a bit of WTF, seismologists will look¬†for explanations, and hopefully that will be that. Except, some stories keep on going and going, and when I went and mentioned one such contentious topic this morning, I paid the price. I forgot that golden rule: don’t want a fight, don’t start one.¬†Except at this point, I’m coming to a crossroads in how I look and deal with other people, and¬†sometimes I’d¬†just like to expand and consider contentious¬†opinions without being made to feel either bad or wrong for doing so.

In every relationship, at some point¬†there’s a decision to be made over belief.

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Once upon a time you couldn’t live with someone if they didn’t hold the same beliefs as you. Everybody had to tow the line and if you didn’t? Spanish Inquisition.¬†Okay, that’s an extreme example but it proves the point quite successfully: if you wanted to NOT be Catholic, for a long time your faith choices were somewhat limited. Also, calling into question the possibility that the Earth was not the centre of the Universe was a dangerous call to make, and only now with science being able to categorically prove that LOOK SPACE OUT THERE still isn’t enough for those who see the World as a place where rules are subjective and opinions only matter if you can support them yourself. Free thinking has never been easy, and knowing you’ll get shunned/poked with soft cushions is often enough to stop most people at the door.

Except without free thinking, kids never dream.¬†If you tie them to a set of ideals that mean that there’s only one way to study, or listen to music, or wear their trousers? At the age where they are at their most flexible there’s a greater than average chance they’ll simply just go the other way and rebel… except inevitably, ultimately everyone comes back to normality, right? Well, no.¬†Having spent quite a long time being scared to actually be what I know I am, I’m making great strides in coming forward and proclaiming my beliefs, and whenever I do there’s always going to be resistance. When it happens, I have a choice. I can learn to communicate better. I can stop trying to make a point and move on. Or, as is now the case, I can stop and work out what the root cause is of my problem, and today that’s exactly what I did.¬†I don’t really care about what other people define as ‘fun’ (their choice, nothing to do with me) and how they decide an MMO is enjoyable or not (flight/no flight.)

My bigger issue is how some people see discussion as the bigger problem, especially if you’re capable of suggesting their point of view might in the end possess less merit to you.

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You’re never going to agree with everything and with everybody. Suggesting that this is not just your fault can go a number of different ways, and if you’re lucky the person you’re talking to will be decent about it and you’ll get civility. However, the very nature of disagreement implies that there will be a point, somewhere down the line, where one or either of you just has to shut up and move on, unless you can amicably agree to differ. If this were religion or politics as the subject matter, you might¬†matter a lot more. When it’s a video game or a TV show or a sports team? Not really as significant or earth shattering, and yet these get argued about perhaps more vociferously. The reason, it occurs to me, is that people prioritise differently depending on how¬†emotionally invested they are in the subject to begin with. If you know it’s ‘just a game’ you’ll be far more capable of separating the issues than those who see the game as more than just a collection of pixels, and here’s the kicker.

Now I’ve pushed myself away from obsessing over gaming, I can’t allow a measure of immersion that I suspect others will. I’m far more engrossed with details as to how the game’s actually made, what the design briefs are and where the game is being projected, as a means to rationalise my thoughts and not get sucked in my the obviously addictive qualities. The step back, the forced move to objectivity, means I’m looking at situations in a far more reserved and almost emotionless manner. I forget other people don’t do this.¬†More significantly, other people won’t take that objectivity on board, and will simply consider it as an attack on their position. However hard I attempt to justify my reasoning? Some will be just looking for a fight.

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What this means going forward, of course, is growing thicker skin, understanding that however hard you try you can’t get everyone to like you and to stop worrying.¬†Having written the process out I’m of the opinion that if people really want to matter to me they’ll make the effort, which is what happened this lunchtime with everyone I spoke to. At no point did any of my thought processes directly attack or negate the individuals I spoke to. They may have considered my general comments as personal attacks, but that’s what happens on the Internet.¬†People decide black is white because mostly, you assume it’s personal when 99/100 times it isn’t. Having been in that situation before I know that eventually, it goes one of two ways too. You either just get on, or there’s an explosion, and when the dust settles?

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That’s the Ball Game. If the person’s important enough, settle your differences and move on. Put away the comfy cushions, stop typing and get your arse to the Gym. You can be as clear as you like, as precise as your intellectual ability will allow but if someone decides to challenge¬†you online over a fundamental difference of opinion?

There ain’t a fucking thing you can do about it if you started the discussion.