Pray

Now I have committed myself to a path where writing is more important than it has been before, I have to find a way to fit that into my life. Right now that’s simple, because the kids are on holiday and nobody else really needs to stress about organisation, stuff just happens eventually. A week today the youngest returns to school, son the following Monday, and after that I will have a schedule to fit around. That will start with a 7.45 am commute to school and a 3.30pm pickup, meaning I will lose a significant portion of my day to roads. I’m already half thinking about parking my car at the youngest’s school at least twice a week and walking to and from there to give me exercise. It’s a six mile one way trip, which is more than possible on my current level of fitness: 12 miles a day is equivalent to about 24k steps, which is easily manageable.

I’ll still have PT once a week, plus two additional Gym trips, and shoving an extra 24 miles into that should really not be a push. The killer, of course, will be time ‘wasted’ whilst walking, and so I’ll need to put that to good use. My husband’s been pushing me for a long time to listen to more than music on my iPod, and so I will be investing in some audio books plus podcasts to listen to on the journey. I’ve also wanted to start appreciating Ian McMillan’s ‘The Verb’ Series on Radio Three, and hope that the BBC iPlayer App will allow this to happen. What it will mean is more planning to maintain a seamless transition from one schedule to another, but if I can spend time walking and keeping fit whilst avoiding the amount of time I spend in a car? So much the better.

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That means, all things being equal, it will work like this:

MON: PT
TUE: Walk
WED: GYM
THU: Walk
FRI: Rest
SAT: GYM
SUN: Rest

I will need to factor in more rest, too, especially as there’ll be earlier starts and I do NOT function well under limited sleep. I’ve already filled a Moleskine notebook across the Summer with ideas and plans, and I’m genuinely exited going forward as to what I can and will be able to achieve. What I want to avoid, more than anything else, is just sitting for hours and losing momentum. As a friend pointed out, the exercise is granting a clarity and focus I need to not only grasp but use as fuel. On that front, once I’ve done here there’s chores and then I’ll walk to Town to get the kids a set of keys each for the house, just in case all the grand planning goes awry.

However good you think you are, the unexpected just happens.

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This however does not tell me when the writing can happen, but that it will around the framework I’ve created. I’ve been amazingly productive on gym walks in the last few days, watching existing ideas morph in differing directions, and I may well start taking my tablet in my Gym bag to edit and write whilst I eat lunch. I’m still toying with the idea of a laptop, but it is early days and the iPad plus keyboard is actually surprisingly robust once you look past the shortcomings. I’d rather not spend money when there’s a perfectly acceptable alternative available. Until it becomes a massive inconvenience? There’s more than enough space for a tablet and boxing gloves in the same bag.

Getting fit really was the best thing I ever did for my entire life.

Requiem for a Tower

I had a big plan today, lots of words on communication and self-absorption, but after six hours sleep and having to deal with two banks plus a credit card company? It has all just shrunk to the angsty whine I suspect it was always going to be. That’s the thing about proportion: you need something else to stick yourself beside to make it matter. Once I’m forced to go look up account balances and check transactions whilst grasping I could do with more income to protect against the unexpected? Everything else becomes pretty much irrelevant. It is easy to understand why the Renaissance guys never got around to making the big speeches and discovering the mysteries of the Universe when they had early death and hunger to consider first. Once you’re comfortable, then comes the life changing shit, and not before.

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I’ve realised too that because for many people social media is a far too accurate representation of their real self, that suggesting contentious issues as the basis of discussion means I’m opening my self to perhaps more abuse than I ever need to garner. I could quite simply pretend I don’t care about these bigger issues and stay silent, but some days it is satisfying to shake the can of Coke and put it back in the fridge, for the unsuspecting co-worker to come open and get a surprise from. You don’t do it every day because that’s cruel and unusual, but the occasional wake-up call has merit. Trying to reason however with people who have decided that nothing is fair unless everybody wins and nobody loses is, at best, unrealistic in an environment where the exact opposite is proven to be the case. At some point, inevitably, one has to deal with disappointment, and if you can’t? Things get messy.

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The salutatory lesson at the end of this is very simple: if you don’t want people to call you out? Keep your mouth shut. If you don’t want the grief? Don’t write the words and press ‘Send’ ^^ The moment you pop up and engage a random stranger in conversation, anything can and will happen, so unless you are prepared for consequence? Don’t start.

If you do this shit for a living and still get grief?

Learn to communicate betterer.

Finally

Before I started here, I wrote an e-mail to a very dear friend in which I apologised for starting something I now no longer wish to pursue. It’s nothing at all to do with him, in essence, and absolutely everything to do with me. Another good, dear friend made a point, before I started Podcasting, that it had the potential to derail me from a greater task. I now understand he was right, but without the confidence and insight that period of my life afforded me, I would not have progressed this far to begin with. Sometimes, certain decisions are necessary in order for us to move forward, but when they become a hindrance? You need to make harsh choices based on what matters most.

Therefore, there will be no more Gaming Podcasting for me in the future.

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It is not a decision I’ve taken lightly, but as it transpires I don’t want to pursue a career in that form of work, and I never will. Yes, the gaming is great and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t owe it a great deal (and still do) but ambition, ultimately, is having the confidence in my own words and ideas. To do that, there has to be more effort in that direction. I already have work ready, websites primed, all that is required now is the conscious shift away from the focus of pixels. That’s been happening for a while now anyway, but this way if I say that there’s a push forward and gaming is a *part* of my life but not what matters most? I can actually be honest with everybody for a change.

I think that’s going to matter a lot moving forward.

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My holiday was, like it or not, a life-changing experience. Giving a sense of scale to what you do is really very important. Understanding your significance in larger spheres, for starters, is summat that is beginning to have some tangible consequences. Watching how others deal with your opinions, that having them can often be tantamount to condemnation in the eyes of those who only see their own goals as mattering… I’m not here to crush competitors underfoot and smear other writers in a focused march to domination. My gaming experience has served as a good barometer of what to expect when I deal with other ‘players’ in the game of Real Life. Some people are only happy when you agree with them, and get the right hump when it is apparent than not only have you ideas, but aren’t afraid to wield them. I learn that salutatory lesson every day: if you choose to interact with someone, and then don’t like what they say or disagree… how do you react?

Words, never forget, are more powerful weapons than any hard earned quest reward.

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Choices are crossroads, quandaries before new and interesting directions. I came to grasp while I was away just how much I have been shaped not simply by the games, but the people I know who play and follow me, not simply on social media but beyond. Without Duncan, Mike, David, Allison, Liz, Julia, Ben, Hannah, Myles and all the other people that sprang forth from the wellspring of Computer Gaming acquaintances to become friends, confidantes and supporters, I’d simply not be here. Then there are those I only know by a user name or Twitter handle, or the random nature of a set of e-mail exchanges. The woman who found my blog and used it to keep her sane whilst her mother was in the Hospital, being treated for cancer. The guy who read every post and thanked me for the time and effort put into every one. Everyone has become a part of my whole and helped me forward, and I will remember them all, even if I don’t have the ability to recall them all.

More importantly, those who have hated on me and abused my choices and criticised my decisions? You make me stronger. I listen and learn. You may not wish that your words actually make me more determined to succeed, but they do. If I am confident the criticism is justified, it does get acted on. You didn’t expect that, now did you, but I have a great deal to thank Podcasting for. Mostly it made me realise that unless the output is something I’m proud of putting my name to? It isn’t worth the pain of criticism to begin with. In the end, I’ve had a really good run of content, I learnt a lot about myself in the process, but most importantly of all I now grasp that to move forward, I need to hold and wield the confidence of my own projects alone.

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All of this therefore points to a direction where, like it or not, people will lose interest with me once it becomes apparent I’m here for an ambition that doesn’t start and end with an MMO. That’s absolutely fine, and I’m prepared to accept that if people only want a single focus, then they’re entitled to come and go as they please. The fact remains, what I am is so tightly wound around gaming I’d find it impossible to separate writing from that anyway. It is what I am, and have always been. The only difference now, is that I am a gamer who wants to publish a novel. Probably quite a few.

Time to get started on that as a matter of urgency.

(I Love You) Miss Robot

If you ever listened to The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you will be aware of the the Total Perspective Vortex. This was a torture chamber that worked on a simple theory: as every atom is connected to every other atom, it is possible to extrapolate an entire version of the Universe using something as simple as a piece of fairy cake. Stick your hapless victim inside it and the enormity of creation (plus a small sign saying ‘You are Here’) will inevitably destroy their soul. Yesterday, I discovered the American Museum of Natural History didn’t need fairy cake to produce roughly the same effect. They just built the Hayden Planetarium, and got Neil Degrasse Tyson to do a film about Dark Matter.

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My brain’s still reeling after yesterday’s trip: I cried pretty much from the moment the film started until the moment I left the theatre. It wasn’t just the enormity of scale either, but the understanding of a true and intractable interconnectivity of everything to everything else. The Museum itself is a mass of contradictions: the traditional taxidermy makes me physically uncomfortable, and is starkly inappropriate when placed next to the joy of the Universe. This place, as my husband very astutely pointed out, has to work very hard to engage in a country where many people still staunchly believe that evolution is a myth. In fact, when you stick the vastness of the Universe next to the belief that the Planet was created in a week? Stories have their place in the world, but not at the expense of reality and truth. Sometimes, you need to understand where one ends and the others begin.

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For me undoubtedly the highlight of the Museum was the Gemstone Hall: so many pictures have been taken (I’ve stuck them all on Flickr, for what it’s worth) and will be integrated as Blog headers on my return. Then it was just so hot out we went home, and spent the evening watching British athletes win Olympic medals, with chicken pasta and vegetables for tea. All told it was one of the most relaxing evenings I can remember for a VERY long time. Husband’s gone for a walk this morning because he, like me, would actually be liking to do more exercise but the weather’s causing that to be a fairly big ask. I’ll salute the people I saw running in New York yesterday, your lungs are far stronger than mine: it has been so bad I actually had to pull an Inhaler out yesterday for relief.

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Today I am reliably informed should be the last day of insufferably hot weather, but that’s now not really an issue as we can pick places with superb AC and wireless to keep the kids occupied should the content around them fail to engage. I think that means  we’ll be heading for Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but that is going to be dictated by what time husband comes back from a walk/run (I thought I was bad with needing the exercise, but he’s beginning to feel it too) and when the kids finally choose to surface. That should give me plenty of time therefore to catch up on words in various places, and maybe even get to schedule some stuff on the side. I don’t really care where in the World I am now: as long as I have the means to write?

Everything is great.

The Big Sky

Words are curious things, when all is said and done. The ability to wield them well takes a phenomenal amount of effort. I don’t care what anyone says, to produce decent fiction requires a measure of skill that demands more than a passing dose of application. I picked up a book to read on holiday, the novel that Showtime will be adapting into 22 parts which will feature that bloke that used to be Bond. The problem is ‘Purity’ by Jonathan Franzen is a horrible, frustrating and frankly depressing piece of literary deception. I know my opinion matters not one jot in the greater scheme of things, but if this is what passes as the pinnacle of achievement for a long-form novel?

Just NO.

My biggest problem is that the characters I’m supposed to care about I have absolutely no affinity towards anyone whatsoever except themselves. They’re all beautifully realised and I can see them in my head, but this is a world where all anyone does is fuck up. The characters, their circumstances and motivations are all sexually-driven, which should be reason for celebration, but instead it’s all for the wrong reasons. The backdrop of the narrative, in a post-Wikileaks world where secrets are the currency of the age, should also be a major hook but instead none of this matters next to the brittleness of the protagonists. I am desperately trying to care for a brace of female leads who should, by rights, appeal to exactly my sensibilities, except all I want to do is shake them and ask why they keep expecting anybody else to be either noble or caring when they’re acting like idiots. In fact, when all is said and done, it is the point where the character who Craig will be playing turns around and shows his true colours  for the first time that I just want to throw up my hands and walk away in disgust.

I will never write a critically brilliant novel, because if this the benchmark, I’m so not ever fucking going there.

What this novel has achieved, however, is make me realise where in the literary world I’ll want to sit. I’m never going to produce this kind of behemoth. I’d frankly never want to. If success is to be measured on the length of the critical plaudits, the Franzens of this world can keep them. If this is how you win awards then fuck that for a game of soldiers, I don’t want to be known as the woman who came to writing late in life and managed to pull it off. Forget anything except the desire to tell a story with at least one foot in my own reality. I need to feel I was true to the heart and soul of my narrative. Trying to be clever is a mug’s game, especially when you’re attempting to produce a notional version of a world where women’s motivations matter as much and often more than the dominant alpha male.

Purity’s not a bad story, at all. That’s the point, I suppose: it is clever and brilliant and seductive in the plotting and makes you engage with the characters. I entirely understand why it is being adapted, but I’d not want to do it because making the narrative make sense in visual terms is going to be a hard ask. What I wanted for my holiday was a story I could get lost in, instead all I’ll end up doing with this is shouting at the characters for fucking up their lives. That’s not engrossing for me. It’s just depressing and too much like life for comfort.

In the end, I like my stories written a  different way.

If This is It

Some days, I realise I’m not like other grown ups.

Today was the last day my daughter attends a Primary School. This now involves parents grabbing pictures and ‘networking’ in an attempt to ‘keep in touch’ as their kids move on. Now, undoubtedly if my husband had been here he wouldn’t have sat quietly away from everybody else, and would have been in there chatting. I’m not good at that, never have been, and any amount of ‘well get in there and talk’ actually changes the situation. The people I have stuff in common with were spoken to, once everyone else had gone. My daughter thanked all the teachers. I had a word with the Headmaster.

Then we went home.

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When I asked my daughter, she was beyond happy. All the pictures she wanted, all the friends talked to and important people sorted. Shirt has been signed, cakes and biscuits made happily consumed. I didn’t need to do anything except turn up and hold her stuff, and I did that brilliantly. It wasn’t my day, but hers. In that regard, I can carry off the job of Mum without stress. She’s emotional now, and I’m doing my best just to be here. The problem is, some days I just can’t socially interact with the world at all. It’s like I disconnect from how it all works and forget everything that I’m supposed to do. It isn’t that there’s no willing, simply a loss of the order to do stuff in. Social niceties somehow just vanish when large groups of people appear, and then when I get back to the one to one situations it hits me. You can’t be like this and still communicate.

The salvation now is that I realise it is happening whereas when younger I didn’t, and nobody told me what a twat I was. In fact, I don’t remember anyone ever telling me anything at all. I dunno if this is just because no-one ever got that close or it was because I refused to listen, or if memory’s just so awful it happened and I’ve lost the timeline. One memory did surface of someone who was really mean to someone else and expecting to be let into the house being told to summarily fuck off before she reached the doorstep. On reflection there should probably be more of that. I do remember the watershed moment though, when I was recovering from PND. The relationship I terminated then should have been finished a long time previously. On reflection, pretty much my entire life was full of people who were there for entirely the wrong reasons.

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All of this stemmed from my inability to effectively communicate.

Time has helped, plus the ability to see more than just the six inches in front of me. Writing has allowed an opportunity to expand the world I have to spaces that previously I was uncomfortable inhabiting, and to help me discover more not simply about myself but more importantly the World around me. I can’t change some of what I am, this is abundantly apparent, but there is plenty of room for improvement. There’s never going to be a time when I look at anything and say ‘yeah, that’ll do’ and although this might have some negative connotations from time to time? I think I’d rather feel everything, all the time, despite the issues that sometimes produces. When it matters, this is never about me, and I get when those moments are. I’m still not 100% hitting the targets, but the success rate is far better than it was.

Maybe that’s no bad thing either.

Hole in My Shoe

Apart from alcohol, I’ve never taken drugs. The closest I’ve come to losing the plot was as a child, amazingly, when an excess of gas and air did very strange things to my system for several days after dentistry. All the times I’ve ever had to write about being drugged, I’ve done extensive research, but that’s all it ever is, words on a page. I need to use my imagination to do the rest. Now, of late I’ve been working increasingly hard when walking/running over distance. I’ve experienced lesser versions of what’s known as the ‘runner’s high‘ in the past but last night?

Something very interesting happened indeed.

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I’ve long used walking/running as a means to work out issues in my writing: paired with musical soundtracks I ‘visualise’ the scenes I’m working on and this helps find the right words. Last night I returned to a piece I work on from time to time, and one particular song sparked a chain of events that saw me pushing harder and harder up an incline, and becoming more and more involved in the ‘visualisation’ process until, for a brief period, it became real. One character’s ink-stained hands were placed on the body of another and I watched as the colours leeched from skin to skin. I had to stop afterwards because the vividness of the moment was actually frightening. Not only did I think it, it was there, in front of me, made real by the combination of endorphin and imagination.

It was one of the most unsettling things I’ve experienced for quite some time.

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I’ve had lesser versions of this, and different results. It does all boil down to the exertion expended and the time I’m walking/running, plus the music being listened to. In this case, the track created a calm inside me that I suspect was conducive to all this kicking off to being with. What it made me realise is that I have the ability within myself to produce things that aren’t simply powerful, but significant.

After the last few weeks, that’s coming as something of a reassurance.

There are many things I cannot control. Those I can however, will never be underestimated. Your body isn’t frightening or intractable, anything but. Learning to love what you are capable is the best thing I could ever have done at this point in my life.

I need to explore this further.

Quiet Life

Learning stuff is dangerous. It has the capacity to alter your outlook on so many things. In my case, I’ve been doing work on how to best lose fat and gain muscle mass as I age. That article led in turn to this one, about beginning to strength train, and I realised that this is me. I’m not alone, far from it, and that many women my age have walked this path to better fitness and quality of life. I don’t think now I will ever imagine a time when I’m not lifting heavy shit. It’s become like an addiction but without all the bad stuff that I normally associate with such actions. There’s no guilt (except when I miss a session) and only benefit. As I discovered yesterday, many of them I’m not even noticing.

I look at this picture and know it doesn’t make me happy. I can see the weight that’s not moving, places that require work, and undoubtedly get fixated on the stuff that’s closest to my brain that’s wrong. However (and this is crucial) people yesterday looked at my arms and were amazed at the change. First of all, WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT MY ARMS PEOPLE??? I do not judge this part of my body as progress, and here is my perception issue in a nutshell. My legs, undoubtedly, are completely transformed. I have a thigh gap. Pretty much all of the fat on my legs has now gone, and the same can now be said of my arms (although some does still remain on upper arms.) I realise torso/trunk/core takes the longest to fix, and I’ve only just started to do serious work on this part of my body. My arms, like it or not, are where the most change has happened. I just never looked at them before.

Now I have, there’s probably a bit of self-revision that needs to take place.

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My brain is the problem. Old style perceptions of myself and my body. I did a lot of thinking about this too, on the back of these comments, that spilled out into my dreams. I was a competitor in a truly accurate Miss Universe contest, with alien competitors from across the Galaxy. It wasn’t about how you looked on the outside that counted, more about knowledge and ability, but mostly about compassion. There was a conversation last night about me not being ‘beautiful’ either, which spun off on an interesting tangent with my husband. He decided that at least part of that will equate to being polite and understanding in situations where I’d feel uncomfortable. That started the brain on another, separate path, that being happy meant I could be considered more attractive, and now my brain’s realising that the concept of attractiveness is pretty horribly subjective if you bother to dig past the superficial.

Maybe that’s why many people just don’t bother and only look at surfaces.

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I know what I consider as beautiful. Art. Food. Music. Words. Some of these things rely on the visual, others don’t. I can remove the physical from other things but not from myself, and that’s something that’s making me emotional as I type, and not in a good way. That is producing an anxiousness that actually calls into question why I’m on this path to begin with: what I’m fighting to create for myself matters more about appearance than I first realised, and that might be bad. It shouldn’t matter what I look like but it does in at least a part of my brain that knows how others view me does have a relevance. What I now think I need to focus on isn’t looks, but feelings. Without the exercise, the last three months would have been a living hell, hormonal change making everything so much more painful and bright, quite apart from the chaos going on in the Real World. Without the exercise, I’d have nothing as support.

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I keep coming back to this GIF as an accurate representation of how this feels. It’s funny I can do this, it seems odd that I am, and when I stop to think down to why, I’m lost. It matters to be healthy and achieve these things. I want to be healthier to live longer. It obviously matters that my husband continues to find me attractive. However, when it comes down to it am I trying to attain something I’ve never owned the rights to? Am I trying to become more attractive in my own mind by being thinner? Is it about attaining a notion of beauty that I’ve been given, instead of pursuing an ideal that means something deeper?

There’s a lot of personal pronouns in that paragraph, and now there’s going to be trouble.

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This GIF’s getting a lot of use too. Parts of my brain grasping that to make this work, there have to be sacrifices that change everything. Being accurate on my calorie intake, and not lying when that falls down. Putting in the miles, every damn day, and not just the Strength ones. Pushing past the anxiety that this isn’t good enough, because that’s just not true. The conversations with myself right now are quite painful, and often bitter realisations of the truth that most people don’t even need to balance all these elements. They just live and manage and cope. So much becomes self doubt when you’re at this level of assessment too, and relaxing is what happens then you’re so focused on finishing that last set of 12 reps that everything else just vanishes. Then I understand exactly what it is that matters most to me about the exercise right now, and it is because this is the place where nothing else matters except me. 

The Gym has become my safe place.

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Walking’s always been the best method of filtering out noise and helping me to focus on writing, and that still remains true. Weights and training has become the one way the World can’t give me the finger. It doesn’t matter that everything else is out of my hands, because as long as I can get stronger? Screw it. Yeah, it still has to be dealt with but the mental toughness grows with each improvement I make. I am coping better as a result of this regime.

Salvation is possible, if I can be patient.

The Disappointed

Getting fit has brought some unexpected benefits to my life: one of them has involved a distinct improvement to the way my digestive system functions. That means it is even more pronounced when the thing stops working, but even that appears to have become less traumatic in the action and recovery. I know full well what made me sick on Sunday, and food was only a part of the equation. I work quite hard now to limit the amount of stress I’m under by doing my complete utmost to plan far enough ahead to be able to anticipate potential issues. My husband’s also pretty good at helping with this but on Saturday night I was given a piece of information that wasn’t just unexpected, it was fairly stressful.

Then I had to cope with it all. Seriously, you chill and relaxed people have no idea you are born: stuff just happens to you and you sail through it with absolutely no external or internal consequence. Stress has always manifested itself physically: digestive woes, particular aches and pains, headaches… and I do not enjoy these things. There is absolutely no desire whatsoever to milk these for social media sympathy either, so don’t go there. I’m getting too old for this shit, and I’d like a quiet life. That’s why I try and prepare myself whenever possible, and one of the unexpected benefits of being physically stronger is that the stress isn’t as big a deal as it once was.

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I had to wear heels on Sunday, and that’s not happened for some time, which aggravated an issue with my right leg that’s been niggling off and on for a couple of weeks. Whereas previously I’d have tried to keep weight off it, I just walked through the whole thing pretty much all of Sunday and yesterday, despite being knackered. The more I did it, the better this became, and it appears I have reached a point where the physical is more beneficial to me than the sedentary. I can’t now sit around for too long, or indeed waste time where before I would have been happy to just procrastinate. The physical has become a coping mechanism. That’s still a statement that surprises me, even seeing it written down makes me do a double take. I used to HATE exercise, so much. Then I recall a period in my late teens when my parents had a static bike and I spent a lot of time using it, because I was too scared to go out on roads. I can remember the physical calm that effort created, and wonder at what point I forgot this was helpful.

It is odd how past and present keep colliding in moments of revelation.

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The reminder that ‘time is a flat circle’ has been all the more obvious in the last few weeks: change does come in cycles, and the temptation when looking forward is to never go back because of the potential damage that can be wrought when doing so. However, what the past is useful for is understanding, especially the paths we currently tread. Exercise has been a significant part of my life, and so has stress, and the fact I can use one to effectively alleviate the other is hardly news. What is new however is the understanding that the benefits of doing this aren’t just mental.

With that, I’m off to drag a tractor tyre around a Sports Club car park. Because, you know, MOTIVATION PEOPLE :D

Return to Sender

As promised, writing bits are getting shuffled to the other site for a bit now, so that everywhere’s getting used. That means if you’re here, there is likely to be more personally-focussed rambling, and today? That means ART.

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Doodle To Greatness

I’ve never felt the need to draw ‘properly’ at any point in my life, but I do love doodling. This means that, over time, there’s been things like this notebook produced quietly, for my own benefit, and never shared with anybody else. Mostly I tend to restrict myself to smaller canvases. That means, in the main as I’m sitting at a desk, Post It notes.

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‘Angel’

I don’t think about anything at all when I draw, it is mostly a release of tension and a means to relax. last week a Twitter friend encouraged people to draw for a week, and I took up the challenge, and by five days in I’d shifted from the abstract to including letters in the mix.

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My daughter saw these on Friday and asked if I’d do her name in a form she could put on her wall: initially I assumed she was just being kind to me and offering a suggestion, but as of right now my Saturday effort has taken a prominent place at the bottom of her bed. I actually asked her why she’d done this and the response effectively floored me: ‘Why wouldn’t I put these on my wall, Mum, they’re *really* good!’ I’m still not sure how I respond to that, because a part of me knows that’s not true. Except, when your 11 year old complements you, the world view does a bit of a subtle shift.

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It is an odd feeling, knowing you are capable of things you hadn’t previously considered as viable and possible. I’m not going to start drawing people or poses any time soon, I just don’t have the time on top of everything else I want to do, and so priorities very much come into play. But what this last week has taught me is that I do have the ability to be creative with things other than words, and that is something I think I might like to try and explore for relaxation purposes especially. It has given me an interesting window on a part of my psyche I wasn’t previously aware of, and has opened my mind to a number of possibilities that didn’t realistically exist, but could now become reality, if I decide to pursue them.

Most of importantly of all this exercise has proven a salutatory reminder that unless you actually try something different, nothing will ever change. That’s probably the biggest take away from all of this, that ANYTHING is possible with enough thought and consideration. I’d like to thank Faebelina for providing the impetus to start me down this new route, and I’m already quite looking forward to seeing where this new path takes me.

This is a new world I’ve discovered inside myself and I rather like it.