The Long Road Home

It could be far worse. That’s the take-out from yesterday’s physio meeting: there’s still a ton of damage in my elbow joint, and until that heals, I’m mostly off anything overly physical. I’ll be writing this and walking to the Gym again today to go and organise a Rehab plan with my PT: I can still cycle, and do core exercises, so that will be the plan going forward. I suspect resistance work will come into play too, and there’s a good chance if I can keep myself healing fast by sensible eating and lots of sleep, it could well be less than a month before mobility returns.

The last thing I want to do is be moping about, feeling sorry for myself.

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It’s also time to stop making this blog material. Assume I’m getting better, working hard and not dwelling on my own stupidity, and as of Friday, I’ll start writing about stuff that is far more self-centred, because that’s also what this needs.

The time for navel contemplation has passed.

Bang, Bang :: Day 3

When this injury stops dictating my entire existence, I’ll be happy. This morning I had adult help to dress, and my hair is up. I’ve not been able to do that since Tuesday. The swelling is down, but lots of places hurt that haven’t, and it is not pleasant pain. The physio told me that the real extent of damage will begin to present once the soft tissue damage recedes. It is time to remain optimistic and continue not to be stupid.

The biggest problem is not the elbow, but wrists and thumbs. I cannot freely rotate my left hand at all, but the movement’s considerably better everywhere else. Despite all this, I’m back on the cycling training programme for the next four days, and even if I cannot exercise the top half of my body, lower portion will continue to get a run-out. Typing is now two fingered and pain-free, and that meant yesterday I was able to pile through a ton of novel related stuff… and maybe, just maybe…

The only way to see if this is possible is to stop blogging and start writing.

What do I do Now?

I’m not interested in boring you with details of the New Exercise Plan (TM) until such time as it becomes routine. I don’t need to tell you how much I needed a day off yesterday either. Being really honest for a moment, this is a bit of an impasse. With so many irons in the fire and projects being worked on simultaneously, it is now about asking what I do now, because that’s all planned out. It is how I get that plan to work without a) falling over and b) losing impetus that is the bigger set of concerns.

In effect, it is time to go back to basics.

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As today (and not last week) gets to be #BlueMonday, I should fall over myself feel grim and uninspired, like the people in the Gym. Listening to the elderly woman who’s been sad since late November and considers ‘sadness’ more dangerous than the Flu, I have a measure of affinity with this stance. Being the assigned depressive in this household is no longer a job description I want, and I am doing my damnedest to be cheerful and helpful not simply here but everywhere. If I do this for you, a reminder that a thank you is free, easy, and will make my day.

These are the moments when I wish I could curate life as well as my Twitter feed, to remind the half awake, ignorant and narrow minded idiots in the World that there are other people here they could try and communicate with. Today’s award for top individual contribution to cheer came from the check out lady who, for 19 years, has used the till as her stage, and won’t let you leave without a smile. This is the kind of individual life needs more of, on reflection. I’m not bothered about waiting in a queue for an extra five minutes if I get to be treated like that.

The attitude adjustment is absolutely worth it for the rest of the day.

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I have plans for today too, which involve not being at a screen, so if I want to succeed, it’s time to stop typing and move onto the next thing.

I hope you have the best Monday it is possible to experience.

Silence

At about thirty five minutes into this morning’s run, I began to cry. It wasn’t pain or upset, but relief. For a very long time I’ve been afraid of what might happen if I pushed too hard: I could hurt myself, or run out of breath in my lungs. I could fall off the treadmill:  a 101 potentially disastrous situations run through my head, and my anxiety flares like a fire fed with sudden burst of oxygen. This morning, I locked it all away. The reasons why this shouldn’t happen have now been superseded by a need to prove it is possible. There cannot be any more excuses.

If you want this enough, why won’t you do it?

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There are so many fears that rise and fall within me: am I being a good mother, a decent partner, do I do enough for others… but ultimately, I always end up ignoring what it is I want most of all. I’m beginning to realise that the whole Patreon thing might yet be a blessing in disguise because, for the last six months, I ended up doing stuff I began to hate. Writing was becoming a chore when I felt that people needed to see a definitive return for their investment. I made it a job when it should be so much more and now there is a chance to sit back and look long and hard at what it is I really want to do. For now, exercise allows means to build mental strength required for the next stage of this journey.

There are a ton of things I’d like to happen, but know I have to be careful not to be distracted from what matters. That means getting my novel finished, and then edited, and then trying to find someone interested in publishing it. After that I want to keep writing other stuff: short stories, poetry and blogging remain really important, but not at the expense of making myself unhappy. It needs to be on my terms, and that’s more important than anything else. How I make that happen is now in flux, until there’s a chance to decide on a solid, comfortable path. I also know that certain things will hurt and be tough on both body and mind. If it’s doable on a piece of exercise equipment, it will be achievable on screen.

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The unexpected still has the power to derail me, as was the case yesterday, but this morning that setback was the inspiration to move forward. Instead of seeing bad things as irredeemable or obstacles, it is time to push through, over and then to look back and solve the problem. If I’m stopped then there’s the chance of not ever moving again, and this is a reality that will no longer be entertained. I don’t need inspirational speeches any more, the time for playing to the Gallery is over. This is for me now, and nobody else, and it is my soul at stake.

To be happy, I have to deal with what holds me back, and right now that is myself.

Panic

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I’m going to admit that the last week’s been tougher than any I can remember for a while. Mentally I’ve had some really complex issues bubbling along in the background, and it has meant I’m now behind with Patreon work. The problem mostly has manifested in creativity (or the total lack of it) and having to write content when there is neither inspiration nor ability to do so. However, I am at least now up to date with Pledges and promised stuff, and so today the plan is simple: get as much done as I can before shoving myself back on track. It will help considerably that school begins on Tuesday, thus returning a large portion of the day when I don’t need to worry about other people requiring my assistance.

In fact, yesterday was so bad I took myself out of the house for a long walk in local woods as a way to detach from the issues and to try and find some equilibrium. I feel a lot more comfortable this morning as a result, and hopefully this will allow a measure of organization to break out across Sunday. It will help enormously that I have everything ready to go in at leas some pre-planned state, including all the content for the next 10 days. There’s some vital back end work that need to take place too and once I can get my head around that, everything will become a lot easier.

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I never realised how much work would be involved in the Patreon, and now I have a measure of it I’m happy to admit where I fail. It is a reasonably easy task to get myself back on track too, and all it needs is a good morning’s worth of effort and then an afternoon of application and I’m ready to go again. I’m sad I didn’t pick up more Patrons last month but I have some new people on board and that is enough until everything returns to a semblance of normality. Then I really need to spend some time making space in the house for stuff and clearing out things I don’t need. I started in the early Summer and it was never finished to my satisfaction.

Space isn’t being used nearly as effectively as it should be, and I need to fix that as a matter of priority. I’m going out on a bike ride early today instead of late, to make the most of adrenaline. Lots of things are being shifted about and reassessed in the hope that this will improve the situation. If I wanted any indicator of the fact things are different, last night’s sleep record has me waking only once. It’s the first time I have done so for several months. In fact, I feel more refreshed waking up this morning than I have for quite some time.

Time to capitalise.

Come and See Me

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Slowly but surely, I am unpicking the issues that constrict my life.

Yesterday was an evening Gym session, because there was so much work to do here, and stepping on the Octane I wondered if I’d even manage one mile, so tired did I feel. Then I stopped my brain and rationalised: a mile is six minutes. Pick the right track on your playlist and that will fly by. Find something that makes you feel positive, preferably something you used as a writing prompt. I’m beginning to grasp how many other people live vicariously through their wish fulfilment (whether it be art, music or writing) and last night, it was the Bond fanfic music prompts that not only got me through three miles of Octane as a warm up, but another three kilometres of High Impact Intensity Training (300 metres walking, 200 meters running at 9 kph.) I’ve never done HIIT for that long before, my legs give out after 2.5k pretty much consistently. However, when I got there last night, something was different.

Last night, I felt I had it in my legs. Suddenly, breathing at 9kph has become less of a fight and more a rhythm. The first 200 meters is always hard but after that, it was simply instinct. I’ve only felt this way once before and that was before I was ill, the brilliant Sunday before it all went wrong on the Monday evening, and it occurs to me that it is diet that has as much to do with this as anything else. Yesterday was very intentionally virtuous, not simply for the photo opportunity. I can eat well, if it is planned, and routine is the key. It is when that organisation slips that I go backwards, and that extends not simply to exercise but into all aspects of my current working life.

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Post it Notes are keeping me sane, helping pull together all the disparate strands of existence. I’ve stuck the most used ones to card, ‘laminated’ over pencil with sticky tape to remind of what happens each day, making sure I keep to the programme. Eventually one hopes I can throw the card away because those messages will become ingrained, but for now they’re a part of a handful of magic feathers. It’s the same principle as getting through six minutes exercise: with the right prompt, things will take less time than you realise. I tried this yesterday, with a bunch of tasks that would normally take an afternoon. I gave myself two hours to complete everything.

Amazingly, it worked: not because I’ve become super efficient overnight either. This project succeeded because I stopped procrastinating and just did the fucking work. Of course there will be days when this doesn’t happen but, for now, mental ability saved the day. Old me, the one who’d eat a snack and then browse Social media and then get sucked into a rabbit hole, is still alive and well, but right now they’re no use in the timescales available. I need this version of Me to survive right now. Once everything is done I can let that part of the consciousness out again.

Until then, let’s just keep working.