You cannot choose the people you inspire, or that will like you and most crucially of all, however hard you try, some people will never be your friends. I’ve learnt this lesson the hard way over the years: there’ll always be someone who you think you’d like to get to know better and then something will happen to ensure that never comes to pass. The last situation in which this transpired came back to haunt me at the weekend, a mutual tweeting someone who I reached out to but… on reflection, it wouldn’t have worked. They wouldn’t have been the problem, either. I would have ruined it.
The people that have helped chart the course over the last few years have been getting thank you’s this month (as I mentioned back at the start of November) and with the last four this week comes to pass an event that has made a lot of sense in the wider scope of what I’d like to happen going forward. You can give blanket thanks to people on Social media all day and night, knowing that many users simply read what they need or want into situations regardless of your desirers. Naming names is the way people understand how much they matter to you, pure and simple.
Sometimes, people get disappointed. They put a lot more emphasis on you than is the case the other way. When I do a cursory account check of new people to follow, it is always with half an eye on who else they consider interesting. It means if you’re reading this and your Twitter friends list is full of female ‘online personalities’ and porn robots, I’m fairly confident we won’t have a lot in common. I’m pushing more and more for those people who understand that participation isn’t just complaining online about how unfair life is, those willing and prepared to give back more than they take out. Thinking needs to be the default these days, however tough that might be on a daily basis. That means not only considering what you say, but more crucially what you don’t.
Having survived the early stage of Patreon, it is time to start raising the bar. Persuading people to give you money (especially in this day and age) is a tough ask. I have big plans starting this week, and need to get more people on board, who are prepared to take a chance on me and what I believe in. We don’t need to be friends for this to happen, either. However, that might happen, or it might not… a lot of it isn’t up to me to begin with. Life isn’t a predictable set of occurrences. If we get lucky, then so be it.
Sometimes, just inspiring people to be better is enough.
There’s an inspirational image out there somewhere if I could be bothered to look for it, that would state something like the following: Don’t worry about the haters. Just be you. That’s what I’m doing right now. Just being me.
Amazingly, this shit appears to work.
There is a fuck of a lot of stabilising going on, I should add at this point. I may look elegant and swan-like on the surface, but if you stare beneath the waterline? ALL THE PADDLING. However, I am quietly beginning to grasp that the less I worry, the more stuff coalesces. Finding new things to talk about has certainly helped, and keeping a focus on my novel is really beginning to bear fruit.
Also, taking the piss out of myself is becoming increasingly less stressful. Yes, you cannot take any of this too seriously. I’ve seen what happens when you do that, and we’re not turning the bus back that way anytime soon. Therefore, genuine laughter has happened at several points this week. I’m still struggling a bit with decent sleep, but the trend is undoubtedly upwards, and yesterday evening’s message most definitely helped, even if I’m a little sore this morning. The bits all end up as part of my whole. I’d forgotten that: not just the sleep, or the training, or the banter or the words. ALL OF IT TOGETHER.
Strap in, lovelies. Shit’s beginning to get REALLY interesting.
Yesterday, I went out with husband and daughter for my first meal post-operation. I played it safe: nothing overly fatty, healthy choice, and only a single beer, and woke up at 5am with a hunger I can’t recall for quite some time. Yesterday’s PT was all that was hoped for too: weights were utilised, exercises suggested that put no pressure on my healing umbilical hernia, and once my daughter’s packed off for a sleepover with a friend, I’ll go and do 5 miles on the Octane. When I do that tomorrow it will be with press ups, TRX rows and single arm rows as accompaniment. This is maintenance mode for two weeks, so that the hernia gets a full month to heal. Then, we’ll go back to where we were.
I’ve put on half a kilo at weigh in time, which could be as much about the Gym clothes I was wearing or the fact I didn’t use the loo before I stood on the monitor. What matters below the weight, as I have discovered in the last few months, are the important details such as the percentage of my body that is fat, and how exercise translates to general body health. In that regard, owning the body of a 40 year old is something to be pleased about, and having lost 4% body fat thanks to the operation? Yeah, let’s take that as a win. The trick now, of course, is to make sure it stays that way. Doing the work has never been a problem. My PT yesterday made the point that she wasn’t surprised I was back in and exercising less than a fortnight after the operation, that was ‘just the way you are.’
You bet I’m going to take that as a compliment.
We also went as a family to see the installation of poppies that has been adapted from the original art at the Tower of London. Hopefully I’ve done the magic with the URL from my Flickr account to link that here so you can take a look. It’s on land that the MoD sold to developers about a decade ago, and the original Barracks were converted into housing. Needless to say, it was a lovely evening and very moving when, at 7pm, a lone bugler came and played the Last Post by the wave of poppies.
Without further ado, let us get on with the day.
I could be lying here and scheduling this post, but sadly I’m not. It’s 3am and I’m awake. My Fitbit almost gleefully informed me that I’ve had 3 hours and 48 minutes of sleep, before my son helpfully texted me to say he was awake and not to get grumpy if he couldn’t get up in the morning. My daughter appears to be sleeping okay, but if I go to check I’m just as likely to wake her up and honestly, what am I doing? The cherry on the cake was, coming downstairs to check my son hadn’t been lying and playing games, I found the front door wide open, because my husband had been to the garage late before bed and not shut it properly.
This is a throwback I really didn’t either want or need.
Suddenly I’m back with both kids under five, and the inevitable chaos that would accompany one being unwell. Sometimes I thought the other would react in sympathy, and it certainly appears that there’s a bit of this in play at present. It doesn’t help that my son had his second GCSE yesterday, and stress levels appear decidedly higher than normal, or that my daughter has her first formal set of exams coming up at Secondary School. I know how badly this brain reacts under pressure, and I can’t say I blame either of them. It’s a tough call at this point being a parent, because remembering that my parents pretty much just left me to cope at that age is rather sobering. I still crave reassurance even now, as a result of that time. I just have to try and be the best mother I can be.
However, when everyone else can sleep but you can’t? That’s a tough ask.
Normally I’d have gone to Azeroth as a first port of call but the game is in maintenance, so there’s no chance of reliving that part of my life in absentia. I’d also have gone to Zero 7 as music for working but right now, I’m listening to Mia by Paul Oakenfold and I think that this is probably keeping me more awake than is healthy. This isn’t the same as it was before: I have changed, thinks are better in terms of sleeping and finding sanity in the midst of having to cope as a primary carer. The fact both kids come back to me when they’re sick is, I suppose, compliment to the skills I have keeping them safe.
If all else fails, I have now at least saved myself some work in the morning.
This week is a Deadlines week, and normally this would be accompanied by much wailing and gnashing of teeth, except today? Not so much of anything. In fact, if I get any more relaxed I think I’m gonna pass out. This is even after the start to the last two days when I have watched other people’s stupid do their best to derail me. I’ll tell you when all this started: I did a 5 minute meditation in the Gym. I just cleared my mind of everything, focused on the beat of the music, and switched off. It was incredibly simple, and I understand I’m now at a stage where I don’t have time to get annoyed about all this fucking pointless shit, because there are better things to be doing with my time.
You know, like living.
I pretty much beat PB’s on everything yesterday. I have committed to run a Kilometre, at least three times a week, and possibly more if I can cope with the exercise. My arms are now totally unrecognisable from where I started in May. I have the beginnings of a notion of complete change, that didn’t exist before. I even have a favourite exercise, when the fuck did that happen?
The fact I couldn’t even manage four of these a couple of months ago and now I can knock off a set of twelve is fantastic news for the top half of my body which was sorely lacking in confidence. In fact, I’ll be found nipping off to the stairs when I get frustrated, between bouts of writing, to do a set of these when the urge takes me. The confidence this then gives elsewhere should absolutely not be underestimated or belittled. Amazing really, that if you do something long enough for it to become habit forming, it can be helpful. All that detrimental shit I used to rely on? Slowly falling away, but it does take willpower. An incredible amount of it, and the understanding that sometimes being hard on yourself is not the answer to everything. Yup, it works for some stuff, but not everything.
Do what you have to do, people, that’s how this gets better for you.