These Foolish Things

Won’t mention it here again, because thirty days of telling people you’re exercising when they’re quite happy not to is quite likely to result in losing friends. This morning is noted here for two reasons alone: I turned up, at the Gym, and had to awkwardly stand in reception until they officially opened at 10am. That’s a first. It’s also hugely satisfying when your instructor tells you she thinks you were the only person actually pushing themselves in their class.

That’s a massive compliment.

It’s two weeks before my scheduled Cholesterol and Anaemia blood tests. If I eat REALLY well and am not a complete idiot, both of those are more than likely to come back normal. If they don’t? I’ll cope.ย A month ago, that might not have been the case. A lot has changed since the start of October, mind. The biggest single problem however will not be falling off the sweet wagon. However, not a single mince pie or Christmas Pudding has passed my lips this year. NOT ONE.

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Lots to sort this evening, then it is back to rough approximation of normality tomorrow. School runs recommence on the 6th, and I’ll be making the most of every lie-in until then.

Lots of stuff will slowly begin to alter starting tomorrow.

Games People Play

The world is changing fast. Some of it is still glacial, but with the amount of melting water around the planet right now we’ll probably need a better metaphor soon… and within it all, so many wish desperately to be right, above all else.ย There are reasons why laws exist, going back to the days of the bloke with the tablets came down from aย  mountain. Human beings are fundamentally flawed. There needs to be a means by which this behaviour can be highlighted.

Law is fundamental to current existence, like it or not.

Without law, #MeToo doesn’t change women’s rights. Serious assaults are ignored, historical abuse condemned to memory. Major companies and organisations, more and more, are finding it impossible to circumnavigate climate change regulations, emissions standards, deforestation… and the list goes on. You can’t say laws matter for one thing but then they’re insignificant somewhere else. Good or bad, this is the Social Contract we all signed up for.

Except more and more, people are doing just that on their own personal platforms.

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Democracy is a hot topic right now, and I’m not going there other than with a couple of tweets and the understanding that there will be people who now believe with 100% certainty that a bunch of posh judges are taking away their democratic right to fuck out of Europe like they voted to. You have fun with that.ย The reality is so much more nuanced, subtle and complex it’s taken three years for anybody to be in a position to present a reliable version of truth. That’s where we are now.

This is the real future you voted for.

I now have to hope that the people in power who do care about the reality of our future, knee deep in water as it will be, are well aware of what needs to be done. Leave or Remain are irrelevant when you look at the facts. The PM acted illegally in order to ensure he gets a ‘democratic’ vote ratified by any means necessary. I’m sorry, that’s not how this works. That’s never how democracy has worked.

The people in power have shown themselves to be very much left wanting.

Regeneration

Never start ANY project on the first of the month. If it matters enough, procrastination won’t help. Begin when the idea strikes you, straight away. Planning can be refined about a week in. Of course, sometimes, you don’t need the organisation. Stuff just works.

I switched my 55 to a 45 Blaze for good on Wednesdays. Reasoning is simple: 55 is not helping me work hard, but teaching more how to build up stamina. Because the extra minute per zone demands a lot of work on managing energy, it’s less simple to just go flat out. This has been confirmed by lots of weeks where I’ve genuinely struggled to feel as if anything was progress. Therefore, a change was facilitated.

More importantly however I don’t (as yet) know anybody doing the 45 in this group. I was a stranger. This was an added advantage because the sense of being in contest with people you know did not exist. It helps in some ways, but hinders in others. I managed red zone time last night in combat (though not enough to register on the app) and on the treadmill, and this is something that’s not happened before. Change holds a lot of value.

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That’s a lot of yellow. More importantly, I came out of the class awake, aware and more functional than has been the case for weeks. I walked home.ย That would have been unheard of a month ago. The improvement to physical fitness is only part of the picture, however. Last night I did the whole class without my glasses on, so the worry of steaming up was alleviated. Mentally, I didn’t care about anything except effort, and it happened.

Let’s be honest, it’s the mental change that is the biggest shift, and that happened last week. Since then, everything is just a little bit brighter. I could have waited until today to start this change, but then a whole week would have been wasted by doing so.ย All the momentum I’ve built since being in a pile on the floor in the heat, crying my eyes out, would simply have been lost.

You really are the catalyst to make major change to existence.

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I also know how easy it is to ignore your own issues. It will still happen, of course. However, that likelihood’s now far less of a certainty.

The lesson has been learnt.

Wherever You Will Go

Today, we’re going to talk about learning.

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Learning is not just a grasp of information, it is a combination of many, disparate factors. Experience counts for a significant amount of the process too: how things work, so that over time you can better understand the best means to optimise and streamline processes. By far the best way to learn, is to do.ย This, for me, means a fundamental change in approach to… well, just about everything.

Firstly, it is dealing with issues as they occur. Take this morning: on the way back from the School Run, for the first time ever, my petrol warning light came on. Normally I’ve programmed myself to always ensure there’s no less than a quarter of a tank at all times. This week, I’m fatigued and other issues have deflected this base level preparedness. Looking at the dial on the car, two thoughts presented:

Go home, you’re hungry and thirsty, you can get petrol when you go out again

OR

Go find the nearest petrol station and DO IT NOW.

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This might seem odd, using summat so trivial to explain the basic trouble I have with life, but it’s a metaphor.ย Doing the right thing was, for so very long, summat that would be ignored over keeping myself safe, and by that I mean happy and unstressed. It’s always easier not to tidy up the big pile of mess and just find summat easier to deal with… which is all well and good until the sum of your mess piles overwhelms you and everything else. It’s the deadline you’ll never make, or the scary thing that never gets finished.

Failure really is no longer an option.

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You see, I’ve only just learnt that failure is less about other people and you, but more about you and other people.ย It meant I went and got petrol, then came home and did the stuff that I didn’t want to do ahead of the things I do. Learning is prioritising the importance of other people’s desires on a par with yours, and then working out how the whole thing can be harmonised. My daughter can be critical of my housekeeping skills with absolute certainty she’s right, but if she’s not practising self care and eating the lunch I give her, that’s not accepting my efforts at support.

Arguing with a 14 year old is absolutely the best way to learn and grasp your own shortcomings.

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I don’t care who you are and how much experience you claim to possess: EVERYBODY can do better right now. Whether it’s recycling, food choices, personal habits, online etiquette or just living each day in a reasonably worthwhile fashion, somewhere in your personal existence there will be room for improvement. I accept the esoteric need to learn fancy stuff like a second language, but as I’m still unable to adequately communicate in the single language known, sometimes going back to basics has merit.

What ought to happen most, it occurs to me, is the process of gentle exploration of self before anything else of significance takes place. Three people, in separate situations this week, all have suggested that mental health is the key to true learning comprehension. Maybe, if we all possessed some rudimentary mental health support during childhood or even on a regular basis in adulthood, it would become far easier to recognise the warning signs when stuff begins to go wrong.

Maybe that would make it easier for more people to recognise truth when it is presented.

This Is the Day

No Blaze today, because tomorrow is Day One of my writing event in Leeds. I’ll do an adult job of covering it on the appropriate blog, of course, but you can expect non-specific, personal wibbling here. I used to go everywhere on my own up until the birth of my son, then lots of stuff changed forever. As a result this won’t be the first time I’ve visited Leeds, but that was over twenty years ago.

One of the many jobs today is to build a number of suitable playlists for the journey up there for the car. I have foodstuffs and tea to pack, plus the possibility of knocking up some leaflets about myself. There are already business cards printed, so in that regard I’m ahead of the game for a change. What needs to happen before anything else takes place is to read the booklet about the event itself.

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My biggest single worry is blowing it in conversation. All I can do is be myself, I suppose, and think before I speak. After that, everybody else is in exactly the same situation as I am. Sure, other people will know each other, but there will be those who, like me, have come here to start a dream, or continue their training. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll find some friends here.

This is only one of multiple takeaways potentially from the weekend. The plan to change the course of my existence is well on course. Now, it is entirely up to me: make a difference, change the outlooks, start learning how to write properly. Asking the right questions will make a big difference to the helpfulness of my experience. Having other work to share will help too.

This is the start of an exciting new part of existence.

3am Eternal

I’ve left the chair on the landing so when I go buy the replacement battery shortly my tired arse does not have to drag it up and downstairs twice. THAT’S thinking ahead, kids.

Today, I’m done with my poetry project. It was gonna be yesterday, but I have some corrupted photos that need retaking and then BOOM I’m finished. I’m gonna miss the deadline for the short story contest I started writing for in March because, sometimes, you can’t do everything and it is foolish to try. What have we learnt from all this? Everything happens for a reason. Learn from every single one of them.

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This is not about the prolific output, but knowing what matters most and focusing on that. I’ve got more third party exposure in the last month on my own work than has ever happened at ANY point previously. That’s how this works. You do the miles, and you get stronger. It isn’t just via exercise. It happens everywhere. Success is measured by others in vastly different ways to your systems for notional achievement.

Remember this going forward.

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Whatever happens, here is the best period of output since this journey began.

Deliver Me

Lying awake at 2am this morning, unable to sleep, the sense of arranging a 9am PT session seemed somewhat pointless. However, as it happens, it was exactly what I needed to get the day off to a useful start. By that I mean not only am I awake, but aware of how much there is to improve on life right now. My problem, like it or not, is getting stronger.ย Fighting injury, confidence issues, body stamina and a voracious appetite is HARD WORK.

I feel there might be protein pancakes in my future this week.

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The lure of the waffle is great, mostly because SUGAR YES GIVE IT TO MEย and so looking for ways to squash that desire have become a priority. The ‘eat little and often’ regime is one I can totally ascribe to. As a result a second breakfast today was pretty much essential this morning, but with an afternoon bike ride on the cards, it’ll all even out.

Also today, my lunchtime fruit will be rhubarb FROM MY OWN PLANTS \o/

UPDATE: tasted amazing.

This has made me insanely happy.