Everyone’s a Winner

Sunday. Ah yes, time for getting next week ready and if that’s done well enough, maybe there’ll be a moment left over to fuck about with something for myself. Next year WILL BE THE ONE where I start doing art and shit for relaxation: having accepted my drawing is restricted to high-quality doodling and not much else, alternatives have been sought. There is an answer. I’ll be gathering materials starting next month.

That bookbinding box of materials will be pulled out over the Christmas break.

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I’ve actually cut back on exercise this month from last: Exercising four days with three days off is beginning to allow more writing time. During the winter months this is not likely to change, but I could certainly shove some more walking into the equation going forward. As the days get warmer next year, I might also drive daughter to school, leave the car parked close and abandon it some days to get extra steps in.

This was part of my fitness plan when I first picked a PT: run the youngest in, find a car park close to the school, pay for a day’s parking and then walk home. That, plus the walk back to pick up the car was a guaranteed six miles every day. The photographer in me could make a lot of use of that time to boot, there’s so much in my town worth preserving for posterity. Perhaps, if the weather’s good starting in the New Year… ^^

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Saturdays will become the rest day in the New Year too, because I’ll be doing my Mental Health Champion training on those days in January, and therefore need to be free. I can also guarantee that there’ll be little or no desire to do anything else after these sessions are done: I was mentally exhausted after the introductory one. There’s some other exercise-related things I gotta sort out as well… all this to look forward to.

Planning is becoming one of my favourite tasks.

Dark Days

This wasn’t how this entry started: that version of events was far more staid, even boring. That’s the biggest problem with a daily blog: at some point, the mundane begins to show. It stops being compelling and becomes your diary of events and consequences. That’s all well and good once in a while, until a shit day happens, or something transpires you don’t want recorded. Then you’re forced to reassess priorities. I’m four days into January and already looking forward to the Weekend. Those are the places where I do at least get a chance to stop and reflect more, and that’s the time I now value the most amongst everything else. On grey weekdays, when you wake to darkness outside, motivation can be hard to generate, and that was undoubtedly the case this morning.

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I crave bright, sunny January days. Those mornings when you freeze with the sun on your face, extremities suffer but heart warms to the knowledge that the longer days are already coming. It won’t be long before empty branches are full, leaves new and brilliant greens. That’s where I’m already imagining the walks to and from the Gym, or just around this place under the excuse I should be out, and never substituting treadmill for reality. The rain patters on the roof above me and has stopped being soothing, now it’s the sound that reminds that I can’t walk without an extra layer, added protection. I don’t mind the rain, however, but not when it’s close to falling as snow. Tomorrow’s already looking up, even if the temperature’s going down.

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I’ve also remembered that I’m not just doing this out of obligation. There can be a plan in place to ensure that words are working, even in my personal spaces. It may yet be necessary in fiction to just write a scene to get it done and dusted, but the same is not true for personal reporting. I can look back at my years of game blogging and tell you the days when I was just here because there was a misplaced belief that I should do so. Those posts never remain memorable, nor do they teach either me or you anything we didn’t already know. The best work, I am now grasping, is when you walk the extra mile or, even more significantly, when someone directly challenges an assertion made in public. That’s what’s been happening all this week and as more people have poked, instead of just reacting with a knee-jerk, there’s been consideration and genuine thought.

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The limit for daily rambling’s now placed at 500 words, but that’s never set in stone, just a guide for what looks like a decent attempt at adult communication. Some days a 140 character tweet might well be enough, but as yet nothing earth-shattering’s ruined my concerted push forward into the New Year. I’ll grant that today’s been the first real struggle for motivation, but that’s far more to do with my body realising that if it wants energy, processed sugars are no longer in stock. Once that memo is actually processed by my brain? There will be progress. I was stuck here waiting for a delivery: now it has arrived, I’m free and untethered by responsibility.

Time to go hunting and gathering.

Confusion the Waitress

I almost cracked 30k steps on Monday. It was close and gave me an idea of what I need to do this morning, when I do.

Because today, I won’t be writing until lunchtime, I’ll be walking/elliptical-ing my way to a new Fitbit badge. When I was Googling for a suitable image, I discovered this article on how Fitbit is quite addictive. Yes, I know this, and speaking from the addiction standpoint? I know where I need to get to. Once I make it there? Then we’ll see where we are. Like my gaming? It’s all about knowing when things become a problem and right now? Not a problem, just a goal.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get kids to school and walk to my new destination.

Get Off

Because the game I cover on the other blog has a T for Teen rating, most people won’t step on toes when it comes to discussing it. In fact, in the majority of cases, being a foul-mouthed, indignant woman over it is probably as ill-advised as anything on the Internet you do with words could possibly be. Except some days, the dam bursts. You wake up from a dream so vivid and suffocating that you wonder what the Hell’s going on in your subconscious, until it’s apparent that the previous day was so emotionally destructive your brain can’t deal with the consequences in one sitting. Last night, everybody was deliberately holding me back. Old places, favourite TV characters, situations all transpired to make it impossible for me to escape the gravity of the situation I was in. I was literally disabled by the world, forced to remain rooted to the same spot whilst other people dumped their issues on me. I knew what had to be written the moment I awoke and now I have? I actually feel better.

However, I’m not done.

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This is my brain, most days. Slightly odd, clearly warped, but with a sense of humour. I get by, I survive, but when the pressures of the World attack that balance, stuff gives. Yesterday, I wrote something that upset somebody, and them watched them in my social media timeline say as much, without actually referencing me as the problem. We’d had a discussion about it shortly after publication, where I’d been asked to explain what I’d meant and after I did? Well, that wasn’t enough. The person concerned decided to make it their issue at the forefront and that’s absolutely fine. This is how modern life works, after all. So, I wrote a whole post explaining that, in a way I was comfortable with as the truth. It transpires all this person wanted from me was friendship, when that was never actually on the table to begin with. Because, like it or not, it takes two people to do that, and if you start off the process by getting upset with the way I write? Ultimately, never gonna happen. Sorry, but if I rub you up the wrong way with the words I use, it’s a pretty safe bet this won’t ever end well. I just have to show you my Block/Ignore list for ample evidence of that.

And so, life goes on.

Except I still feel guilty.

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When you write, there is a danger that you stop making it about what you want and you begin to tailor to what others demand of you. Should I worry I might offend people? Is it right to use actual names? Can I point a finger at someone and be fair in my criticism when all I have is a subjective view? The thing is, after a while, you can tell the people who are writing for an audience, who are aware that they don’t want to upset anyone and as a result the net is cast so wide that their words are somehow lessened, softened by the lack of passion injected. That’s not how good writing works, at least in my mind. I’ll always take the passionate, enraged viewpoint especially if the writer can control that feeling in a manner that gives the work a direction and drive. That’s why poetry’s a brilliant form for those who need to be angry but not offend, why theatre can be so powerful and yet so widely interpreted. The format’s nearly as important as the content. I’ve taken a personal blog to daily levels this year because I’ve realise it helps my gaming/social media stuff make more sense. Except this morning, I couldn’t avoid the inevitable any longer. The people who call themselves Gamers have taken a bad wrap in the last 18 months, and with good reason. All the bad things don’t go away, they just submerge further and further into depths most people simply don’t visit. When you see people driven away by this that you know were voices of reason and intelligence? You get mad, and last night I snapped.

I have used my words therefore to make sure that ire is properly directed.

There’s a flip side to this, however, another side that needs to be told. That’s tomorrow’s Blog, and it’s been hard to write. However, once it’s done? I get to move on.

Save Me

Losing Alan Rickman so soon after Bowie makes the whole ‘grieving about someone you never knew’ thing become really problematic. Defining your life, you see, is not simply about the stuff you do. It’s about what you watch, or read, or hear as well, often more so. These moments shape your progress, and alter the methods of travel once the two points intersect. And so, whilst all of you Snape or Gruber as a point of interest…? I went to Dogma. However, if I’m honest? This is where I’ll watch more. Because Austin is my jam, and always has been, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t think that the ‘Sense and Sensibility’ he starred in with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet is the best version there is. Because it is.

I’m an incurable romantic, when all is said and done, and frankly you want a man who’d go find you in the rain and then carry you several miles whilst unconscious. Don’t give me that dirty look you stupid fucking feminists who’ll tell me you don’t need a man for validation, everybody wants someone who cares enough to not leave you for dead. In this case I would lose my shit and just so go there if Rickman did this for me. So YES I KNOW none of my expectations are realistic, but hey. Everybody has a List, right? That mental group of actors, performers and artists that if you ended up with them alone for a night and nobody else knew you’d just say yes and do the Walk of Shame in the morning with head held high? Rickman was on my list. Even at 69. Especially at 69. 

I would have taken this man as validation every single day of the week.

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Yeah, I know.

This week’s been roughly equivalent to being dragged backwards through the bushes for five days straight. Mostly I think I’d just like to make it to bedtime tonight and quite possibly not get up again until Monday, but I already know the total impracticality of my desire. What I will do is go and buy Sense and Sensibility on DVD and finally add it to my Austen collection, because it really deserves to be there and I ought to watch it completely and not as is so often the case catch the last 45 minutes on TV and wish I’d started from the beginning.

The World is quite a depressing place this morning.

*sigh*

[PS: There is a coda to this post, which you can find here.]