That Thing

I’m gonna end up writing a gaming post today, on the back of comments that I’ve seen, despite having muted a key phrase in my Twitter feed. It’s inescapable, like the march of seasons and the annoyance of those who think waiting for someone else to solve their issues is the answer. What amazes me, and continues to do so, is the perception of different as better.

Often, different is exactly the same as it was, except you forgot that was the case.

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Porridge for me is a case in point. Oats have, for many years, been my way of getting energy throughout the day without the stress of over-sugaring myself. Except, over time, pre-packaged snacks have risen to challenge that dominance. Energy bars, conveniently presented, luring me into excess sugar I don’t need… making me think they’re somehow better than the first bowl of morning oats, with some fruit chucked in for good measure.

Hospital was a benefit in that regard. Porridge, small bowl, handful of berries. No fuss. No stupid concept treats with ingredients I don’t need. This is the fuel needed to get me through lunch without stress. Today therefore will be day three of the Huel shake plus a planned porridge and pomegranate snack that doubles as part of lunch, with some extra fruit and nuts. Why did I forget that simple was best? Why was I that dumb to begin with?

Mostly, on reflection, it is my own stupidity to blame.

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I know I’m not supposed to be so hard on myself. Don’t worry, I get that. I also grasp, only too well, that improvement isn’t just a notional set of numbers, or a line or two that gets drawn in the sands of expectation. The problem for me is obsession. Separating need from desire is a tough ask sometimes, but things are improving on that front. I know I’m capable of great things. The problem’s in execution, not ideas.

So, it is no wonder that occasionally the path is deviated from. To fix it isn’t just about knowing what matters however, but how that’s reached with the most amount of enjoyment along the way. Let’s face facts, that’s summat I’ve forgotten how to do in the last six months. Enjoying myself, as it happens, is not nearly as stressful as used to be the case. In that regard, counselling is the gift that keeps on giving.

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Time for porridge, and then let’s see if we can start making sense of the bombsite that is this house.

Round and Round

Today, I went to a Cycle Park. Not just any one, but THE one.

The Lee Valley Velodrome is the legacy from 2012’s Olympics which I’ll be spending quite a lot of time near or close to in the next month or so. A week before Ride London, there’s the annual London to Southend ride, which (for the first time this year) begins from this point. It’s my official warm up (52 miles) and I now have three weeks to pull my finger out and sort out a few things, including my stamina, because if we’re talking 29 degrees for the next few weeks, I am going to struggle.

Honestly, this is a dream for me: the Velo Park has a car-free, mile-long track, which allowed a lot of wobbling, a chance to grasp my gears (I may yet need a guide on my handlebars) and for the first time, deal with a mechanical issue (chain came off, I got it back on \o/) I need to learn how to change a tyre. There has to be a better grasp of what I can do, and a way to pace myself correctly. Honestly, this is the best thing I could possibly have done and frankly, wish I’d done it earlier.

However, this is a start.

Also, I feel FAR too heavy. Static training is a long way from the reality of hauling your own body around the roads. Now I have this to factor in, I owe my husband an apology: he was absolutely right, I need the lightest bike I can find so there’s not a worry over having to manage to deal with metal after three plus hours.

I have three weeks to shift some weight. It IS going to happen, oh yes.

Paranoid Android

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(I’ve been listening to the Radiohead OKNotOK remaster all week. No Surprises as to what keep cropping up as lyric prompts.)

I lay awake at 5am this morning, as has become something of a habit of late. It’s not bad,  looking at the daily sleep cycle: I went to bed at ten because EXHAUSTED and seven and a bit hours has become a ‘normal’ night. However, a return to sleep was possible, safe in the knowledge that everything that needs to be done this month not only is doable, but will be completed. For the first time in many months I think I’m strong enough to produce what is asked everywhere, without collapsing in a massive heap, though there were a few points yesterday where panic physically manifested. They were all dealt with, however, and now comes the nuts and bolts.

The plan going forward is to produce enough quality content in the hope to attract someone to sign for a higher tier of participation, to break the $100 a month threshold. The job I gave up to do this paid approximately $160 a month, so that will be the next metaphorical achievement… and then if I crack $200 I can give up the other part time writing projects still involved in. I’m enough of a realist to grasp this will take time, and a phenomenal amount of effort on my part, but working hard has never been something I’ve had a problem with. As this morning shows, it is dealing with the paranoia that accompanies starting something from the ground up which is a far bigger issue. Today, nothing seems quite good enough.

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Patreon keep sending me emails instructing that content creators should play up positivity and optimism in my work. This is the single biggest thing I struggle with. Knowing work is good enough, that your heart and soul is being poured into every word and post… of course there is a firm belief in everything being produced, or this journey would never have been begun. That’s not the problem: I fucking suck at self promotion. There is nobody else to blow the trumpet except me, and only now is it apparent what a huge place the Internet is and how tiny one feels in comparison. The hope, of course, is that my distinctive approach is niche enough to attract total strangers. When that finally happens, then there will be a belief that yes, there is mileage in this.

Getting people I don’t know to take a chance on me is the next step.

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I have lost count of the number of ‘friends’ who promised earnest support for projects over the years yet conveniently vanished when help was needed the most. In fact, I should thank those individuals for teaching the lesson that, in the end, the only person one can truly rely on is yourself. This next few weeks is about being confident in conviction, and not being swayed by those who just turn up to start a fight: after all, that’s my job anyway. The people who matter most already grasp the significance of this project, and have been kind enough to stand up as support in the vital early months. Everybody else, like it or not, isn’t interested, and if that can be changed? Well, there’s a point to aim for.

Perhaps if I can aim to sway one mind a day, going forward, 365 minds by the end of the year is a massive achievement. Small steps is all I can hope for.

That’s how all good journeys begin.