It’s never easy to be honest with yourself, it’s why so many people spend their entire lives refusing to do so. You know someone like this. Maybe today is the day when you go and start a conversation with them and maybe help them talk about what’s bothering them. It doesn’t have to be Mental Health Awareness Week to instigate a change. Any day will do. Except, on this particular Wednesday, why not try summat different. Start a conversation, and maybe potentially change a life.
Ah, Sunday. I ignored yesterday for writing, and instead did some submitting. Gonna pull together a collection submission today in a similar vein, because the words ‘we’ll accept already submitted works if you let us know they’ve been accepted elsewhere’ is the gift that keeps on giving. Mostly yesterday I played with video options. Lots now I can be doing.
There’s suddenly a phenomenal amount of stuff that’s possible.
Except, today is one where I look after myself, walk around for as long as possible in only my PJ’s, find my desk again after two weeks of chaos, throw away the packaging, plan some poetry whilst hoping that this new routine of exercise and concentration will start granting the gains I’m really looking for. Success is one thing, progress quite another.
I can’t do 87% every day, it’s just not feasible, so starting next week we organise around maintenance and intervals. There is a calendar on which to map everything out, it cannot be impossible to sort a routine. As a grown-up woman who understands how her body operates, it is time to put all this understanding to good work. Also, I gotta stop snacking. It’s not good for the plan.
Better get started, then.
You’ll no doubt remember the mini mental issue that happened at the end of May/start of June around some poetry. I got the rejection letter yesterday, but it wasn’t like previous ones. Over 500 manuscripts. I made it into shortlisting, roughly 10% of that total. I made it to shortlisting. I understand why people shove that in Twitter bios: you’re close. What I don’t grasp is those who don’t then capitalise on the knowledge.
Once I’m done here I’ll be splitting up that body of work into three pieces. All of them will go off to different places. I’m going to reorganise another collection instead of something half-written for summat in August. This failure has inspired me to greatness, and if all this fails again we’ll just pick ourselves up and start again. An important transition has been completed.
That’s all there is to it, I suppose. There is nothing else to do now than get on with it.
Time to do the work.
I didn’t write here yesterday. I need to explain why.
There is a lot of work that needs doing: physically, mentally, intellectually. Normally this would be a nightmare, but that would be the old me talking. The new me has a plan, timelines and precise objectives. It knows what is priority, and how long that will take. It also appreciates that to move forward; intractability is not an option.
Therefore, slowly but surely, the work is being done. We will get fourteen bits of exercise complete in the first seven days of June, just not as evenly as would have been liked, but that can be better organized next week. It means my major poetry project will be first drafted at the end of the day, to be edited next week. It also ensures that everything else, on the list, is written and completed when it is needed.
After that, there are consequences to deal with. This poetry’s disturbed a lot of silt at the bottom of the memory tank: we’ll need to look at what exactly has been unearthed, in time. There are other parts of my life that are quietly poking me, pointing out that they need to be addressed too. There’s still far too much sugar to be healthy.
However, if this is doable for the rest of the month and (all willing) any major disasters can be avoided? Wow, I wanna live like this more. Work gets done, I am happy with it and (crucially) there is creativity of the like I have not previously experienced. This is like writing the poems last year only 100 times more awesome. I am doing the best work possible, and that’s not even close to being hyperbole.
Next up, therefore, I’m launching a proper YouTube Channel, because apparently video is the future, or summat. I dunno, kids today with your Instagram lifestyles… which reminds me, that’s gotta be restarted at some point…
So much to do, always no time.
What if everything you’ve ever done has been leading to this point?
A lot of time is spent contemplating our navels, like it or not. Imagination and role play as children allow vital opportunities to escape beyond the confines of self and stare forward to the future, with all the myriad of possibilities it presents. However, telling kids they’ll have it all sussed out by the time they reach eighteen and need to plan for a career is the biggest joke in the history of mankind (apart from the whole ‘everybody is equal’ thing, obviously ^^) Sometimes, it takes a bit longer to arrive at your chosen destination.
For some of us, a lot longer is needed to allow reality to finally register as significant.
My favourite metaphor right now when trying to explain to people how I’m coping mentally with everything comes from the cartoon my kids loved as toddlers, and still enjoy now. There’s an episode of Spongebob Squartepants where he’s forced to help his frenemy Squidward Tentacles convince his snobby friend he owns an expensive restaurant. The titular sponge is forced to throw out of his head all the stuff that won’t help him focus on fine dining and breathing, and inside his sponge brain hundreds of tiny Spongebobs run around in anxiety and terror, shredding files full of memories of anything that’s not relevant to the task in hand.
For a long time, that was how it felt for me: ignore the bad stuff, don’t worry about the expectations of others and simply focus on what matters, which right now is cycling and writing… except, of course, this kind of approach is fatally flawed. Then you have nowhere else to send the stress, because all the other places it could have been siphoned off too are ignored. This weekend needs to be one where I don’t fixate on what could go wrong, and do my best to mentally relax, whilst simultaneously keeping up the training. I think there’s a Velo Park trip possible on Sunday too, which (if true) I’m already looking forward to.
It’s not going away, I can’t bottle and not do this. I have sponsors and a charity that is relying on to get the job done. The eternal questions of the Universe will have to wait, but they’ll help find the right mental balance going forward.
Time to get serious.