Writing under strain or How Monday Can Rain on Your Parade

It gets really difficult sometimes. I had a subject all lined up for today’s blog and then WHAM! Monday afternoon hit me like me Agent Smith doing his power punch thing in the Matrix.

Long and short of it is that I was already tired, before work crisis intervened and destroyed my lasts vestiges of stamina. Ok, so I’m writing this I guess, but it’s not prepped or researched or anything. I’m tapping out words on my smart phone to get some semblance of writing and it’s all off the cuff. 

It’s frustrating because I had a few bits and pieces ready to write up, but there’s nothing like life to heap shit on you. I’m too tired to concentrate, so I have to write something, anything, just to ensure I’ve had some kind of productivity.

I’m knackered. And the problem is, when I get tired I get more prone to depression and anxiety. That means irritability (more than normal), sensitive to loud noises (including music), and a general morose thought process. I should be fresh and invigorated at the start of the week. Now I feel like I usually do by the time work finishes. What a drag.

Still, writing something’s better than nothing. It’s helping to chill me out a little but nothing is going to help me feel less tired except some rest. Hopefully tomorrow will go better.

I woke up this morning to find the dog had taken a wee on the carpet, the day of a rental inspection 😱 Looks like it was just the beginning 😂

The Null Zone

Just not feeling it today. A dull malaise. Probably comes from no blog yesterday. I think I overstretched and in the process couldn’t complete the blog.

So, yesterday. I thought of a post about fake news, but wanted to convert it to the office environment about dealing with rumours and gossip (particularly malicious). Instead it has turned into some of epic blog post, and fatigue overtook me before I even finished it. Now it remains unfinished, and I haven’t the will to finish it. Unfortunately, I need to finish it, so this evenings’ journey home is likely to be my means of wrapping that one up. Two blogs for the price of one.

I shouldn’t be so unmotivated. Really shouldn’t. Maybe it’s just nothing – aspiration for the better of me and I’ll finish it tonight. Let’s hope.

I had considered this morning’s post to be about motivation, particularly self-motivation, but I don’t wonder if it sounds a bit cliche. Nonetheless, I think I’ll give it a shot, but it’ll be quick because I’m. Not that far off my final station.

1. Set realistic goals, not ideal ones. At least, not at first. Want to climb Everest, but feel sore after walking the street and back? Perhaps establish a longer term plan. Me, I am trying to get some semblance of fitness. I go swimming 3 times a week. It was 5, but by day 3 I’d be knackered and virtually unable to move by the end of the week. Supplementary exercise (like walking the dog) went out the window (not the dog, just the exercise). So I was rarely managing more than a few swims a week and very little else. Now, at 3 times a week, I can manage that capably, and other exercise on top. Notice how having a realistic goal delivers the same amount of swimming as the unrealistic, but gives far more flexibility for other exercises? Less is more.

2. Pick the best time for you and make it work. I used to go running at lunch. It worked, for a few months, but then two things happened. One, my feet got incredibly sore after running, and my legs, making it difficult to sustain the exercise – hence the swimming. The other was summer. Too hot to run. So I changed time to before work. This too is the other reason for swimming – time. It was far too much time in the morning to sort the running, whereas the swimming is more flexible for me. Ultimate it’s about finding the right moment of the day for you and making the time.

3. Find things to do while exercising. Bit difficult in the pool to listen to music, but I preoccupy myself with mini targets of numbers of lengths. For other exercises I use YouTube or iTunes to keep me occupied. It also helps me have an artificial time set to complete everything.

So that’s it. Amateur exercise tips. Of course, I have yet to succeed in the long term, but I will persevere.

Up and at ’em

It’s a lovely morning. The Sun is out, blue sky, and there’s a lovely breeze. It’s got to the point where winter clothes start to decline. For the first time in months I’m not wearing a coat (I say coat, it’s more of a hoodie). It’s brisk, but after a little walking I warm up pretty quick.

So the seasons change. I don’t know what it is about Aussie winters, but they seem to last a long time. Longer than I recall in the UK. Must be a perception thing. Aussie winters are no where near as cold as UK ones can get, bar a few places over east.

Today is a good day. At least, I’m starting off on the right foot. Some days it can be an effort to get out of bed, and it’s not a sleepy lazy kind of thing where I want a lie in. It’s a force myself out of bed and to work kind of effort. Normally, once I get the coffee and breakfast in me, and a bit of a walk the effect passes. Some days though, it could be weather like today and I wouldn’t notice. It would just be a cloud of grey on my mind.

I find if I get rest over the weekend my starts much better. This doesn’t mean doing nothing, but it does mean spending more time resting than working. A couple of weeks ago I got a little carried away with some household cleaning. The result was come Monday I was shattered. I didn’t have time to recover because my line of work is pretty draining. It was a difficult week.

So this morning I’m feeling quite refreshed. Ready for work. This evening I’ve got writers club, on a different day, so I’m keen to see how earlier day helps with the writing. I can’t guarantee work will keep the spirit of a good day, but I’m as prepped as I think I can be.

What shape am I?

Do oranges dream of being grapefruits and having more curves? Do grapefruits get jealous of oranges and their more toned bodies? Are lemons petite blonds of the citrus world? Where do limes fit into all of this? It’s all a question of shape.

I have been on something of a health kick these last few weeks. I exercise at lunch, mainly running, and my food intake has, well actually that’s stayed the same. The big difference is reducing my drink intake. Barring a couple of social occasions with friends, my alcohol intake has reduced to virtually nil.

The benefits are loss of weight, feeling good about myself, and no doubt my liver has stopped weeping (I’m sure I could hear it in my dreams, like the distant sob of scared and frightened child).

However, I have been here before, exercising, reducing food etc. on those occasions the benefits have been short term. It would be nice to reach a state of equilibrium where I can enjoy a glass or two of wine (it’s always at least two – who the fuck only has one glass of wine?) without worrying about my weight. Truth is though I have always slipped back into old habits, so my approach needs to be more long term than previously. I guess I am developing a diet that will last for life, rather than in terms of weeks or months. 

The problem right now though is that I really have no idea what shape I’m meant to be. I have been overweight since I was about 6. It probably peaked in my late teens to early twenties before I managed to get some better control on it. I first went to a gym in my late twenties which had some impact but not long term. Bouts of massive weight gain have roughly coincided with bouts of depression. In fact, as I think about it now, I have probably spent a quarter to a third of my life depressed. 

Anyhow, I depress, sorry, digress (haha see what I did there?). Body shape. I’ve never had a moment where I was happy with how I looked, so I have no frame of reference for how I will look if I get to optimum weight. Nancy, my long suffering but wise (cracking) partner, says that it’s more important how it makes me feel rather than some aesthetic consideration. Of course she’s right, but I grew up as a child of the 1980’s, the last of the Generation X. I still have these influences about ‘looking good’ (good o’le neoliberal culture). I have never – never – been satisfied or content about my appearance. I particularly dislike my chin and the slight Some days I actively avoid mirrors. It shouldn’t matter, but it’s a distracting thought that has lingered for decades.

I’ll have to get over it. Just as the exercise and diet is about setting up a habit for life, I’ll have to overcome a life long habit about I think about myself. Being healthy is going to deliver better dividend than looking healthy. Exercising that discipline of thought is something I need to fit into my routine. Chances are I might never be happy, setting myself against an ideal I can’t possibly hope to match. So I need to retrain my habit of thinking and move beyond the superficial. That’s the way forward. Be a grapefruit and be happy about it.