Good Morning 1-1-22

Good morning, folks! How are we all doing this this morning? I’d imagine there are a few sore heads surfacing from their beds, sofas, or wherever they found themselves waking after seeing the New Year in. Me, I was in bed and well off to sleep as the clock brought 2021 to an end.

I’m not really one for making a fuss of new years. When I was in my early teens my step-grandad died on New Years Eve and since then I’ve only had a couple of new years that I’ve felt were good. It has become somewhat of a time of year that I can come to dread. Some have been pretty darn awful. So I don’t really pay too much attention to them.

Dizzy doesn’t seem that interested in the fact it’s a new year.

The same could be said of New Years Resolutions. I never really saw the point in them as most people give up on them after a few weeks, and if you really wanted to change something in your life you’d just start doing it, right? Well, this year something feels different. I’ve woken up with a new determination to get my arse into gear and change a few things in my life.

The last couple of years have had a lot of change and growth for me, and I’m getting better at recognising when I need to be more proactive with making changes. I’ve known a few of these changes I’ve been needing to make recently, but I’m not someone who can just snap my fingers and make those changes. I need to let things process a little before making a start.

One of the big ones is I used to be able to get up on my days off and make a start on writing. I think back to when I was in the car trade and my one day off a week would be a Sunday and I’d get up and be working on a blog post by about 8am. If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a few years you may remember my ‘Good Morning, Sunday’ posts. Those started because I liked getting up, having a cuppa tea and knocking out a post about what I wanted to get done that day. I felt good getting up and having a good start to the day, and that more often than not led to a decent day. I’ve found if I can get a blog post written early on, or get a few words written, then it gives me a boost for the day. I feel like I’ve already achieved something for the day, which gives me a good vibe going into whatever the day holds.

My last selfie of 2021

Over the last couple of years I’ve lost my way with that, and I need to get back on track with it. And I’m starting today. This is the first time I’ve sat down and ever tried to write a blog post at this time of the day in a long time.

So although I’m not going to make resolutions, I’ve got a list of things I’m looking at being a little more proactive with improving.

Happy New Year, folks! Make it a year to remember for the right reasons.

“I’m always good, me,”

I work at a supermarket and when I’m not on the shop floor I’m on a till. When customers ask me how I am I more often than not I’ll reply with “I’m alright, I’m always good me,”

Even when I’m not okay I say it, and I’ve been thinking about this and the mindset I’ve got growing of seeing the best in life despite what I’m feeling. There are times when I’m feeling down and not as positive as I’d like to be but I still say it.

Some of that is the ‘faking it ’til I make it’ mentality. But what I’m not doing is ignoring what I’m feeling. I’m listening to my body, looking at why I’m feeling like that. This is what I’m doing for all my moods. The more I know and understand what’s going on inside of me; mind, body, soul, the lot. Then I’m going to be able to draw myself to the elements that give me the most positive experience of life.

The biggest element that I’ve noticed which affects my mental health is tiredness. So, that is one of the major parts I’m focussing on improving. I’ve started adjusting my sleep patterns a little, but I think there’s a lot I’ve got to suss out with it. At the moment I’m focussed on getting my head down earlier on nights where I have early shifts. I’m also watching my intake as the day progresses. Definitely no energy drinks after about 3pm, as little sugary snacks after about 7pm (this one I think might be a little harder). I’m trying to wind down my head a little bit as the evening progresses as well. A little less proactive mind, and a little more passive input. Movies, TV, books etc. Gaming does relax me, as does writing and blogging, but those are both pastimes that require proactive thought. Other things are more passive. I can let them enter my mind without them firing up my creative mind too much. Something proactive makes me alert, brains firing and it’s harder to let my mind rest.

Getting good sleep makes all the difficulties of life easier to manage. It makes the fog less thick.

Good Morning! 14th December 2021

This blog post comes to you from a man who isn’t dead tired!

Where I’ve had lots going on recently I’ve not been getting much sleep, and the sleep I have been getting isn’t good sleep. Last night though I was gaming and crashed a car because I nodded off briefly (which in real life can be disastrous). And I decided to get an early night. I was in bed a little after eight with The Simpsons on (something that lets me shut off the constant stream of consciousness, but also something that if I miss any of it I’m not going to loose out on a plot point), and got me head down.

I’m not sure what time I nodded off but I woke up about ten or so and turned off the TV and the next time I woke up was when Max barked his head off and I went down to see what had alerted him (I think it was a fox or something). That was about three this morning. I went back to sleep for forty-five minutes or so and got up when my alarm went off at four.

And you know what, I feel pretty awake today. That’s the first time I’ve tried doing that and I’ve managed to sleep. When I’ve tried early nights before they just haven’t worked.

So today, let’s rock and roll!

Guard dog extraordinaire

7th of December 2021

Evening Folks, I hope we’re all well?

This evening I’ve read through eight more pages of my source file for Penal Earth book two. I’m getting ideas and thoughts on how I want to proceed with it as I’m reading, and I’m realising there’s not going to be a lot I will be able to carry over into the next book. Some of it will be used further down the line but right now A lot of that will be put to one side while I craft a story around what I will be taking from it.

Right, I’m off for the night. I’ve got an early start tomorrow and despite feeling very wide awake, I’m going to try and sleep.

It doesn’t cost anything to be kind. That is one thing the world needs more of.

I’m going to leave you with a video by the fantastic Leah Solmaz where she talks about boosting your moods. It’s really helped me tonight and I think it’s worth a little of everyones time.

I’m A Stress Eater

When I’m stressed out I overeat. When I was younger it was really bad. I’d eat two or three bars/bags of chocolate a day, and I’m talking the large share bags/bars of chocolate not the little ones you get at a newsagents.

It’s a coping method and something I just did. There wasn’t any thought going into it and it’s not been till the last few years where I’ve started connecting the dots and realising its a problem. I try and figure out what pushed me to food, and I find I’m a little grateful I wasn’t going out drinking in those days. Addiction is something that I’ve always feared, so I never really drank too much alcohol and definitely never did any illegal drugs or abuse legal drugs. I didn’t realise that sugar was sneaking in and claiming me, not until many many years later. I used to think ‘at least I’m not an addict’ not realising there was more to addiction than alcohol and what I thought of as drugs.

As I’ve got older its harder to eat as much, and that’s coincided with me realising it’s a problem. And in particular the last eighteen months or so it’s something I’ve been trying to manage better, not very successfully but I’m trying. Writing this post will hopefully help with that as it’s admitting it in such an open forum.

This is a very big bar of chocolate, and I only ate a little of it and have the rest for other days.

I’m listening to my body a lot more, and that’s something which feels like it’s changing. I used to stuff my face and then wonder why I was feeling rough, totally ignoring the tub of ice cream I’d just eaten. Now I’m realising when I’m full, but also managing to stop myself from eating more. It used to be that I would keep going until the bar/bag was finished. The thought of leaving some for tomorrow either didn’t occur or seemed like an obscene concept.

Since realising just how bad I can binge eat and figuring out how to firstly manage it, and now try and beat it I am feeling better. I know the days when I don’t beat it. I feel heavy and sickly. I’m putting so much rubbish into my system and I need to at least compensate with more water for example (drink two litres of water a day folks!). But I feel like I’m going in the right direction with it. I drink less energy drinks, try and eat less sugary snacks and snacks in general. After my evening meal I feel full now, and if I do have something I’m trying to just have a bit but I’m working on not eating if I feel full.

Tea has to have sugar in it!

I’m also thinking about the ‘when’ of eating. Too much sugar in the evenings affects sleep, which when insomnia is something you battle with you don’t really want to give it an ally. I’m trying not to eat after 9pm and with the exception of an occasional hot chocolate I try to just drink water or squash after 9pm as well. I’d like to cut this down to 8pm if I can but for the moment I want to be consistent about having that 9pm shut off.

At times I feel like I’m winning, and then I have a major setback and feel like hell and guilt trip myself for failing so hard, which then strengthens the urge to binge eat. It’s one of those vicious circle things. But I feel like I can get the balance right. Am I likely to give up sugar? no, but I can live my life without it dictating my intake of it. If I consume less sugary snacks I’ll start feeling it both physically and mentally and I’ll hopefully loose a little of the extra weight I’ve gained this last year, I’ll feel better mentally and that’s a win all around.

I don’t actually like this picture of me cause I look at it and just read my gut 😕

Good Morning, 21st of September 2021

Good morning, folks! How are we all doing this morning? I am knackered. The short of it is I’ve not slept properly for over a week now. When I do sleep its not good sleep. I more often than not wake up feeling like I’ve been in a street fight.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to take the rest of the month off from writing. I’m not writing at the moment, so this kind of feels like one of those things where I’m making an announcement that’s not going to change anything. It is though. I will guilt trip myself till the cows come how if I don’t do any writing, which just adds to my anxiety levels (which are always worse when I’m tired).

So, the vague plan is to not do any writing work till October. I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment and this’ll let me refocus my attention properly. It’ll give me time to try and catch up on sleep via naps, and not slamming myself for napping and not writing will help.

Sometimes we all need to take some pressure off ourselves. This is me doing that. I do have a lot going on, and the next ten days or so I’ve got a lot I need to focus on.

I have got a couple fantastic little irons in the fire at the moment with writing, so this isn’t because I’m feeling down about writing. It’s just something needed to give, and writing is the most flexible part of my DNA.

When I dit down again in October I’ve got NaNoWriMo to think about (YAY!!!!!), and a couple of short stories I’ll be looking to get drafts of done.

So, lots going on with writing. The passion is still there and strong, I just need a breather from it to focus on other areas of life. And not for nothing, when I get back to it in October I’ll be very reenergised.

16/9/21

Good evening folks! How are we all doing tonight?

After work I ended up having a bit of a busy afternoon with some errands that needed to be ran that I wasn’t expecting today. They’re done and dusted and out of the way now though. It did mean I didn’t get any writing done. By the time they were done, combined with the early start and the lack of sleep that early starts treat me too, I’m wiped out.

Tomorrow I want to edit Sweet Danny. I’m pretty sure I know what changes I want to make with it to get it where it needs to be.

I would love to get some words in as well, but I’m kind of on a position where I’ve got more editing to do. Not the kind where I’m editing the same story a billion times, but short stories that I’ve written over the last few months that need a little tidying up before I shoot them off to beta readers.

Right, I’m going to try and sleep. Wish me luck!

Raven ‘helping’ yesterday! 🤣

Realising The Fear

Wednesday really did open my eyes up to a lot of myself. One of which was writing my thoughts down. This is something I’ve known I’ve wanted to do for a long time but I’ve never been able to do it. I’m not really sure why but I think it might be a combination of the new medication I’m on, I’m having a little therapy, and it feels like something broke or changed in me on Wednesday.

Realising just how much fear and anxiety have ruled my life has been devastating in one degree, but freeing in another.

Fear was something we touched on in therapy on Monday, and I’m glad we did. The therapist recommended a book about fear that I listened to a big chunk of on the journey to and from the coast on Wednesday. And I think where it was something that we’d spoken about on the Monday I had realised that I was scared of everything and the therapist talked to me about it. Then going down the coast on Wednesday pushed open the door that was unlocked on Monday.

I’m finding this book really helpful.

I think about the excuses I used to make. For not going to the beach it’ll be things like I don’t like getting my feet sandy, or wet, or both. Or getting sand in my car (I was a var cleaner for almost 20 years, sand is a nightmare to get out of a cars carpets), but that doesn’t matter. It’s just sand. It was fear defeating me.

Even simple things like sitting in my garden to write or read. I wouldn’t do it, it would rarely even enter my head. The last couple of mornings I’ve made a cuppa tea and then gone out and had my tea while writing my thoughts done as the dog is running around doing his business.

This morning I was sitting there in shorts, t shirt, a hoodie and my sandals. I had Max jump up on the seat next to me as I wrote. It was chilly this morning. We’re moving into autumn here in the UK (almost halloween season!!!!!), so the weather is cooling and after a while I did retreat into the house. I am going to keep going out there till the weather is too brisk for my taste.

One of the fears I’ve had the last few days is that I wouldn’t be able to sit and writer as freely inside as I have been outside, but I managed to do it okay today. I’m not sure I can write like that when I’ve got loved ones around me, simply because of the distraction but I’ll give it a go at some point.

My fear seems to be focused on failure or disaster. If I drive somewhere I could be in a crash. But that could happen driving to work. It doesn’t stop me doing that. Yes, I could crash but the odds are massive of that happening.

As for failure. Well, it’s a case ‘well what happens if my book doesn’t do well?’ that’s something I can’t control. The best thing I can do it write the next story. If I play online and join a group doing a team mission and I screw up, what’s it matter? It’s not the end of the world. Learn the lessons from it and try again.

I only fail when I don’t try. When fear stops me. I’ve lived in a state of fear my whole life.

I’m not doing it anymore.

My eyes are open, I’m realising what I can do to move forward and over come this fear.

I’m going to do what scares me. I’m not fearing the anxiety I used to.

I am moving forward.

11th of September 2021

Good evening, folks!

Well, I think I did have the productive day I was aiming for.

I got up at a decent time, made tea and sat in the chilly morning air in the garden wand wrote some more thoughts down. I’ll put those in another post. After the tea and morning thoughts I ran into town for a few bits for my folks. I finally got Max a couple more balls for him to chase around the garden.

I got some writing administration work done, then I got stuck into some words. A nice 710 was written on a short story. Then I gamed, took Max for a walk, read, then gamed, dinner, washing up, and now I’m watching a movie and writing this post.

I don’t normally break my days down like this, and looking back it doesn’t feel like I’ve done a lot today but that’s because I only wrote 710 words. I keep reminding myself its not just about words. It’s about progression of the story, and I progressed the story today.

I’ve got plans tomorrow afternoon, but in the morning I’m going to try and get some words wrangled again. I was planning on getting a lot of writing done this week, but I’ve spent the week working on myself. It’s been freeing this week, and I need to keep that forward progression of myself as well as my fiction going as well.

10/9/21

Good evening, folks!

I managed to write 417 words this afternoon. I’ve put writing on the back burner this week while I’ve been off work, and focused on a lot of self-care and improvement. it finally feels like I can start opening up about a lot of things and I’m keen to keep going with it.

I will be blogging about a lot of this stuff. Not all, obviously. There’s somethings I have no intention of sharing publicly but I’ve got a lot I think I will share. Men aren’t mean to show weakness, which is bullshit. If me opening up about the struggles I’ve had in life help others feel confident enough to speak up and ask for help then it’s all worth it.

Right, I’m just settling into a movie. I’m going to try and have a ‘get shit done’ day tomorrow. Check back here tomorrow to see how I got along.

Rock on, folks!

Max not helping me write 🙄