The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

Working hard, playing less #Mondayblogs

Working hard, playing less #Mondayblogs

Things have dramatically changed for me here in the last four weeks. As a bit of a recap, I thought I’d share why.
In June, I decided that I didn’t want to keep going the way I was, and, as people kept asking, I was going to launch a coaching project. And while there had been a lot of interest in private, in public, people were just…less engaged I guess. And that’s ok – with everything going on in the world, it might not just be the right time for it, but it left me feeling less than stellar, if I am honest.

Tempus and I have been talking for a while now and one of the things I had observed is it’s hard for me to care full time for myself, my daughter and the house and run my business, let alone write, which I’d barely had any time for. Tempus, who is my beloved other half came down with Covid a couple of weeks ago, and as he recovered, one of the things he said to me was that I could consider just stopping for a bit… he’d support my writing.

I run businesses, but I do it to write…

Ultimately, while I run a hosting, coding and formatting service, and planned to teach coaching classes, but I do it all – all of it – in aid of my family, and books. I’ve always thought of myself as an author, though I am really quite good at other stuff, apparently. And I’m very lucky – I get to do a lot of fun stuff. But…

The honest truth of all of this is as my daughter has grown older, although she manages college, there are other things, like me, that she finds very stressful, and unfortunately, as an adult, she is encountering them more and more. I’ve often got to support her, which is absolutely ok, but it has meant that I’ve got less time to do other stuff, and, as I have mental health issues too, something had to give. And it did. Luckily, the ‘give’ was a choice, rather than what I know other people often face, so now, I just…change direction.
It’s not as easy as it sounds, and over the coming weeks, I’ll be explaining why.

At the end of the day, I’m lucky

While this isn’t how some people experience this kind of push, I am effectively now a part time looking after the house, and part time writing. Which is both exciting and scary. And I thought I’d be talking to you guys about it as we go, because, quite honestly, I think some of the advice will be useful – I hope – to other people.
The next few weeks and months are going to be incredibly exciting for me – and I hope, for you guys following along. It does mean I get less time to play with code and other stuff, but honestly? I’ll happily trade that off, for now, to get to support my daughter, look after our house, and best of all, write.
That adventure starts fully on October 1st, though I’ve been doing prep all month for it, around CV19, and other illnesses. ANd I’ve got some interesting stuff to show off, already. That’s coming up on Thursday 😉

Rebooting… #Mondayblogs #rungirlrun

Rebooting… #Mondayblogs #rungirlrun

I kinda feel like I’m watching a flashing cursor sometimes right now. As I said in my last post though, Tempus is talking about giving me space to do something to make me happy.
And honestly? it’s been a bit of a shock. And a bit of a weird thing to start organizing.

And it’s a LOT like starting at a blinking cursor. A blank document.
But it’s full of hope, if I’m honest. Blank is scary, but blank also means endless – or nearly endless – possibilities.

First tentative steps

I’m not stepping away completely from my business – after all, I’ve run a hosting company and written before. I’m also not stopping formatting books, as it makes no sense to. But I am stopping the plans I had for coaching and teaching. I’ll be running a 30 day writing challenge from the 30th September, and I’m looking at what I can do to write and set myself up.

It’s not easy choices, if I’m honest – so this week really is about consolidating and working out what to do. Pivoting back to writing isn’t as easy as going ‘yus, writing time!’. I’ve still got commitments to clients, but I don’t think I’ll be taking on new ones for a while. I want to take this opportunity – it would be entirely ungrateful to do otherwise.

Rebooting…

I do very much feel like I’m rebooting my computer inside my head though. And maybe even doing a little bit of a clean install – removing some of the stuff I don’t need right now. It isn’t the easiest of things, if I’m honest, but, I am really lucky. I’ve got this opportunity, and I don’t want to waste it.
I am, thinking hard, in short.

So…what do you guys think? What should I do? I’m looking at books and trying to decide what to write, but for now, I’ll be working on my backlist and thinking.

Broken, busted, depressed #mondayblogs – Losing hope, briefly

Broken, busted, depressed #mondayblogs – Losing hope, briefly

I’m in a bit of an odd, vulnerable place right not.
And it’s been going on for about three months. Because I literally started writing this post in June of this year. And stopped.

Everything.

Broken, busted…

I don’t know how to put into words how hard the last few months have been, if I’m honest. It’s been a rollercoaster of trying to work out what to do and how to do it, and if I’m entirely honest, it’s been painful and unpleasant and just not fun.
A lot of it too has to do with stuff not really in my control. I am disabled and care for someone disabled, and the last few years have seen that ‘commitment’ as it were, rise and rise. The more time I put into getting better, it seems the more time I need.

In June, things really started to slip. I wasn’t in a fully regular routine and with summer just around the corner, all my grand plans for getting help and getting stuff done(TM) were shattered when various things happened.
Fast forward three months, last week, and everything just… collapsed in a spectacular fashion.

There is a light at the end of that tunnel

This week, we’ve had a house full of sick people – my beloved caught Covid (he dodged it, somehow when we had it, but we think we picked it up at Alton Towers as a few days after our day there, he was so ill that, completely unlike him, he took to bed for most of the day from Saturday till this morning. He’s much better now, to my intense relief), and we’re slowly sliding back into a routine of sorts. But on Tuesday, after he’d thought about stuff I’d been saying I guess, he told me that he wants me to just focus on writing for a bit. To stop trying to fight against ‘the tide’ because though I was trying something big and bold, the public encouragement was there, but in private, more people wanted ‘a free slot if everyone else was paying’ than the people actually choosing to engage with the plans themselves. Months of work on designing a coaching project aside, the discouragement I felt – and if I’m honest still feel – became so palpable, that I … I spiraled completely.

My beloved to the rescue…!

Tuesday night, I’d had a rough day (plague house, shingles break out for me, cold-sores starting, the works), and I went up to bed and I said to him ‘I can’t do it’ and he said ‘k. Tell me what’s in your way?’ And I told him. About how people want to do it but don’t seem to be signing up, about how it feels like the wrong time to be asking people to commit to coaching in this environment, how most of all, it’s not easy to teach people mindfulness, abundance and accountability when I’m not a reflection of it myself. He went very quiet and said.

“I think it’s because you’re not writing. How about you stop and do that for a bit.”
I told him that the business wouldn’t survive if I didn’t get this to work, and he said “We’ll make it work. Trust me.”
And that was it.

I’m not saying it’s not going to be painful, but, he’s right. I wished for a way to afford to write again, and it’s not the one I’d have chosen, but I am grateful that he’s willing to back me until I’ve got that bit of my life square again.

It’s still taken a couple of days to write this. I’m still dealing with a shame spiral I CANNOT fathom, because I feel like, once again, I’m letting people down. But at the same time, I’m actually willing to look at my laptop again. I’m sad because I won’t get to earn my Remarkable the way I wanted to, but…I don’t need one to write.
There’s a lightness of heart to go with the ‘oh, I don’t like this’ failure feeling.

So….yeah…that’s been my last three months. What about you guys?

(actually, one notable exception. Ludosport. I’ll talk about that next blog post).

L is for Ludosport (where I am tonight!) #atozchallenge

L is for Ludosport (where I am tonight!) #atozchallenge

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Blogging From AtoZ 2022

So, the first thing I really should say is that Thursday, ten months a year, is training evening, when we all go see our friends and train. I’ll also be talking about Se.Cu.Ri, which is a core principle of Ludosport, and matches a lot of my outlooks in life. Se.Cu.Ri is Servizio, Cura, Rispetto, or, put another way, Service, Care, Respect. Which leads me to the second point I love about Ludosport. We learn a LOT of it in Italian. That’s not to say you need to speak Italian to join in, but the terms are a solid part of the sport, and quite honestly, I think that adds to the charm.

How I got started

Tempus, my beloved, started telling me about Ludosport, and I’ll be honest, I was a tiny bit sceptical. But I started looking into it, and the more I looked, the more awesome it looked. I’ve been out of martial training (judo, karate, kickboxing and on), for a while now, so I had only really been walking and, quite honestly, dreading restarting couch to 5k, because I need to do something. I’ve got my Bodyfit plan to try (it’s dancing, which will be interesting) but, I wanted something else.
We went for our trial session just before my birthday. I went in a bit …a lot scared, but came away desperate to start. Tempus and I had to wait a few weeks, but bar missing the odd week (COVID, training elsewhere), we’ve also started duelling fortnightly too more locally.

Where I am now

Where I am now is December, to now, I’ve learned a tonne. We’ve learned the first set of moves, and we’re into the second set, and to connect them up. I understand, but personally don’t enjoy the competitive side of it as much, but that’s because of issues I have with my own mental health. It’s important to be clear that a lot of that is about my mental health, and I’ll be touching on that later in the month, when I officially announce Run Girl, Run. But where I am now is completely adoring what we do. We’ve been out to meet and greet and promote to the public at the Bristol Light Festival, and I’m currently with the Bristol Academy, so if you’d like to like and follow them, please do. I’ll pop up on there occasionally no doubt, but it really is all about some seriously amazing athletes who are so caring, engaged and giving.

It’s not just about exercise for me (though, seriously, anything that stops me from needing to go do Couch to 5k when I’m scared to leave the house again is a winner for me, even if it challenges my mental health too), it also engages my brain. Thinking about both the dual languages that we work in, and tactics and everything else – it’s exercise for my body and brain. And I’ve got to be honest, I think that’s why I love it. I have to work at it on so many levels, engage on so many levels, challenge myself on so many levels.

The image that’s my featured image is my hilt, Drengr, but I borrow Tempus’ Carpe Lucem to train too.
But…it isn’t just about me. There’s a beautiful community around Ludosport. Our Academy is currently fundraising to send our trainers abroad for their training. And I’ll be donating. I hope others might consider it.

I’m linking to a video I was part of …six weeks into training for an interview. For someone that works with production companies, I’m stupidly nervous on camera, but I don’t think you can really tell…much.

You can watch the interview here.

There is a little more to this – including a book, which I’ll be talking about at R. 🙂
Do you have a hobby you love? Exercise in a different way?

D is for Dancing in the Rain #atoz2022

D is for Dancing in the Rain #atoz2022

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Blogging From AtoZ 2022

I’ve spent the last year trying to think about how to explain the basic changes I’ve gone through in the last two years. And one of the major things that I’ve been thinking about is gratitude, and ‘dancing in the rain’.

What is dancing in the rain?

For me, it’s a core concept to living with what I do. It’s accepting that I’m not always going to be happy, that the skies aren’t always going to be ‘clear’ but even if they aren’t, I can go outside and ‘dance in the rain’.

It’s a gratitute attitude, I guess.

Dancing in the rain is also the name of an essay that I wrote for ‘Miles to go before I sleep…’, which I’m sharing below.
If you like it, please hit the link to sign up for an email when the book goes on Pre-order 🙂

Dancing in the rain from ‘Miles to go before I sleep…’

There’s a gratitude attitude,
A way to look at the things you face. It’s not a way to ignore or negate pain, but, instead, a way to move forward. I’ve called it dancing between thunder and lighting, or dancing in the rain. Each step I make towards feeling better, each step towards feeling the way I do, and focussing on the best in my life that I can.

It’s also about crying in my own tears, and keeping my head up, my shoulders back, and trying to remain calm, cool and collected. And I do that, a lot.

When I started writing this book, it was long before I started with Ludosport, and it’s something I keep in mind now, a lot, because I’ve discovered that I’m not doing well with some of the things I’m challenged to do at practice. But I’ve learned how to so many things in the last two years, and I’m sure that with the support of my Academy (shameless plug for them!) that I’ll be in a much better place. From making some amazing friends to learning to dance – properly (cause you need to be pretty coordinated to duel with a lightsaber), dancing in the rain is a whole gratitude attitude that I’ve chosen to adopt. And I’m happy that I can feel that way now. I’m not sure I could have two years or more ago.

So, while Dancing in the rain sounds sad, and kinda miserable, it’s not. It’s about making the most of what’s around me and having a lot of fun, even when I am sad. Even when the ‘rain’ is my tears. Even when I’m being drowned in a torrent of sadness.

Want to find out more about Miles to go? Sign up for my newsletter!

C is for #Covid #atoz2022 #mondayblogs #ukpolitics

C is for #Covid #atoz2022 #mondayblogs #ukpolitics

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Blogging From AtoZ 2022

Like many millions of people, I’ve now had at least* one confirmed CV19 infection. Irony, as the UK released all restrictions and we learn to ‘live with Covid’, two of us caught it.
And while it was mild, I’m still tired, I’m still recovering, and I once again remember why my doctors are cautious of me, and I can’t even think or wonder how others might be coping with this, or not. And I’m just thankful for vaccines.

I’m actually thankful for a lot of stuff, which I want to talk about before I go after the government. Which I will be.
I am thankful for the support I’ve had, the care given for vaccines, the fact that my GP has been kind, caring and working with me as best they can. I’ve never had an issue with our local surgery, and because they know us, they know when I ask for something, there’s a good reason for it. I’m also thankful though, that we’ve been able to follow all of the guidance to ensure that we actually didn’t get sick until year 2. Given everything that happened with Titanboi and his extra kidney (which ended, as in, the stent came out, the morning we went into a sixteen week lockdown in March of 2022), we’ve been lucky, and safe for the whole time. A lot of the time, that has been down to the choices we’ve tried to make, following guidelines, but, we’ve had so much that we can do that others might not have had the luxury of, and that’s important to be clear on. A lot of why we’ve been ‘ok’ is because we’ve had the opportunities that let us protect ourselves and our community.

We did also lock down, entirely, for the week and a half @artenapan and I were testing positive for. She had a terrible cough, and was tired (and still both are), and headaches, while I had all that, and a temperature of 39.8(C) for more than a couple of days. That temperature was the worst for me, and I had a BAD chest infection, so was given steroids and antibiotics. Artenapan spent the first ten minutes of us suspecting that she needed serious help because she had a ten minute coughing fit. Those ten minutes, I have to be honest, were the most scary ten minutes with her, ever. But we got her to stop coughing, we tested, and our LFTs were out in record time. In her case, 2 minutes. And, we then did what we could to protect everyone around us. We cancelled my son’s visit for Mother’s day (which we had this weekend in the end), and for the week we were both sick, it was kinda miserable in the house. We are, however, recovering. We are lucky.

I don’t go political very often, though I am an outspoken about a lot on my own profile, and I’ll go on the record and say that the NHS rock. They’re doing a job they are not funded for, and that’s the government’s fault. And at every turn, the government – especially the current Tory cabinet, who I’ve lost track of through various reshuffles where they play musical chairs – are just insanely inept, and at every turn, demonstrate why politicians SHOULD come from the communities they serve.

My partner and I both feel that if an MP wants to judge someone’s life, they should experience it. Let’s see them live on the average wage, especially with our current energy price hikes. Let’s see them live on what people are earning at their poorest. Let’s see them deal with children that need special needs and work through their SEN meetings, and social service support. Let’s see them get the mental health support they need after ten plus years of cuts (and again, the NHS are heroes for giving us the support we get. I am NOT going after them, despite some of the issues I’ve had with them. I’ve had issues, yes but, Dr C and M, my last psych nurse, were actually my friends by the end of it. I still write to them twice a year. They gave me … not the life I had, but the best life I can have now back. I’ll talk more about that when I get to P for Psychosis, but… one of the things we’ve talked about is that if the government stopped defunding critical services, and expecting us to be ok with that.
It’s not ok.

Full circle in one sentence

No thanks to the government, thank you to the NHS, who got me through a bout of Covid. Yes, we’ve managed to be the lucky family – so far – who lives with covid – but through no thanks of our local MP. He doesn’t speak for us, elected for us though he is. And the whole government? With the deaths and other issues that have happened since Brexit, and Covid (though some of it was unavoidable), they should be ashamed. They aren’t. But they should be.

I did also want to add…

I’ve mentioned the fuel crisis in the UK. Our energy price caps jumped by 50% now and it’s predicted it’ll happen again in October. We, as a family are still lucky, and safe, but I know many people that are not. Our government has done less than nothing to prevent the week of stress all of us have been through. And to be clear, we’ve been stressed and we know we’ll manage. It’ll be more money we pay out for our utilities, but we can do that. But we know families that are living in fuel poverty, and the insipid response, alongside the absolute clusterf*ck that was trying to get our meter readings in before the prices jumped, was absolutely insane. In my case, I was awake every two hours, and kept trying. Started at 11am on the 31st. Finally got my meter readings submitted at 4am the next day. I can only imagine what people living on the poverty line already are feeling, and the last thing we need, after two years of isolation, is to hit next winter, and be dealing with illnesses based on poor heating, and other problems related to poverty, let alone the mutations we are probably going to hit from Covid, the overstretched NHS, and the exhausted staff…many of whom may be just as affected by fuel poverty (no, I’m not kidding). So…this was C for covid, but it’s also C for ‘Can we vote them out and press charges?’.

*I say at least once because we don’t know if we’ve had it before now.