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.
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.
Every year, I try to take part in the Blogging from AToZ Challenge, so… this year, O’m delighted to announce I will be taking part, and, instead of committing to multiple sets of the challenge, on several blogs, I am instead, going to write all I can and link from here as a central hub.
Hi there guys. Normally, doing these, I do really try to get them up either as we’re travelling home on the21st December, but as everyone saw, I posted something else instead. So, I’ll do the retrospective today, and tomorrow we’ll do the ‘coming in 2022’.
I got nothing done…
I think the first thing to acknowledge is that personal goals wise, I’m not further visibly forward, but I did a lot of…I guess it’s ‘behind the scenes’ work. I did have a quieter, calmer year in some ways. Supporting the kids, supporting my partner, and trying to plan for what comes next. I think that though I did very little, overtly, there were a tonne of really great conversations that eventually led myself and my business partner to something we’re working on now, which we’ve tagged ‘AOK’. Goals wise, too, I didn’t published a dammed thing last year, and only really rebooted this blog about three months ago. I’m still working through how best to handle all of that, if I’m honest, but what I do know is that I’m a lot happier now with most of the things I write, when I write them. I did start a Substack. But, because I got ‘nothing’ done, I spent a lot of time with my family. I have regulated my sleep schedule a lot better, though I do sometimes need to switch to LA time to do some stuff, it’s not frequently expected of me. I’m sure next year may change that, but it’s ok. Mostly I’m just grateful for the space to think and spend time with my partner, son and daughter. We bought a Cricut so my daughter and I are still into doing crafty things, we all go out to get photos of stuff, we got to do the UK Games Expo this year…it’s all been really good and really comforting in many ways. None of us have gotten really sick, nor have we caught CV19, but we’re all fully boosted now, and flu shots to boot. We’ve been *very* lucky.
I did lots for clients….
So, I’ve said ‘I got nothing done’ but equally, it’s been an ok year for getting work done for clients. From tomorrow, I’m developing something that cuts back on the clutter for one client so it ‘just works’ and building sites for two others. It’s all looking really solid. I learned Divi a lot more, I’ve been upskilling both for my business and for my uni stuff and I’ve had a lot of fun along the way. I love coding, but I love solving puzzles more.
I (started to) heal a bit…
I think it’s fair to say this year I got on with the rather hard work of starting to heal. I’ve not had an exactly bad life, but I’ve been through a fair few really bad scrapes and my mental and physical health are kinda dented for it. I do totally think I’m dealing with some form of adrenal issue right now, though I’m also quite worried I’m anaemic again, but most of what I did was read, learn, sleep, and just accept that I can’t do everything, or work on starting to accept that. I laid foundations though for this year too – knowing what to do and when to do it hasn’t been the easiest thing for me, but I’m working in advance with a lot of my stuff now and though I sometimes bounce off deadlines, I’ve met quite a few too. in July, I was discharged from therapy. I’ve done everything I could with them, my therapist was moving on, and instead of getting used to another stranger, given the current pandemic based restrictions, we decided that it was best just to close my file and move on. I can go back if I need to.
And I took up more exercise
Last year, I was just starting Mount Fuji. I completed that and went on to do Giza, Petra, Everest and started The Great Wall of China. In total, I walked about 540km, based on my Fitbit tracking. I started walking outside by myself too. Didn’t last long, but will be coming back. In November, I went for a Ludosport Discovery session, fell in love with the sport and have now completed enough form 1 training that I can duel, and did for our closing session of the year, winning my team three points. I was rather shocked I managed it. I think everyone else was too, as I often refuse to duel, or withdraw when afraid. I am dealing with a lot more panic attacks though, but we know why and we’re working on that too.
I read… A LOT
Because I didn’t get to do very much in the way of travelling, I’ve mostly adventured through my books. Which, if I’m honest, has mostly involved serial killers, thrillers and murder mysteries. My Goodreads year in review isn’t *everything* I read (cause I’ve got books I read through Netgalley that haven’t or won’t log yet) but it’s close. If you want to see my year, it’s here, but seriously, a lot of it is basically true crime. 😉 Some of it was also audiobooks, which I count. I think the two books that stayed with me this year though were The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig and we’re currently finishing off Leviathan Falls, which is the final book of the Expanse. And finishing the show too.
I completed both Camp Nanowrimos and Nanowrimo proper this year, and in the end, it turned out that though it felt like I was pulling teeth, I wrote close to half a million in 4thewords, and another 750k in my various files. Not bad going but next year is going to be a bigger challenge. I didn’t publish anything that wasn’t someone else’s to take from me and put out there though.
And yeah, then there was the ‘also watched’
We watched so many good things this year but I watched less in some ways than my family. And more in others. I had more true rime on in the background during the day, but I’ve watched far fewer programs, and have promised I’ll watch a few of the pertinent ones when we’re back at our usual spaces next week. Outstanding for me though had to be Loki, Scrubs (which we binged to the last season then pretended that one didn’t exist), Elementary, which we’re catching up on, The Expanse…you get the picture. We’ve started watching Titans season 3, The Witcher Season 2, and The Expanse season 6, and we’re looking forward to The book of Boba Fett, Obi Wan and more.
Gaming this year has mostly been about my Switch and our PS5. We’re both having a blast, no pun intended, playing through Fallout 76, though each of us can’t play with each other as it’s not cross-platform. Been playing games on the Switch too, but there’s nothing of note that I’ve played, really. I enjoy Surviving Mars, but a lot of what I do is just play through stuff for a little bit, get listless, put it down. So a lot of my time has just been spent mindlessly shooting things, which I’m kinda good at.
Meditating, self care, religion, oh my
I always leave this bit to last, so if people want to skip, they can. I meditated almost as much as I walked this year. I’ve found Headspace to be an excellent way of dealing with my sleep issues and the sleepscapes and I have become best buddies during the Pandemic. But we already knew that from listening to the stories Calm put out last year. I decided to stick with Headspace, not Calm in the end, simply because I got on better with Headspace.
I’ve been home to my temple twice this year (which means I’ve been home to family twice this year) and moved my ‘I have to go do something, let’s go to my quiet spot) to a place nearer our current home. It’s not perfect, but it meets most of the needs of what my rules are. I’ve also enacted some pretty radical self-care, but that, and some other stuff will be in the books, in the new Year.
I’m sure I’ve missed tonnes, but I’ll be honest, I’m still not sure this year was actually a full year if that makes sense. Time isn’t right still, not since the interminable but necessary lockdowns, and we’ve been working through as much of being present and grateful as we can, but I’ll also be real about this, a bit of me is still sobbing away in the corner that something so horrible is ongoing. I may write on that later, but I’m healthy, I’m here, I’ve picked up some new skills and hobbies and though I lost my gran, as a family, we’ve been far more blessed than we could have expected, so really, I can’t complain.
After my last post, Is it Though?, I’ve been trying to… plot and plan and think through what to do next. I did mention that I punctuate the phrase ‘if at first you don’t succeed. Try. Try again’, and I got feedback from people asking what I meant by that. So. I thought I’d explain that. And maybe show off some new stuff at the end of the post 😉
If at first you don’t succeed. Try. Try again
One of the things that my wonderful psych team (Dr C and MW, my psych nurse) who I was discharged from at the end of last month, worked on with me, was my mindset. And this really does say everything about my mindset, in more ways than one. It acknowledges, in part, that I’ll fall and get back up, over and over. It acknowledges I don’t get it right first time. But… unlike one of the comments (which turned into some serious nastiness, so was deleted) I had, it does not imply I’m setting myself up for failure. It does NOT imply that I expect to fail over and over. In fact, I’m often pleasantly surprised when I get it right faster than I expect, and I enjoy that.
It’s all about perspective
One of the essays in one of the new books announced this week, (Miles to go Before I Sleep, November 12th 2021) is called ‘it’s all about perspective.’ MtgbIs will be discussed in great depth later in the year, I guess, as an ongoing thing, but the perspective essay has a critical point in it. “It’s really easy to say ‘I feel positive’ and be lying in some ways. Mental health isn’t binary. You can say ‘I feel positive’ and it really mean ‘but I’m still ready for it to go wrong’. It’s not a betrayal of positivity. It’s practicality. It’s just remembering that on that see saw, you’re supposed to be closer to ‘positive’ than ‘ready to deal with’.”
And I think that’s what I try to explain to others. I am upbeat, positive and often, just chugging away. But I am also often prepped for things to need adaptation. I expect to fail, and have to keep trying.
And keep trying…
How about some good news now? I’ve got three books up on announcement for release right now. I’ve told my street team, and shared on my own personal profile, and we’re just getting my publisher blog sorted out, but…
And miles to go, Before I sleep
Kill Kit Killers – Book 1
A House at War – Book 1, House Arrath and With Benefits
Well, I’ve kinda posted about it over on BooksbyKai, but, as most people that read this blog know me pretty well (I think), I’m pretty sure everyone knows that this month (mid-May to sometime in June) is referred to as #Kaiatus. Bad pun, I know, but I’m the person that runs Kailarks, so I’m sorry, but only a little.
Anyway, #Kaiatus. I take time off over May, in part because May is a pretty busy month. We start with our anniversary (well, the 29th April really, and that’s our handfasting), then we’re usually prepping to go to Games Day (The UK Games Expo really), and celebrate my daughter’s birthday, plus May tends to be when I do my spring cleaning. Don’t know why, I just do.
This year, I stayed around until a few days ago, because…well, we celebrated our handfasting, and then I had another professional milestone. 10 years ago, I self-pubished a few short stories on what we now consider to be mainstream platforms (my first self-pubbed book goes back to around 03/04, where I sold PDFs of my poetry from my blog/bi-polarbears. Yes, this blog. THIS blog is 17 in July. Bi-polarbears was 18 in March. It gets better…the Livejournal and disorganised site I kept that was basically this blog beforehand, dates back officially to 02, and earlier if you count the baby HTML sites I buit. Ahem.)
Anyway, alongside that anniversary, my publishversary, I mean, one of the major projects I helped to found, and still work as an admin and the webmistress/managing editor for is also 10. I don’t think one would have happened without the other. That group is the Indie Author Group. 🙂
Well, now, I’m travelling home for a week. This will be the first time I’ve travelled, really, since last September/October, but, more importantly than that, it’s the first time I’ll have seen our family since Christmas 2019. We never got to travel when lockdown was loosened, Christmas 2020 was just a clusterf*ck for so many reasons (I had shingles, the youngest needed to self-isolate for CV19 contact, and to protect as many people as possible, the rules kept changing to the point we just couldn’t go home. Which I bitterly regret, as we lost my gran in February.)
So, that’s part of why we’re going home. Another part is none of us have done anything remotely ‘holiday’ since….well, before Christmas 2019. Christmas 2019, I was kinda distracted with my son’s health and getting him to a place where we could support him. Tempus and I did go on a small trip late 2020, but it was his work and I was too sick to be left alone. Go me?
Home, for those that haven’t been around for long, is Edinburgh. Shockingly, the gaelic speaking girlie comes from Scotland (anyone that’s seen my videoes will not be surprised. I have a recognisaibly Scottish accent). So that’s where we’re going. If I’m lucky, I might get to go get some reference photos for a book I want to write, but, if I don’t, the place I want photos of is easy to get to when were in Edinburgh, so it’ll keep.
Mostly, I’ll be spending time with family, and, as I do when we travel (it’s a six+ hour drive), I’ll think, and do some planning. I’ve got a ‘Legendary’ Planner, which I’m going to be trying out. And I’ll be doing some decluttering and house re-org, planning books, and getting ready to do some study for Uni. AND reading some books that I’ve been putting off for a while.
In short, I’ll be ‘off’. Buuuut…blogging more 🙂
First though, home. I’ll be sharing in real time on my Instagram, and I’ll do roundups as I can. Be good without me 😉
The featured image? Well, one is me working while I go, the other? That would be a view of Edinburgh, with an inconvenient lamppost.
I always thought grief was this huge thing that hit you when you lost something or someone important to you. It wasn’t about losing self. It wasn’t about losing what you were. But you know, I think that was a stupid thing to think. I’m waaaaaay behind in my grief management just because I didn’t understand what I was feeling was grief.
I guess most of the issue is I should have been feeling this way a long time ago. I’ve ignored a lot of what I feel because I’ve always been told that what I think is partially to do with a chemical imbalance (bipolar) and partly to do with the ways I learned to deal with that because back when they decided I was bipolar (with a questionable personality disorder to do with self-esteem – they’ve now decided something else which I don’t agree with at all), but all in all, that was the way it was. I’ve been through a half dozen meds in the last eighteen months, but the empty, sad feeling that they’re tagging as something else, I think is grief. I’ve lost so many pregnancies, and then, to add insult to injury, it really feels like I’ve lost myself in all of the messes going on right now. It might sound a bit melodramatic, but a blog post – 300 or so words – takes me all day. Longer than that, like this post, it takes me a few attempts. Some of it is Restless leg twitchy feelings, most of it is to do with just not being able to sit still and write for any length of time. I wish I was more positive but I’m giving it a try.
Anyway, yesterday I talked about some books on Author Interrupted. Today I’ll be talking about more.