Category: Motivation

In which I waver and have dark moods.

I have been in a funny mood the last couple of days, since about Saturday evening. Irritable, pensive and gloomy. To what shall I attribute it?

  • Could be hormones. I am the right age for swinging hormones, or it could be a time of the month thing or it could be exercise-induced testosterone surges or whatever.
  • Eurgh, I have faulty lights in my house and I have to engage an electrician. If the whole place needs rewiring, it will be very, very expensive, running to thousands of pounds. This is enough to make anyone annoyed and depressed.
  • I went on a carb binge over the weekend because I was just so tired of constantly eating raw vegetables and watching my weight waver within a range of the same two pounds for the last two weeks. I am back on the healthy eating wagon as of this morning. I wrote that sentence and then ate several pieces of Mint Aero with my breakfast smoothie.
  • I want to do demanding exercise classes at my gym but at the same time I am plagued by various allergies and itchy skin right now and I know this is a sign that I’ve run down my immune system instead of boosting it. I need to rest and preserve myself and get my energy up, clear my skin, then resume doing insane classes at the gym where you heave weights around until you pass out.
  • There are certain aspects of work that I find annoying, which I guess is true for everyone. I’m not very patient with bureaucracy.
  • Being in an actual relationship for the first time since 2010 brings its own rewards and challenges. On the rewards side, it is a warm and mutually beneficial social exchange, we are genuinely fond of each other and my house is clean all the time. On the challenges side, I picked someone highly intelligent and observant who notices everything and is very interested in getting to know me. This is unnerving because it is something I haven’t experienced for a long time. Usually, my relationships involve making sure the other person is kept at a distance. We don’t discuss deep, personal topics. I discourage personal remarks and they don’t ask penetrating questions. We keep things light and cheerful. I now realise that I haven’t let anyone get to know me well for several years. I just don’t let people get that close. Also, it’s conceivable that I might be a bit crazy. You don’t notice this as much if you don’t let people in.

So that’s why I’m grumpy today. When I’m in a better mood, I actually have some nice photos to show you, but they will have to wait. Let’s have a tune instead. This is 90s rap artist, Da Brat. In this beautiful video, many famous singers and rappers of the era come together for a party and to see her perform. The vibe is gentle and everyone is happy. For me, the most special and poignant moment is at 1:26, where the late Biggie Smalls, arguably the greatest rapper of all time, arrives with four of his honeys, affectionately holding two of them by the hand. He was always a ladies’ man. Precious moments in rap history. Biggie died of fatal gunshot wounds three years later, in 1997, aged 24. If I could choose between having Princess Diana come back from the dead or Biggie Smalls, I would choose Biggie.

Da Brat: Give It 2 You (1994)

Strength training starts today.

Well, here we are then. I can’t put it off any longer. I love going out for my 10-mile walks and after only a few days of this my calf muscles are like rock and my thighs are starting to follow. I’m also burning off a lot of calories. However, I need to work my core and the upper half of my body if I want to look good all over and today is where it needs to begin. I am about to go out for a walk of only 1 hour instead of 3+ hours, then when I come back I will put together a strength routine that I can do regularly involving squats and using the dumbbells, etc. Oh god, it’s going to be hard work. Wish me luck. I will report back when I have designed and implemented the new routine, in a few hours.

My breakfast: spring greens, tatsoi, carrots, cherries, peanut butter, coconut yogurt, honey.

Sexy footballers training on Hampstead Heath yesterday. These guys were doing burpees in public. If they can do that, I can do a few squats in the privacy of my home.

footballers

Return to the naked beach.

I have been desperate for some beach. Trips to South Africa and Philadelphia in 2016 were amazing but were not holidays. The last time I saw a beach that I could actually lie on was when I went to Gran Canaria in early April 2015, when I was having my mid-life career crisis.

I blogged about Gran Canaria. The weather was nice, if not quite hot. There is a nude beach at Maspalomas, and I discovered the sublime joy of swimming and sunbathing without a costume. It was a relaxing break and I did some useful reading and thinking about business and my career.

That was two years ago. I have been desperate for some holiday because the two years in between then and now have been very hectic, in which I worked hundreds of hours of illegal and unpaid overtime for the World’s Worst Company. Now I’m out of that job and I am my own boss again. Business is doing okay. I control my time. Everything is fine.

That’s why I’ve just booked a quick four-day break in Gran Canaria again. I would really like a proper holiday, where I go somewhere new for several days, I personally think 10 days is a good amount of time. But I cannot book anything like that just yet because new business is incoming and work comes first. So I’ve just booked four days in a one-bedroom apartment near Maspalomas beach. It was the one of the cheaper holidays I’ve ever booked. The apartment complex sounds ideal for me, it has multiple swimming pools, is within reach of the beach and shops/restaurants yet at the same time is nestled in a hillside, slightly away from the sea front. Guests complained that it was ‘too quiet’ and ‘boring in the evenings’. That sounds absolutely perfect for me. Slightly out of the way, quiet and boring, and still not too far from the beach, you can see the distance in the photo below. There’s a little bus shuttle to the beach all day apparently, or you can walk, or it’s about 4 Euros in a taxi.

I can’t wait. Four days is a lot better than nothing, a lot better, and it is coming up in May so it’s quite soon. Hooray. I can organise a longer, more adventurous holiday later in the year if business continues well. Beach, here I come. I’ve waited for this for so long.

Palm Oasis

General Health, Diet & Lifestyle News

Things are proceeding fairly well chez Gloria. I am being responsible and taking charge of some things.

I joyfully reunited with my hot periodontist who rebuilt one side of my face five years ago. I was so pleased to see him. He is much more pro-active than my other dentist and we really like each other. We had a workman-like discussion about what to do with the other side of my face. I feel no fear as I am a battle-hardened warrior now where dentistry is concerned. He is going to do about three episodes of gum cleaning to reduce the size of my pockets and then we are going to see about doing another sinus lift and putting in two more titanium implants. I had six last time, on the right side, so two on the left side does not make me break a sweat. It makes me laugh to think of how phobic I used to be of the dentist. The way I talk to him now, it is like getting the car serviced or building an extension on the house.

I gained a bunch of weight this month for no obvious reason, which I am v unhappy about, but I am dealing with it responsibly by cutting back on my food intake, esp carbs, and exercising every day (mix of outdoor walking, swimming and treadmill). If that doesn’t take care of it pretty rapidly, I will increase the amount of exercise until it starts working. In 2013 I used to go out for walks of 17km on a near daily basis and spare fat does not stand much of a chance against that kind of regime. So I am working back up to that.

I spent 90 minutes cleaning the kitchen today, which means I can cook, because while I am dieting I am also in the mood for thinking about meal planning and food preparation. I’ve just bought a fondue set, having wanted one my whole life and so I will soon make fondue with broccoli and cauliflower to dip in the cheese instead of bread. V excited.

On top of all this, I managed to finish a book, I’ve just read Every Day Is Mother’s Day, the first novel of Hilary Mantel (1985). It was very well-written and frequently funny but also rather dark and depressing so I shall not drag you through a long review. It was like shopping in a particularly bleak and wet corner of Britain on early-closing day.

I could collect a bunch of achievement points for all this but it wasn’t a huge effort so I shall wait until I’ve done something that required more effort, such as filling out paperwork for the mortgage and pensions guy.

Colds & flu, surprise text messages, huge bottoms.

I am on my third cold of 2017. Cold and flu viruses are sweeping Britain. Apparently flu is up 38% compared to December and coughs are up by 28%. I despair of ever making it to the gym again.

My present cold isn’t quite as terrible as the previous one, which I only just recovered from in February, because I have less painfully blocked sinuses. I still have a sore chest, a headache and a fever, though, so it’s not good. I’m not getting any work done today and I’m too sick to enjoy having a day off. I am just drinking water and sleeping. Such a waste of time.

Of course, I have plans for this weekend, don’t I. Both Saturday and Sunday. Have to wait and see how I get on. Saturday’s event means going out at 9.30 in the morning. It’s now 2.30 on Friday afternoon so I still have 19 hours to try and feel slightly better.

As a result, there isn’t really any news. The only news I have to report is that on Tuesday I received a surprise text message from the Person who I wasn’t supposed to be in love with from last year. That came quite out of the blue, I didn’t expect to hear from him again. We had this short and cryptic conversation where he wanted to know how I was, apparently for no reason. I have rarely met a more ambivalent man. Probably he was having a spasm of missing me, enough to text me but not enough to suggest seeing each other. Maybe he has flu as well, who knows. Have to wait and see if I hear from him again.

While we are patiently WAITING to feel better and to receive messages from handsome boys, let’s have a tune. I saw this video for the first time today and I simply adore it. This is one of the most beautiful young women I’ve ever seen, the video is like a fairytale and she preaches a message of self-love and body positivity. ‘I’m getting thicker and thicker’, she says, waving her perfect, huge bottom. We could all use some of that. I might start looking to her for fashion and beauty tips, not to mention advice on how to be happy.

Behold.

Lizzo: Scuse Me (2016)

lizzo

Blog Updates

Do you talk to yourself? I do. I think it is something that kicks in when you’ve been living alone for a long time. I might be doing stuff around the house and sometimes I comment out loud on how it is going. I say things like ‘right, then’ and ‘ffs’ and quite often ‘I’m not having a very good time’. Today I was happy. Everything seemed to be coming together. I am free from the world’s worst job. Business is doing okay. I have recovered from a 10-day sinus infection. I am popular with boys and lots of people want to date me. I’ve been seeing art and culcha around London. I said out loud, a propos of nothing, ‘I am having a good time!’ It was a rare moment of genuine and complete happiness. Of course, I was tempting fate by saying this and I stupidly returned a phone call to receive news of a family member who is one long, perpetual, expensive, time-consuming problem and a bad news generator. Fuck me for being happy for five minutes. By the end of the phone call, I’d started smoking again.

Anyway. I planned to update the blog today and that’s what I’m doing. It’s even more important to keep updating the blog when your patience is being tested and so I shall attempt to restore my previously good mood.

I’ve decided to start collecting Achievement Points and Brownie Badges again and have updated the blog pages. Also, we used to have themed seasons here on TLYW and now I finally have a more normal life, I am reinstating them. Here are the two major ones.

Classical Music, Yo

classical

I have developed a sudden taste for classical music. I don’t know where that came from, I am usually all about house, hip hop and reggae. As you know, I’ve recently been to two performances by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and then I went to The Pirates of Penzance by the English National Opera, which I have already blogged about. Then I went to see Verdi’s Rigoletto, which I will blog about separately. I’m going back to the London Phil next week for some Stravinsky and before I forget, we have these magical things coming up in London over the next few months:

I am just going to ride this wave for as long as it lasts. It’s educational and uplifting.

Year of the Console: 12 Games in 12 Months

console

As you know, I take gaming very seriously and this year I am expanding my repertoire by taking up console gaming. There are so many things that I want to at least try, so I am ambitiously going to play 12 games in 12 months. Just the other day I was overcome with a stroke of genius. I could have played 12 games in no particular order, or played them in order of the date of publication but instead I am going to play them in order of the historical period in which they are set. This is going to be great, it will prevent the gaming from becoming too repetitive, will give a theme and sense of progression to the gaming  year and will encourage me to play things I’ve never considered or tried before, which is what Console Year is all about.

January and February are both pre-history. If I’d had this idea earlier I would have played Ark: Survival Evolved (dinosaurs) in January and Far Cry: Primal (Cro-Magnons) in February but instead I did them the wrong way around. But I won’t remember this in a few months.

Far Cry Primal. Screenshots of my actual game play! Finally figured out to get photos off the Playstation.

Ark: Survival Evolved. It took me a while to figure out how to not get killed all the time. Now I’m really into it but February is going to end on Tuesday so I have to play as much as I can in the next 36 hours.

It’s almost March and so my history theme suggests that I need to play something set in either Ancient Greece or the Roman Empire. This isn’t going to be easy as there was a rash of games set in antiquity 10-15 years ago and barely anything since. Also most of the Roman Empire games were for the PC. But I will find something. After that we will zoom through the Middle Ages, slaying dragons along the way. Then some 18th century piracy. A spot of Victorian steampunk. World Wars 1 and 2. I expect to hit the present day around September and we will be playing futuristic sci-fi by Xmas.

In which I take on slightly too much, because it’s all I know how to do.

Crikey. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it is that I do better when I am busy. After thinking that I was going to have a nice, relaxing time, further to leaving the World’s Worst Company, my life is bursting at the seams with activity. I hardly know what to tackle next. Let’s have a quick roundup of non-work things.

  • Gym. I am in the gym regularly and although I’m not yet weighing myself, I can feel that I’m starting to lose some of the fat that I stacked on over Xmas. My pot belly will be the last thing to go and I am not ruling out liposuction if I can make time for it. Gym uses up a lot of time and, as we all know, you have to keep going several times a week if not every day, but it is well worth it.
  • Dentist. I am at the dentist aaaallllll the time. Fillings, cleaning, this and that. Periodontist on the 22nd.
  • Other beauty stuff. Hairdresser because my hair goes grey so fast. Laser hair clinic. I need to see my Botox man again, haven’t seen him since October.
  • Dating. I am very popular with boys at the moment, which is very welcome after being unmercifully dumped by someone I’d sustained a 14- or 15-month relationship with. I went on a date yesterday with an absolutely beautiful model who kissed me at the tube station. When I say model, I don’t mean some 50-year-old, silver-haired character actor, I mean an actual model.
  • Art and Culcha. So much of this. I saw the South Africa exhibition that is currently on at the British Museum and will blog about it separately. I am going out again over the coming weekend to hear more music.

british-museum-south-africa

  • Choir. Is this evening. Need to wash my hair and iron a dress because it’s a big social event of the week.
  • Friends. I have miraculously seen 4 of my long-suffering friends who have to wait two years in between meetings.
  • Housework. I can tell I am super busy because the house is getting out of control again even though I only cleaned it up last week. I still have not unpacked the boxes that I brought away with me from the World’s Worst Job and I seriously want to clean and renovate the back room, which is now my clothes room.
  • Gaming. I have done no video gaming for a solid week, even though I am desperate to get back into it. I am absolutely desperate to play Battlefield 1 and Resident Evil 7.

battlefield-1resident-evil-7-hands

So there you go. The things on that list, as well as work, are merely the things I’m actually managing to do plus the most immediate priorities. We won’t even mention the second tier of priorities, such as playing other video games, reading, pursuing half a dozen other hobbies and trying to get back into learning Chinese.

I am getting enough sleep, so there’s that.