So this year is coming to a close a lot faster than I hoped. Christmas is now a distant memory, with what I remember of it being a blur of driving and tiredness. Having come back to work just before the start of the New Year, I’ve found myself re-invigorated, for what reason I do not know, but I want to use it in the best way possible.
To pass the time on my lunch I was looking at clothes online, thinking about how they would fit me/suit me, remembering when I used to work in the shop that I was browsing when I was younger. This led me to looking at old photos on Facebook and I was surprised to see how much I have changed. I never realised how good shape I was in when I was 16/17 and it is something that I miss.
Fitness seemed to come easy to me back then, playing Rugby 3 times a week and going to the gym with my school friend, where as now a days it is more of a chore than it should be. So – motivated, I now must push on. If I want to be able to get back to the size, that level of fitness then the work starts now. Really – it has already started just before Christmas as I began to watch what I eat again (tough over the holidays I know). I don’t need a New Years Resolution that will make me feel like I have failed if I don’t commit, instead I need a change of attitude. Something that will stick with me for life. I’ve done it once before when I was training for the races towards the end of this year, so I know I can do it again.
To egg me on a little, here is a list of the events that I want to feel comfortable with myself at.
MY WEDDING (SOMEONE AGREED TO MARRY ME, WHATISTHATALLABOUT)
I find it difficult in this massively connected world not to feel involved in these events that have occurred. There are (sometimes live) pictures of everything, videos, people who are actually there telling you what is happening as it happens – so it is expected that people feel involved when things like this happen.
The lesson that I am starting to learn, especially with the perpetual driving of life pushing us along, is to protect an area of your life where these things can’t effect you. For me it’s my home. We have just decorated for Christmas and it easy to think – as you’re putting up baubles, “what does this matter when bombs are being dropped? Or people are fleeing for their lives?” but this is a situation that you can’t allow yourself to be drawn into. All the problems of the world are too big for a single person to worry about and when it comes down to it, sometimes the small problems in your life mean more than the worries of the world.
With this in mind, I am really looking forward to our first Christmas together. The house has new floor down and the Christmas shopping is done! We have our plan of attack set out for Christmas day too – so this will be my first time going to Laura’s family meal on Christmas day! We also have the Christmas meal with our friends coming up, so there will undoubtedly be many picture of that with last years being an absolute storm.
I’m back on decorating duties again this year. Which, as you can see were top notch when we were at Carl’s.
I have a great load of time off over Christmas too, so I am looking forward to spending it at our home and with family over the Christmas weeks, especially after such a busy year. Then, once New Year comes the real count down to the wedding will begin, plans for the stag do and a trip to Newcastle with work for filming.
I have been struggling to find time lately to write anything on this. In fact, I have a whole pile of pictures to share with you from my trip to Wales which I haven’t even edited yet! But I thought I’d drop by and let you know how things are going.
Recently I have been scouting out small production companies around the UK and watching their short films. There sure are some talented people out there! And, I have been reading the tweets of people who work for themselves – filmmakers, authors etc.
In doing so I have given life to the embers of wanting to create.
It is my dream to work as an editor on feature films or television dramas. That is where my passion lies. But – as all industry individuals will know, you can’t get there by sitting on your hands and whistling Dixie. My new years resolution, which I aim to prepare well for, is to take that small tentative step forward into inspiration. I’d like to write a script for a short film and then actually produce it.
Just something simple.
Something to help stoke the flames and breathe life into my ambitions. I’ll update you along the way with the process of this endeavor, starting with getting over the fear of actually making anything in the first place.
So, I’ve spent the last four days home alone as the other half is away on an all action trip with her school. Whilst she is flying through trees and paddle boarding on vast lakes, I am left to fend for myself in the wilderness of our own house. Initially, the naive freedom of having our abode all to myself was almost unfathomable. The possibility of doing house chores, or not doing house chores, eating properly, or not eating properly. Wearing clothes, or basking in natures glorious liberty! However, reality is a harsh foe to contend with and although admitting this may get me beaten up and locked in my locker by the school bully, I do kind of miss her.
It’s a strange sort of missing though. Unlike the old type where I would write long forlorn letters to my love who is away traveling, hoping that my letter would reach her and I would receive a reply in the following weeks, we are now comforted by the warm arms of social media and instant messaging apps which can put us in touch with anyone we want within a coupe of seconds, so I was never more than a few button clicks away. But, the whole routine that we had built up over the last few months in our house was completely demolished.
No longer would I try to avoid watching soaps (which I secretly enjoy) and go and do house chores like laundry or cooking dinner. Instead I came home and suddenly had an extra 2 hours to do what I like! Blissful free time. So blissful that is compounded a new problem in that I didn’t know what to do to fill it. I had no motivation to do the house work as I knew, in reality, there was now only one of me and I could breeze through the mess I made within half an hour. I would usually complain, internally, about not having enough hours after work to get everything done and to relax, but in reality I need to be doing something to keep my mind working. Something to keep me from sitting on the sofa in my pants staring blankly at an off television wondering what has happened to my life.
Just to push the point.
The only thing I have eaten this week is chunky chips and turkey dinosaurs.
Why? Because there was no one there to tell me otherwise and I figured that I didn’t need to go food shopping as I am by myself.
I guess this has culminated in me writing this post, reaching out the tendrils of my mind to try to find something to do and make sense of what I have felt this week. But look on the bright side, she’s back tomorrow and I can go back to being happy doing the dishes and complaining about having no free time.
From talking to people far and wide, the issue I implore you to discuss with me is one which has repurcutions felt not only nationally, but worldwide.
That got your attention right?
The issue I deliberate on is the alpha ape vehicle driver. We all know them, we see them day in and day out whisking their through traffic just daring you to challenge them. No I use the none gender specific description of ape as I have found no links between gender and this type of road rage. In fact, equality advocates would probably class it as a win.
An example, if you will. Whilst driving into the city centre the other day I stopped at a red light and waited my turn. It was rush hour and the traffic crossing in front of my was moving slowly, but as the traffic lights changed, my path was clear. As I accelerated – and even accelerated is a dramatic turn of phrase for how fast my car moved – a gentleman, who had been stuck in the right hand turn side of his lane (to go in my direction) put pedal to the metal, and like a bat out of hell charged towards the front side of my car as I passed.
I stopped my car, which as I said – was not moving very fast, and allowed this imbecile to go in front. Fine? Sure. I was quite happy with the outcome, having trained myself recently to drive defensively at all times, no matter what happens. What I was not prepared for was the barracking I received off the driver I let in. His face contorted in a painful grimace, hands gesticulating in what can only be described as the Devils Macarena and I assume a torrent of foul language, as I could not hear him, spewing from his fetid mouth.
I could not understand why I had irked him so much, but it quickly dawned on me which sin I had committed. Merely being there on the road and becoming an obstacle as the gentleman ran his red light was the fuse to blow the dynamite.
I have com to the decision that it is lack of intelligence that leads to this behaviour. It’s the ultimate one up man ship as these white van drivers, taxi drivers, daily commuters and school runners just think that they are better than everyone else. Quite happy to take other people’s lives in their hands just to gain a second on their journey time.
As mentioned earlier, it is not a bespoke trait for men either and sometimes the abuse you get off women would make the biggest of hard face men quiver in their 110’s.
I think for now I will sit back and let the world go mad by itself. Life is far too short.
What are your experiences with these sorts of drivers? Or what do th think could be done to stop them?
At the beginning of the year it is safe to say that I wasn’t feeling happy biologically. I felt slow, lumbered and in a pretty shitty mood. I decided it was my general health and fitness that was the cause of my perpetual grief, so I decided to do something about it – pulling on my running shoes and shorts and getting out onto the open road.
My first few runs, when I look back now, were pretty abysmal, though were expected of someone who had done little more than walking to the fridge for exercise in the previous 12 months. I was averaging around a mile and a half and I’d come back sweating, sore and feeling worse than when I started.
It was amazing how fast this changed. Like the changing of the tide, I awoke the next morning with a spring in my step, my lungs felt great – like a muscle that has been stretched and is ready to tackle the days work. I no longer felt downtrodden and tired. I had slept better than ever due to my excursion and had awoken a new man!
Six months later and I had been running once or twice a week, periodically I admit, usually using the excuse of “not having enough time” to go for a run. It is an excuse people in the fitness industry, most probably, hear a lot – but it’s ridiculous. Even if you put aside 40 minutes of your day, you can get a great run in. For those even more pushed for time, a surface skimming search on Google can unearth some fantastic pulse racing, lung busting exercises that can be completed in 20 minutes.
There is no excuse.*
When I started running I set my sights on each kilometre.
1K .. 2K… 3K…
Then after 3k was down, I dived head first into my first 5k run.
It was tough and it took its toll. Unlike the runs I was performing twice a week, I didn’t enjoy my first 5k as much as I thought I would. I harked back to younger days when I played Rugby for my secondary school and could breeze through a 5k in 25-30 minutes, but this time around I was pushing on 40.
Flash forward and I have had an outrageously busy year. Work picked up, we moved house and my running schedule took a hit over Christmas. I had lagged too far behind the pack and was now struggling to get back into it. Then a few months ago I began again. I started using an app called “Zombies, Run!” and it was a revelation. An audiobook style running companion that tells a tale, incorporating sprints and objectives to your standard everyday runs.
I began clocking up the miles again and within a few weeks I had burnt through 6/7 4k runs on my new route and finally decided to tackle the 5k once more.
I felt a lot better than the first time I had tried the 5k. Something was different, maybe it was an easier route, or maybe after weeks of longing to make something of my self the simplest thing had occurred – a change in my attitude.
Change can be big or small, obvious or discreet. Sometimes it can even be bad – but for me, the smallest change in my attitude towards running made the world of difference. My choice of run is a 5k and I feel disappointed when I can’t complete the distance. Within a week or so of finishing the 5k pictured above, I set myself a new target – 10k.
Ridiculous isn’t it? Someone who runs 5k in 38 minutes wants to run a 10k?
Not ridiculous, it’s a target, an ambition, a goal.
It’s one that I hope to achieve quickly, as you see I have signed up for two 10k races in November, one of them being Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest and I fully intend on smashing them both. Initially I don’t care what time I bring in, I just want to finish the distance. Then I will know whether that small change was really worth it.
For now, I will focus on bringing my 5K time down, at least for a couple of weeks, then I will begin to really push the distance. Then, hopefully by the time the 7th of November rolls around, with a bit of will power, adrenaline and foolish confidence, I will be able to drag myself over the line with the rest of my team.
*unless there is some sort of underlying medical condition – in that case you’re okay.
Everybody has those life events that we celebrate like it’s the end of the world.
For us, Saturday was one of those celebrations. It was a night to celebrate my engagement to the wonderfully angelic and mesmerisingly beautiful Laura, and to preempt the many years of happiness that await us.
Family from all corners of the Kingdom arrived and friends from all walks of life added to the fervour of a party that was hosted at my parents house. It was a night to remember, but unfortunately one that I can not.
Although I am left with few memories of the events that took place (with the void being sporadically filled by hazy flashbacks) I have the overwhelming sense of enjoyment and love from all those that turned up and those who passed on their condolences for their absence.
I thoroughly had a good time and I owe it all to my fantastic family and friends who made the night what it was. From playing complicated drinking games in the kitchen which we finished with a hailing of “Shall we just do shots?” – to singing and dancing the night away in a cramped living room at 3am Sunday morning.
I am also elated that all of our groups of friends were able to mingle and get along seamlessly – a testament to their character and their attitudes. I think I can speak for Laura when I say that I don’t know what we’d do without you all and we greatly appreciate you all being there on Saturday night.
I am looking forward to celebrating our wedding day with you all (and a few extras) in 313 days time, but let it be known, that you have set a precedent from the Engagement Party which I expect to either be met or preferably exceeded by the time the 7th of August comes around next year.
Thank you all again, I am now off to practise my whip and naenae.
[photographs provided by Paul Daniels & Amy Davies]
I wish that this was a book that someone had written.
That way, through my meandering browsing of amazon and other book sites, blogs and reviews, I may have stumbled across it and been able to handle the situation that I am in now.
Or rather was in.
You see, as I sit here on my lunch break in the midst of a video format situation in work, the bell has tolled and we have escaped unscathed. I had written around 300 words of foreboding, talking about adult responsibility and how the stress of this situation was pretty crushing. However, and interesting enough I have learnt a lesson within the last 15 minutes and it is one that I am eager to share on my first blog post to this site.
I work as a Video Production Assistant for a goods company (selling microwaves, fridges, freezers). We film product videos and how to videos and recipe videos. It’s enjoyable work, and I love the editing side of it. We also take on projects for external clients – and this is the part where the elephant eats your picnic. We had huge issues with formatting when trying to submit a piece of work for television broadcast. This was an area that is completely new to us and even more so to me being pretty fresh-faced out of university.
As the problems arose and clients became flustered the pressure was mounting until this morning, then it peaked at an insane amount of foreboding. We had one last chance – once more into the breach. We had tried everything and my extensive research into formatting was well and truly at a dead-end. The fork in the road lead to two dead ends and we had no where else to go.
My previous post was about realising my responsibility as an adult and an employee in this mess. I was going to write about how I now realised what it means to have responsibility, in the face of the company losing a significant amount of money on this project. Not to mention the time the team has taken to complete this task. We were worried. I’m not gonna lie. And, they really pushed it to the limit in sending us the feedback.
This time, we survived.
Our last battle had routed the enemy, through sheer will power we persevered and we were victorious!
There was a collective in take of breath, then – elation.
So, now I propose a new angle on responsibility.
Maybe, unknown to me, I had become responsible. Maybe the time spent researching formatting options and trawling through video tech geeks forums was me being responsible? However it happened – I have grown up. This experience has shown me that if you want something enough then you can get it. Responsibility it something that you are given, whether you want it or not, it’s how you deal with it that is going to show people who you really are.
Now, I feel confident. I feel confident in my ability to knuckle down and solve the problem. Even with no knowledge – and to interject for a moment, I don’t believe I have any more knowledge of formatting for television – you can grapple and scrap and grit your teeth and persevere.
The proverbial they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day” when talking about persevering and creating great work.
What they fail to mention is a lesson that I believe is more fundamental to this story. If you take anything from this blog, it should be this.
Rome began with the laying of a single stone.
This message follows the idea of getting your foot in the door. Having that first step, that first idea of “I’m here, what the hell am I going to do” and just going with it. Building upon the foundations of your character and letting yourself grow. If you are in a situation where you think everything if getting too much or you are inexperienced – afraid even. Understand that no matter how long you feel out of your depth, eventually you will rise. Then one day you will look back and realise that all those hours spent worrying and searching endless places for solutions to problems you can’t comprehend are not wasted. They are the building blocks to your life. Your tools in taking on your responsibility.
That’s my story for today. A little heavy, but it reflects the atmosphere that I have been engulfed in for the past week. I hope you enjoyed it and will be back for future posts which will be happier, light-hearted, young adult word splurge.