Brain Lies

In todays list of things my brain decided to turn into a storm in a teacup was a quick spin on the existential mortality trap of comparing where I am now with what my father was doing at my age. This was duly mixed with an unhealthy dash of “how am I 50?” and a selection of general inflated perceived inadequacy.

Then I shook my head, got a sense of perspective, realised I was feeling gritty from the heat of the day and therefore uncomfortable in my own skin, and had a good hot shower which helped immensely.

Nice try brain. Not today.

Weekend Gathering

I’m currently stretched out in bed after a rollercoaster of emotions but all in good company. Lady M and boy s both had trainer appointments at the gym so it was a good excuse to make a day of it. I’ve been using gym visits this week to help get through muscular and joint pain I’ve had since having covid last week, so I also had a plan of attack. The cub wanted to swim.

With all the stress of this week, my mental reserves have been slender today, especially with the residual pains. It’s days like this where my partners rally round in support. Hugs and simple gestures, quiet moments and silliness all helped as we came and went from the table we were using as a base.

The space and quiet have been needed. This has not been a good week. This evening feels a bit brighter.

Late Night Musings

My sleep patterns, between stress and Lady M’s snoring are a bit all over the place at the moment. Usually the act of telling someone that then leads to sleep arriving shortly after, but we’ll see.

I’ve finally got round to playing Watchdogs Legion and I’ve no idea about anyone else but I’m enjoying it. With an overarching near future dystopia setting it seems to be moving more freely in its storytelling and the shared universe with Assassins Creed has led to some fun Easter eggs in the return to London. I may even have to reinstall AC Syndicate.

Legion’s tongue is stuck firmly in cheek even in its drama, and I think that’s the appeal for me, even if some of the voice acting is a bit jarring in places.

Still, there are worse ways to distract from stress than have your character fly over modern London, sat on a cargo drone and creating havoc on the streets below.

No Time To Stop

Another fast-paced week, and this week is so far balanced between recruitment and keeping the wheels on things while we transition through a major change of systems.

There’s a lot going on, and tempers are frayed sometimes; and yet we’ll get through it. I had a long chat with my boss this afternoon and had the reassurance that I’m doing well and that was something I definitely needed to hear. The black dog has been barking quite insistently the last few days.

Ow ow ow

As is traditional, a few days after exercise, muscles are complaining bitterly. Sadly that exercise was my being violently ill so the painful muscles are the ones connected to my ribs and diaphragm and it hurts when I laugh.

Those who know me, will appreciate how much this is an irritation. I like laughing.

A lot.

And yes, that’s in no small part due to being very familiar with depression, which is always lurking in the background.

So, hopefully I’ll feel less tender in the morning and I can enjoy my day off.

Low Day

I’ve been rough today, but it’s only been a blip at its worst point. There was nothing in particular that sparked it; I think the stresses of the last few weeks and being a carer while Lady M recuperates just hit saturation point.

As a result instead of things sliding like water off a duck’s back, I sank for a while. Cuddles and reassurance from Lady M helped hugely. Then she put the xbox controller in my hand and told me to shoot things in Destiny for a few hours – and that helped too. I’m a simple soul sometimes.

Other people on social media and via messaging also helped lift my spirits, as did some TV shows, and some graphics stuff that has ended up in both the RedBubble store and on Amazon as well. Links are in the menu above for each.

I’m still feeling a bit grey and subdued, but it’s not as heavy, grey, and brain fogged so, yay?

Cathartic Clearout

I bought the first piece of new furniture for our flat since we finalised buying it: a standard lamp with shelving. It arrived today and I spent a quick twenty minutes or so assembling it – and then clearing a space for it to live.

This meant steeling myself to start digging into the huge piles of cds and dvds that had taken over a corner of the living room. Many of them were items I’d bought when I wasn’t well, and I compulsively bought a great many things at the time.

There are items we’re keeping, certain classics for example, and comedian sets, but there are many more that neither of us have looked at in ten, or in some cases, twenty years – so in the bin they’ve gone.

I could have sold them on in non-lockdown circumstances, but I needed them gone – and it’s been oddly cathartic to get rid of impromptu reminders of painful times. There’s still more to go through, so that’ll keep me busy spring-cleaning tomorrow.

Creative Paralysis

I have so many things I want to do, and feel inspired to do, and yet amid the day to day requirements of work and keeping the home I’m unable to complete many of them.

It’s not so unusual, even with my grasshopper mind. I currently have two stories that I’m transcribing, as well as a third that I’m editing in the hope of it being the opener for a series of short stories via Kindle and the like. I also have tee-shirt designs to tidy, some graphics for a friend’s Twitch channel, a number of half-done sketches, and of course there’s posting here on a semi-regular basis and the D&D sessions on Sunday evenings.

That’s not even counting paid work at the library, regular counselling, games, reading, the washing up, hoovering, and other minutiae of daily living.

No wonder I feel exhausted, and why I struggle with feeling guilty when I do none of the creative things when I get home or, like this morning, have a few spare hours.

I know plenty of people who will say that I shouldn’t feel guilty, and one or two who would say that guilt is just a mask for anger. I know that in an ideal world I would apply myself to one thing, and then another thing, and then another thing in turn – but my brain and heart aren’t cooperating. I’m like the dog in Up who is constantly shouting Squirrel!

Maybe another nap will help

At last, the weekend

It’s Saturday night, I’ve been working, and I’ve had counselling. I think I can stop now. At least, I would if not for all the Diwali fireworks that are making me flinch.

So, here’s some more digital art from the archives. I’m going to put the kettle on and listen to something loud enough to drown out the explosions

Digging Up The Archives

I’m focusing on being positive this week, what with the anniversary and my brain’s attempts to continue to sabotage me. For the most part this has manifested in new writing, new items going up in the shop (180 odd designs and rising as of time of writing), and going through old backups to find the graphics that time forgot.

Oh, there are so, so, many. I forgot how prolific I was when I was ill back in the early to mid 2000s. Some of the archives have aged very badly, others look amazing, and others are currently inspiring new works as a revisit.

Its interesting to see how I’ve progressed in some areas, and what looks familiar even now. More than anything else it has got me wanting to spend more time pushing to rediscover digital art techniques.

So there’s a positive thing.