Friday, 15 August 2014

On Not Writing.

I like my job. I'm very lucky to be able to do what I love, what I was built to do. That said, it's become kind of an obsession, something I need to do for my mental wellbeing. If I don't do this, I get low, I get bored. I don't like not writing at all.

But it's the summer. My wife works, I stay at home. You just can't write all day (or, many evenings) when you've got young kids at home. So I've been trying to throw myself into other things. Mine's the kind of brain that works best when it's busy.

But being busy all day is...hard. And expensive. I'm not a famous writer, and certainly not a rich one. I can't buy a ton of movies, or games. Can't/won't go to amusement parks, or abroad to sit on a distant beach.

Quite honestly, writing's the most fun I have. It's cheap to do (only need a PC, which I have). Basic running costs are electricity and an internet connection. And it's better than movies because I can make up the stories that I want. I can make things turn out the way that suits me.

So, I threw myself into getting fit instead. I still smoke, still drink. Just less than I used to. It's my new hobby. Not quite the obsession that writing is, but in my downtime, it's probably healthier. When I'm working, I still exercise. But this summer I've been exercising six times a week (weights - hips shot and I'm too heavy to run anyway). I ate tuna lettuce wraps for lunch yesterday, and I'll probably eat the same today. I've been eating rice instead of bread, potatoes instead of pasta.

Watching what I eat, drinking water instead of coffee. Exercise, trying to sleep (I'm a sporadic sleeper at best) and you know what? I feel better. I actually feel like I imagine a normal person does - an active one, not one who sits on his arse all day. I'm a little stronger and carrying a little less fat. I don't wheeze walking up the stairs.

Been doing this for about a year and a half. When I got royalties, I didn't spend them on drink, but on weights and equipment. I built a home gym, inside and out. Since then I've had a few lay-offs for injuries (hip, elbow, back, knee) but alway continued to train, if at all able, around the injured part.

This isn't a 'how-to' exercise post, or even an advice column on living well. Like I said, I smoke, I drink. I eat shit food from time to time. I'm largely writing this because I haven't updated the blog for a while, and haven't done much else of interest. But it is interesting, to me. Maybe it's about balance - spending time with the family, getting enough rest, moving around, eating sensible food, AND using your brain, too.

For a long time, I just did the brain bit. All in all, it's better this way. All work and no play really does make Jack a dull lad.

Anyway, a few years back I was 18st. Now I'm 15st7lb or there abouts. Everything, since taking up exercise again, has been easier. Fat's a lot harder to shift around than muscle. So, anyway, this is by and large just me rambling, but that's the trick, I think. Or, certainly, a trick. Life is easier if you put some effort in.

I put a ton of effort into getting somewhere with the writing. The rest of life might be a struggle, too, but it needs work if you're going to get anywhere. You listen to inspirational speeches and they all tell you the same thing. You might have talent, you might have looks, a great voice. But plenty of people have that. The people who reach the top? They work at it.

So I'm off to eat some boring tuna and lettuce.

Tonight I'll probably have a beer, though. Because all work and no play...