A thing that I can’t articulate properly and that I don’t know is insightful or not

Three examples: Scandinavia and Scottish Nationalism. Europe vs US on progresssiveness. 

The idea: progressives is often ascribed to places that don’t actually warrant it, as it’s mostly just cause they aren’t under enough scrutiny because the problem is less obvious in that places.

That idea is what is badly articulated. What I mean is that often people compare American racism and intolerance and seem to hold Europe as a more tolerant, progressive place. My point is that white racism is a lot more evident, and a lot more underacrutiny in the US, which is only 67% white, compared with places like Sweden which are 97% white and not the centre of one of the biggest media-cultural complexes in the world. Racism may seem, to the (white)  observer, to be less of an issue but that’s just because it has less scope to be an issue. In addition because the problem is less obvious, these places do not have to go through the same development and conversation that the US has to go through just to function, and so you end to with places like Denmark (seen in the popular imagination as enlightened, tolerant,) stripping refugees of their jewelry to pay for their asylum (deeply inhumane, regressive) 

I will revisit this and redraft, this is a first draft of something I’ve been trying to articular for a long time

Ever wish you could be out of your own head? Just for a little while? 

Smooth, healthy, pacific. 

I think I like a lot of the music I like because it’s so serene. Sad, at heart, like I am, but languid and simple and clear. 

I’m so plugged in all the time, and simultaneously so distant. I’ve always lived in my head, I had to, and the Internet lets me live in my head and be in the real world at the same time. But  I can be overwhelmed just like anyone else by too much stimulation, all the time.  

I don’t really have any relaxing habits. Sleep is the only time I let myself get smoothed over and reset. My other leisure hobbies are either gaming on screens, learning on screens, or absorbing from paper, or daydreaming, idling but not actually relaxing. Socialising isn’t really relaxing, it can be fun but it’s still needs effort and thought and only rarely will reset me. 

Alcohol is an illusory relaxant, causing anxiety or illness later as a balance. 

Sometimes things are too much. I’m always in my head. I’m always in the future. I want more balance. 

Recipie

Feeds four

Onion, garlic, spinach, cream cheese, quorn, splash if white wine or sherry, mushrooms

Oven to 190

Sauté onion, mushrooms, spinach, garlic gently till spinach wilts. Stir in salt, pepper creamcheese, wine, pour over quorn, cook in oven till quorn is cooked. 

Hmm

I need more inspiration in my life. I am a broken record, saying this over and over again year after year, but I don’t have much in the way of motivation or drive or goals. I tend towards oblivion, to idleness, I default to it.

There’s a girl I used to follow on tumblr, Kyoko, and she makes me really happy to read about, gives me hope and comfort to see her doing what she does. I want to find more people that make me feel like that, to see what kinds of ways of living there are out there and help me formulate my own. 

I need to think about when I did get shit done and when I haven’t. Rekindle the fires in me etc

exercise Redux

So after an abortive attempt to start exercising again months ago, i’ve graduated uni (Physics, 2:2) and i’m back at my parents house jobhunting. Been here for ten days and I’ve just worked up the wherewithall to get in my old cross trainer again…and boy have I regressed. 

For posterity, I managed 15 mins, breaking every three mins. I wanted to do 20. I think I could have done more based in the feeling in my legs now, im wibbly but not wholly fatigued. Started to quick and foolishly didnt bring water in with me. I was on resistance 7 (where 1 is like running downhill and 8 is the maximum and like a moderately steep incline). Need to take a pint of water or two in with me next time and do up my exercise playlist. Gonna go again tomorrow and do better.

I’m pretty sure this is the least fit i’ve ever been. But I’ve got two months before my boyfriend is back from the Scottish wilderness and i’m going to be fighting fit (or at least half that) when he’s back!

Bonus: I got my hair cut earlier, it was gloriously sunny and I’ve just started reading the magnificent Diskworld series since I got here. Got through book 1 (the colour of magic) in a day and im now half way through book 2 (the light fantastic)

Bonus 2: ive got an interview for a a part time job at my local Sains tomorrow for that precious £££ that I desperately need

First swimming session

Yesterday I went swimming for the first time in a long time. I want to make a log of my progress and the effects that exercise has on me, so this is the first entry in that series.

During the session I set myself the goal of swimming 1000m, breast stroke, in the slow lane. I figured I should start off easy, and even that was nearly too much for me! I really had to force myself to complete the last 250m, as I kept thinking that 750m was enough, that’d I’d done good enough already and deserved a rest. I had done well to do 750m, but I probably had another 750m in me if I tried hard enough!

What I noticed during the session was

  • my muscles got tired over time. I was able to keep my head consistently above water for the first 250m but after that I was dipping in and out. I slowed down by I reckon about half between beginning and end.
  • I’m not strong enough to be able to put the amount of effort in, over the amount of time necessary, to get my heart pounding without completely exhausting myself.
    I’m sure I could have got my heart really racing, but I wouldn’t have been able to sustain it for any length of time.
  • The muscle that felt most worked during the session was my diaphragm. I knew everything else was being worked because my arms and legs got tired, but when I needed to stop and rest the thing that felt most tired was my diaphragm.

After the session, I’ve noticed

  • I feel good about myself for doing it, which lead to me overeating on the day. This is a habit of mine, exercising but then way overcompensating with food in the following day(s)
  • My triceps, quads, traps, and neck feel noticeably worked. Everything else feels normal. Nothing feels worked to the extent that I am weakened, as sometimes happens. I think my diaphragm and chest feels worked internally, but I could just be projecting this.

So, that’s my first exercise session. I don’t think I’m going make it a habit to make a post for every single session. Instead what I’m going to say for now is that I’ll do a write up after each session if there’s anything to report, and I’ll make those little write ups into a report for the week.

Exercise Diary

I’ve decided I’d like to keep an exercise diary, to note down the effects of the exercise I’m (hopefully) going to be regularly doing from now on.

Before I came to university 3 years ago, I’d got in a good habit of doing high resistance aerobic training on an elliptical several times a week. Because of this I had quads of steel, a lowish resting heart rate, and my breathing was great. It helped with my anxiety and depression, focused my mind, regulated my sleeping, and on top of that made me feel good in general. It wasn’t a panacea, but it was definitely a better state of being.

Since then I’ve essentially stopped exercising except for the walk to university. My legs have shrunk back, flab has returned to my body (the thing I most care for is my softening jaw line!), and breathing has in general become more laboured.

I’ve abortively tried to recommence with a regime over time, but usually it didn’t stick for more than a month.

What I’m interested in this time around is twofold

  1. to note the effects that exercise has on my body when coming from zero again. To note how my body feels after each session, seeing how different muscles react over time. To note down the changes I notice in my shape, feeling of wellbeing, stamina etc over time. I don’t know of a source that documents the changes regular exercise effects over different time spans, so I’m trying to make one for myself.
  2. To get into the shape I want to be. To feel lighter and easier in the world through being fitter and stronger. It annoys me that I find it harder to open doors now. From what I’ve read it should also make my brain work better in general. Better body better brain, better brain better body.

It will also hopefully help to get me to stick with the habit. If I’m writing about regularly there might be more pressure from within myself to get back into it when I slack on it. I might also post pictures so I have a visual record of myself, but I’m undecided on that right now.