Hashtag Poetry #17

Every day in 2022 I’ll post six lines of unique poetry on Twitter, and then archive it here for posterity with some additional observations. Here is Poem #17:

There was too much going on this morning to do it at the time. The fact I remembered it in the Gym at 5.30 says a lot about where my headspace is right now, too. Things are getting better.

Coming Up…

January is almost at an end, and to maintain the momentum from 2022’s early morning productivity, it’s time to start making plans for February. What can you expect to see next month?

Starting February 10th, the Proper Bard Podcast goes into History Mode, as it’s time to understand what happened to allow me to get to the point in a career that still defines me as an ‘Early State Creative’. There’ll be a chance to share my first publication poem (and the fact it got a round of applause at the time) plus my adventures in local borough history. That will keep us going well into March and possibly beyond…

Then it is high time I updated my YouTube Channel, which we will ‘soft relaunch’ with an upgrade for my Introductory Video. It’s a lovely excuse to flex creative muscles in ways I don’t normally have time to do, plus on this occasion I’ve written a poem to accompany the pictures, because honestly that’s what I do for everything now. You can expect to see this premiering sometime after I have my first proper break post-Pandemic… let’s say after the 21st. I refuse to be more precise than that.

#HashtagPoetry will continue, and I’ll also get back to poetry reviewing and wibbling about the World, which at present could easily be a full-time job if someone was prepared to pay me for it. Oh, and at the end of this month, expect a small passion project to emerge surrounding the subject of Imaginary Band Names…

The Bigger Picture: Exercise

From time to time, I will feel the need going forward to write about other things than poetry.

According to the way in which BMI is measured I am, right now, eligible for the above programme.

Except, I am in the best shape of my entire adult life, can deadlift 65 kg and bench press close to 45 kg. I still get breathless going upstairs at certain times of the day, because of the way my body works. In essence, I’m a train: it needs a while for me to get going, and then I can work for hours. It’s also taken nearly six years of incredibly painful, mental and physical challenge to get this far, and to understand what one body is capable of achieving. 12 weeks of support, to be honest, seems like a bit of an insult. Being healthy needs to become a full-time commitment, and trying to make schemes best fit for most people is often doomed to failure.

Exercise is also not the answer for everyone. Throwing terms like ‘fat’ and ‘thin’ about is insulting to so many, and using BMI as a benchmark is increasingly being cited as a damaging and dangerous. The key, undoubtedly, are measurements like biometrics, and a genuine understanding that not all human beings are born the same. I’ll never be ‘normal’, after all, because my body’s a lot longer than most people’s and my legs are shorter than many others, and it is high time that we stop using old-fashioned labels to try and define fitness. I really hope in the next 10 years that there’s a move away from ‘wellness’ as a visually-defined ideal. People are not all created equal.

My last Biometric reading, before Christmas 2021

Since I started at my gym, as you can see, I’ve put on nearly 10 kilos. Most people go to exercise in order to lose weight as a path to health and fitness. Not me. I’m here to fulfil my weightlifting ambitions, and become a better cyclist. In the last six years I’ve completed numerous bike events (including Ride London) and last year I completed my first 10 km run. In all this time, there’s been a running battle between body and brain, one that has lost me friends and caused numerous amounts of emotional grief. You are not exercising to fulfil someone else’s idea of happy, or indeed fit. You should be doing it to give yourself happiness, with an improved quality of life.

If exercise does not do this, the answer may not lie in being what other people think is acceptable or beautiful, and this is why I think more Gyms need to be putting mental health front and centre in their wellness plans. What is it that stops you from achieving your goals? Why do you eat in the first place? What changes would you like to make, not only to be healthier, but to feel mentally more capable of changing your life? Just giving someone 12 weeks to change and no support or motivation to do so is not helpful. I’d love to see more Personal Trainers with Mental Health First Aid qualifications, and more Pharmacists with the same.

This has never just been about eating less and exercising more, even though that’s basically the point you need to reach to succeed.

At the start of the month, my Gym awarded me the title PT Hero after deciding that I’d worked quite hard and deserved some recognition. They presented me this in a packed exercise class, which was good practice for the day when I do indeed win a Poetry Award and I don’t crumble to dust with the attention. It also made me realize that, in all my adult life, I never really felt I’d achieved something until someone else took the time to tell me so. I have medals, I’ve fundraised over £1000 for mental health charities, but nothing thus far feels as important as this, and that’s odd when I spend a lot of time not getting worried about other people.

It makes me ask the question: why does this matter? Normally I’d take time to work that out but not today. Achievement and representation are not the same thing. For decades, I hated exercise, found it hard and stressful, because I could not push past the idea I had to look and act a certain way. Once the tyranny of appearance was dealt with, and once I started seeing women like me being given greater prominence in the wider world, it was easier to believe that this was acceptable, that I could be the strong, capable woman I had always wanted to be but never known where to find.

All the awards in the world are not as important as being respected and encouraged as a strong and capable person.

I am tired of the manufactured Influencer outlook, so many people have, on life. I want to hear about failure, and stress and concerns because only by knowing other people feel like we do does anyone ever get anywhere. It’s not about being at the top of a pile and looking down: we all need to lift each other up, help collectively to improve life and wellbeing for everyone. If my Award inspires someone, if my exercise chat makes someone thing or maybe just sharing the Sky article changes someone’s view, it’s worth talking about. I am also tired of people shouting at each other, as if knowing the ‘right’ answer will help everybody in the long run anyway.

We need to stop telling, and start showing what matters most.

Hashtag Poetry #16

Every day in 2022 I’ll post six lines of unique poetry on Twitter, and then archive it here for posterity with some additional observations. Here is Poem #16:

This poem is explained with ten minutes of video, available to you if you’d like to sign up to my Ko-Fi Sub Model here. If you don’t want to do this, I respect and accept that choice, and choose as a result not to share the details. Welcome to Late-Stage Capitalism 😀

Hashtag Poetry #15

Every day in 2022 I’ll post six lines of unique poetry on Twitter, and then archive it here for posterity with some additional observations. Here is Poem #15:

I was a bit stressed at 7.30am: today was dentistry for my youngest, and I have issues with Dentists that go back to the 1970’s. It’s always a hard ask, but by 2pm all of this was forgotten. Today is a landmark, because of a title for a collection that appeared literally out of nowhere, because of the kindness of strangers and ultimately as a reminder that yes, if you work your arse off, good things to come.

Never let it be said that I do not learn.

Hashtag Poetry #14

Every day in 2022 I’ll post six lines of unique poetry on Twitter, and then archive it here for posterity with some additional observations. Here is Poem #14:

Yesterday was bedlam. Today is a lot of subtle rearrangement of directions and outputs. We’re getting close to some new things becoming habit, too, which I am very happy about.

HOW TO TWITTER #3: Are You a Robot?

I'm sitting here, faffing with some stuff before I go make lunch, and I get a Follow notification. As is always the case, I go look at who it is, and then realise that there's a 99% certainty I just got followed by a robot.

Here's how I check the validity of followers 😀

It's another of my 'How to Twitter '22' Handy Dandy Guides. Time to play 'Spot the Robot Follower!'

Say hello to Nancy Donald. I’ve highlighted five things about Nancy’s profile that make me think twice about following her. They are:

1. The Avatar
2. The Username
3. Their ‘Description’
4. Followers and Following
5. They don’t follow anyone I do [WARNING KLAXON]

This is Nancy Donald's Twitter header, which I've marked with five potential red flags, as detailed in the Tweet itself.

1. Lovely lass. If I used Google Lens, I wonder if I could find out who this really is… you’d be surprised what searching people’s avatars can turn up. In this case, no matches, but this is the standard warning that what you see is not necessarily what is real 😀

Sometimes you don’t need a programme, a human being is far superior ❤

2. A username with numbers after it is a good indicator of a new account. I suspect this account has been created in the last 72 hours (and yes, look, account was created January 22) It must be said at this point that many older Twitter users have numbers after their names. Why? Because, in many cases, they see no need to change their names, or they do not know how to. It is reasonably easy with other checks to work out the difference. This all boils down to you making informed decisions over whom you follow and how you then interact with them.

3. I like a good positive affirmation, and in this case you KNOW you're not being sold something… except, of course, you are. Robots hide in people's feeds to avoid detection and to propagate disinformation. that's why who they follow and who is following them is so important.

4. Is the killer. The eight people who follow them are as far away from my interests and ideals as it is possible to get. Looking at their Likes and their media, there is no actual interaction at all with anything I’d consider as normal or indeed compelling to me.

Finally, 5 goes without saying really. yes, at some point you will be followed by people who don't follow anyone else you do. It's how small becomes huge in this space. However, if you take the time to look at the follows when you are small… you can make this a better place.

If Twitter will not (and in many cases simply cannot) police accounts fast enough, learning how to report the wrong-uns yourself is a useful way not simply of keeping this space useful, but weeding out those only interesting in impersonation and disruption.

I know what to do.

Yup, I lose a follower.

However, I stop this person scraping MY feed, and using me a hiding place.

When was the last time you actually checked who you follow?

/ends

I have blocked @NancyDo40742302 and I'm fairly confident you should too.

Originally tweeted by Another 🗨️ Reeson 💭 to start 2022 💬 STRONGER (@InternetofWords) on January 16, 2022.

How To Twitter #2: The Only Way is @-ing…

#2 in a series of How to Improve your Twitter Gameplay: The Only Way is @-ing…

I never really used to grasp how Twitter makes conversations you think are mutual end up as genuinely one-sided, until I started participating in group experiences. The assumption is that if someone presses ‘Follow’ that they’re reading what you’re saying.

INCORRECT ANSWER.

There are so many other factors at play: where they read your tweets (app/browser) and how that is set up. It also assumes that you’re not muted, which can often happen if you’re a prolific tweeter. Take it from someone who’s been told this to their face. It happens. The ONLY way you guarantee that someone is following you has read a tweet you’ve made is by including their @/username in a tweet. Never, EVER forget this. This can also be a useful way to ascertain whether you are also muted, if that is something that you need to know.

We follow people for lots of reasons: often in the hope that will, in turn, grant us a larger following ourselves. I’m not lying when I say I can manage about 600 people’s responses, and that’s the limit. If people are following as many people as they follow? They’re not listening. If it really matters that you talk to someone? Twitter is really not the place to do it. It’s great for random interactions, and for casual advertising. Make it anything else and the chances are it will get messy. If you are lucky enough to have decent friendships and engagement?

But seriously, honestly, truthfully, you are VERY LUCKY INDEED. Also, if you are investing a lot of emotional significance into ‘interactions’ where you are doing the majority of interacting? The chances are it’s a one way relationship. Make your choices with care. Again, take it from a fool.

TL;DR: if you want to guarantee an answer to a Tweet from that person you want to impress? Use their username.

If you get silence when you do?

Sometimes, that’s how we know that the importance we place in an interaction is not the same as how another person sees it.

/ends

Originally tweeted by Another 🗨️ Reeson 💭 to start 2022 💬 STRONGER (@InternetofWords) on January 15, 2022.

Hashtag Poetry #12

Every day in 2022 I’ll post six lines of unique poetry on Twitter, and then archive it here for posterity with some additional observations. Here is Poem #12:

Been a Week, guys, but we made some huge, massive, brilliant progress.

Hashtag Poetry #11

Every day in 2022 I’ll post six lines of unique poetry on Twitter, and then archive it here for posterity with some additional observations. Here is Poem #11:

I thought I’d broken my PC this morning, but it turns out that Firefox was broken for everybody. Today was the day I ruined my Wordle streak, and it was when 13 days of full on hard brain-based effort plus Monday’s blood donation finally brought me to my knees. Tomorrow will be better.

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