It has been a while. A long while.
If there's anyone left who reads this blog, I appreciate your patience.
The title of this post and the name of the blog are much the same because, with much on my mind, I thought it might be an idea to just talk it all out right here and if it happens to grab someone's interest into the bargain then great.
So, what's news?
Well, I have finally completed my six year training as an Existential Psychotherapist. I still need a number of hours to complete my accreditation but my academic training is complete and I must now get on with looking for a part time position as a therapist and building a practise of my own. After years of study and the cash strapped nature of being a student you'd think I'd be raring to go and yet, I find myself experiencing the most extraordinary lethargy. Some of it is due to a rather unhelpful streak of pessimism that sees success as something that happens to other people and some of it is a crisis of confidence, a belief that I'm not 'there' yet. Wherever 'there' is.
Six years of training...bloody nora that's a long time! The training was...well, impossible to truly describe to someone who hasn't done it. It aged me, profoundly. Partly that was a much needed thing, my lack of maturity being a major impediment in my life. But another part of it has made me feel old before my time, a sense that, at 36, the best part of my life is behind me. Is that a part of my lethargy in moving forward post training?
I think so. I also know that my accreditation is important to me and I haven't achieved it yet. Finished my training and yet not quite finished. Not a Jedi yet. The accreditation shouldn't be that important and yet I think I've given it great significance, in my mind it sits as a final acknowledgement that my colleagues recognise me as a qualified professional, an equal, and I seem to need that. I wonder if, when I get there, it will be enough?
What else. Well, my reviewing continues apace. But here's the thing, I think I'm getting bored of it. Black Library no longer tweet or Facebook any links to my reviews for their followers so I wonder if anyone is even reading what I'm writing? I've no idea if my reviews are any good because I get no feedback whatsoever. I'm also aware that I tend to review the same few authors though I've added one or two to the list and there are a few more I want to add. As a reviewer I get free books for review and I'd like that to continue so I keep churning out the reviews. Okay, that's not entirely fair. I do really put a lot of heart into my reviews and they tend to be a very genuine reflection on my experience of reading the book in question but I wonder, is it time to stop reviewing other peoples work and start to develop my own? Do they have to be mutually exclusive?
I mentioned a whole load of interviews in my last blog post about Games Day 2011 and yet have done bugger all about it. I've contacted Graham McNeill and Sandy Mitchell and have done little else since, the authors in question must think I've been swallowed whole by some sea creature and left no forwarding address. I really have to sit down and prepare for the interviews and get the hell on with it. It's an element of what I do for Book Spot Central that I still enjoy if for no other reason than I get to chat with people whose creative work I love. Must. Get. On. With.It.
Next up, flying. Or rather not flying. I haven't flown for a year and a half and miss it terribly. I enquired as to the cost of renewing my Single Engine Piston rating and it turned out to be around the £700 mark...! Not a huge amount of money in the greater scheme of things but more than I'm likely to see in a while. The cost of flying has increased markedly in my absence. New European legislation has brought the cost of aircraft maintenance into the "you-have-got-to-be-f***ing-kidding-me" bracket with no noticeable benefits to safety. I will confess to very politically incorrect feeling towards Brussels and their ever growing army of mindless bureaucrats whose only job seems to be coming up with legislation that makes life more expensive and complicated for no purpose!
So I turned my attention to another area of aviation that I've explored once before, Gliding. Tried it, loved it and I don't need to re-mortgage my soul to fly. Sounds great right? Wrong! Guess what, most training gliders have a weight limit that yours truly was well over. So it's diet time. Or rather as my dieting guru (aka my Mother) insists, not dieting, healthy eating. She's right, my relationship to food has always been an unhealthy one. It has been a comfort and up until now I've eaten pretty much whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it; the ol' see-food diet.
But it's well past time I dealt with that part of my Being-in-the-world and have at last discovered an incentive I can relate to, flying. So far I'm about three or four days into this healthy eating lark and it does rather suck, if only because I don't know what I can eat and I'm anxious to lose the weight as quickly as possible so that I can start my Glider training. On the other hand I know that if one loses weight quickly one is likely to put it all back on shortly thereafter. So something that normally required no thought at all is now taking up a lot of space and leaving me feeling faintly anxious much of the time. The whole idea of three square meals a day is not one I've subscribed to. I usually don't bother with breakfast and on busy days tend not to bother with lunch and so end up eating my whole days calories in one sitting. Not good. This healthy eating thing is going to demand I get myself organised and eat something even when I'm busy or can't be bothered with cooking.
In short it's really going to be a pain in the fundament. But I need to fly, so head down and get on with it, no looking back.
That'll do for now folks. Let's 'speak' again soon.