2017 Has Been Somewhat Peculiar

Normally I look back on a year and I think “well that was a crock of Benghazi bananas being broken, bashed, bitten, boxed and badly botched”; or “Wow. That was the best ever. Can we replay that year forever?”

2017 had the gall to be both. The year started all sucky like, with not being able to leave the house due to pain. I had to try and find other ways of entertaining myself as the house gets rather confining when you can’t leave.

It reached the stage where I could no longer walk at all and I needed a wheelchair. The doctor arranged for some home physio and Occupational Therapists to come and see me and try and get me back out again.

I found that going and watching people playing games on several gaming streaming sites kept me entertained, as I could chat with people about things I already knew about. As I chatted more and more, then some of them told me that I should start to think about doing it as well.

I tried a little last year on a different platform – Twitch –  but it didn’t go too well. So talking with people on Mixer, an “FTL” streaming platform made me think about it more. WIth FTL, there is no delay. In fact, sometimes it comes through so fast, you hear it on the stream before it comes through your headphones where someone in the party has spoken.

I figured I would give it a go. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? I would be happy if I reached 10 followers, although I knew from the outset that 25 was completely out of the question.

With the help of the physio and occupational therapists, I now use my wheelchair very little, and I have even stepped outside my house three times this year. That is a huge win for me. I am hoping to be able to get out of the house at least once a month in 2018.

So then back to the streaming. I started streaming properly in late September and by mid-October, I had beaten my goal of 10 followers dramatically. On 4th November, I reached a milestone of 100 followers. Beginning of December, I reached 200 and I set myself a goal of 300 by the end of the year.

When the flu, or whatever this pandemic is, hit me on Friday, I was on 295 followers. I never stream on a weekend as that is time for family and friends. My kids told me to do so today though. When I turned my laptop on, I was on 297 followers. I started streaming and people arrived to chat and have a giggle. Then one after the other, three people followed me, bringing my total to 300. That impossible target. 30x more than I ever thought I could reach. And then they carried on coming after I signed off. Currently, it stands at 305.

My goal for 2018 is to reach 500 followers. I just hope I haven’t put it so far out of reach that I will never attain it.

So this year, I have gone from being in a wheelchair to being able to walk (to some degree) again and going from having no followers to over 300.

It has definitely been an up and down year.

I hope 2018 is more up for myself, and I hope it is the best year of your lives for the rest of you.

Be safe, be great, be you.

Happy New Year.

Welcome 2018

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Don’t Take Anyone For Granted. Not Even Yourself

Sometimes we take things for granted. Items, people, health. Then suddenly it is gone and we have none of it. Our friend goes, we find we are unable to do something, we fall ill.

Then we see what we have lost and wonder how we will cope with what we had before but is now gone.

That is when we have to learn again, and this time, hopefully, the lesson leaves a mark on us we don’t forget. We don’t take the friendship for granted, we look at it as a two-way street. We find another version of the item we lost and put it to better use. We learn to live with our new abilities while refraining from calling them disabilities.

Speak to your friends. Let them know how much you care.

Look after the items. Keep them safe.

Look after yourself. It is the only you that you have.

Smile.

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Something Said Can Make A Difference Years Later

A few years ago, I was posting three times a week with words of encouragement and hope. I ended up stopping because I was posting the same words again and again so I was going over the same things.

Today I had a comment on one of those posts. More importantly on one of the images from a 14-year-old girl who told me that it made a difference to her and she realizes that with her flaws, she is beautiful.

When I first saw it was a comment on an old post, I went to recycle it as spam until I read it. It moved me that something I said nearly three years ago has had an effect on someone today. I am glad it helped her. I hope she continues to see the beauty that is inside her.

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H.O.P.E. How Our Personality Evolves

HOPE is a four letter word that can sometimes be seen as a cruel word that mixes in with other vulgar four letter words. We all lose HOPE at some point. Something comes along and we see no wait out. We see no way of going forward. We see no help on the horizon. All we do see is a tunnel with a power cut. No light can be seen and there is no way to avoid it. The metaphorical embankments are too steep to climb. You try, but you fail. You try again and keep slipping down, maybe seeming to make less headway each time due to tiring. Then you only see the way out being through that tunnel. A dark, empty, tunnel.

Then as you walk through it, time seems to slow down. You don’t know how long you have been there. Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. Years. Then you see a light coming towards you. Now, HOPE starts to come in. HOPE at the thought of finding a way out. The light comes around the corner and it is someone with a torch, and your HOPE dissipates. That low that you feel couldn’t get any lower, there it is proving you wrong.

Then the wonderful thing happens. That person with the torch? They stop and talk to you. They tell you that they have been looking for you. They are there to help you, to light your way through the rest of the tunnel. It is a long walk, but you see the end of it. Finally, your HOPE returns with fervour and you fairly run out of that tunnel, dropping to your knees and thanking whoever for helping.

HOPE has not abandoned us. It is always there, trying to find a way in.

Don’t give in. HOPE is there.

Don’t lose HOPE

Be Positive

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