Real Resolutions

Trigger Warnings – Some strong language

Hello everyone, how are we all getting on with the resolutions? Anyone cracked and called it quits yet? I’ve not managed to jog today but I have been walking a lot back and forth between places, that surely counts for something right? Even if only to burn off the amount of food I ate. Anyway, if you have made a resolution and you’re struggling, do stick with it, half of the battle with most of these things is sheer willpower, perceive and achieve! If you’re really struggling and you’re not getting anywhere, it is still pretty early into the year, don’t worry too much, you won’t notice a difference for a few more weeks yet but maybe you’ve given yourself an unrealistic goal? Was your goal to quit something cold turkey perhaps? Or really get into something you’re not actually into, like jogging… erhem… Anyway, just in case you’re stuck for some goals or you want some better ones to strive towards, here are my suggestions based around things that I’ve heard, seen and are, you know, just good goals to have. Bear in mind, these are just ideas, run with them, shrug them off, whatever, just don’t be shitty alright?

1. Say ‘Yes’ to more

A lot of people often tell me I’m too selfless, that I give away my time to anyone as if I were immortal but if karma’s a real thing, maybe I’ll get a lot out of my selfless time donations. I’d encourage my readers to just go along with the ride a little more often – take up on an invite, volunteer somewhere, do a friend a favour even if it’s a pain – obviously use your common sense,  don’t say yes to a poison taster session or joining your particularly stupid friends in lying naked on train tracks but y’know, the little things in life, it doesn’t cost you much to just go along with it. I find it can also come with unexpected benefits, usually free food and drink as a thank you but I’ve sometimes earned money or made friends this way.

2. Do something to make you feel more positive about yourself

I’m all for loving the skin you’re in but people who tell you to never diet or never gain weight or never dye your hair misunderstand the point, you can make a change to be comfortable, just be sure it’s a healthy one. Take me for example, I’m not by the common definition ‘fat’, but I’m doing my best to just lose a few pounds from my belly and my cheeks, why not do the same? If you need a new haircut, a tougher diet, a few more piercings in order to look in the mirror and admire the reflection, go for it. Make 2015 the year you woke up to smile back at that face staring at you in the bathroom mirror, not the usual “Ugh” noise that I tend to make.

3. Learn where you stand

You know I find people mistake arguing less for being mature, for rising above, but there’s a difference between arguing and bickering. Rise above petty arguments over where you sit or who gets the last custard cream, sure, but when it comes to your stance on politics, on gay marriage, on the representation of minorities in media, you’re not rising above when you say “I don’t bother with these things”, you’re just invalidating yourself. If you don’t know what your opinion is on contemporary feminism, read up on both sides of the argument and ask yourself if woman are still perceived as at fault for sexually motivated crimes, if woman should be the ones responsible for remembering protection, if women should or shouldn’t have to shave their armpits – it’s immature to squabble and shout but to have something you believe in and to defend that is not childish or obnoxious, it shows commitment and integrity which are very adult traits to have!

4. Record your thoughts

Seriously folks, you have no idea how helpful a blog or a diary can be. Do you ever have those feelings that you just want to let go of in a big burst of verbal rainbows and then afterwards you feel much better? My blog and diary serve that purpose, I funnily enough don’t have a 24/7 therapist to call up at any given moment to tell them that I think the universe is amazing or that our species is doomed but with a diary, you can sorta do just that. Blogging is great too, you can say so much more to people in just one go rather than awkwardly burbling your feelings at them through stuttered “What I mean is…” moments. You can also use it to see how far you’ve come in your year or how you’ve changed and it allows you a lot of room to think and ponder about yourself, which is something we should all indulge in now and then

5. Challenge those thoughts

Part of self-discovery is contradicting yourself, if you’ve never contradicted yourself, you’ve never grown. Ever had that moment where you say something and then someone cuts you down by saying “But wait a minute, didn’t you once say…?”. Now, that’s a humiliating moment, sure, but once you get past that think carefully about the point they raised and the point you were trying to make – why don’t they fit together? Which do you truly believe? I used to think things like “Women are free to vote and work whatever they job they want sure, but y’know, they’re still delicate creatures, they probably don’t work in trades like mechanics because that’s not something women generally do”. Now, forgive me, younger me, not quite worldly-wise yet but I had to challenge my thoughts – what made me think a girl doesn’t want to be a mechanic? Why did I assume such a reason as her being too delicate to fix a car? I now realise gender and career aren’t linked and y’know, I’ve met many women who know more about cars than I do in the same way I’ve met men who know more about interior decorating and hair care than some women, the gender binary is a crock of nonsense in the grand scheme of things, choose to adhere to it if you will, I’m very typical male, I don’t ever wear mascara or don a dress but that’s my conscious choice, I’m sure that as I am now, if I wanted to wear a mini skirt and tights, I’d fucking do it so always challenge yourself to grow and change

6. Lastly, try to see things from a perspective you can’t easily empathise with

I’m not here to toot my own trumpet, I assure you, but I pride myself on fighting alongside groups I really have no reason to need to defend other than human decency. Gay rights, women’s rights, minorities in media – none of those have any effect on me so why should I care right? Well, every ally helps, I hate to be the kind of ally shouting from the rooftops “Admire me because I give a shit about people that aren’t exactly like me” but we always need to look to other people as potential allies but as allies, we need to look to ourselves to see who we can really help. I mean, it’s nice that you defend your gay friend from some extreme religious nutcase but you and your friend might be otherwise well-off white folk, what about people who are killed or forced into corrective therapy? You might have a black friend, that’s great, but what about friends from other minorities that are still oppressed and stereotyped? Reach out, educate yourself on the plights of people from so far away, you might not know how to point to where they live on a map, understand their world and fight for fairness for all mankind, not just your group of buddies.

I guess I’m ultimately just trying to say to people that this year, think more, that’s a great resolution, think more about others and think more about yourself, work as a community to make the world a better place. Start small, spare some change, look after a pet, let someone ahead of you in a line but try to think what you can give to the world, not what you can take. A good person strives for a good world to live in because the world really needs a lot more empathy in it if we’re ever going to stop shooting at each other and start talking. That’s just a thought anyway, do what you will, you could always make your resolution something completely different but make it something you can imagine achieving realistically

Thanks for reading, hope I gave you some good food for thought there. If you’re hungry for more, look around or click the link below to find me on Facebook where you’ll get information on the latest blog posts and such. If you’re a generous kinda person and want to share a platter of posts, hit the share button, show your friends that resolutions aren’t all about less nail-biting or more fruit-eating, it can be much more rewarding if you want it to be!

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Up and Running

Trigger Warnings – Strong language throughout (This probably should be taken as a given by now I guess?)

I went jogging today at last and thus the title, you get it? Eyy? Eyy? Do you, do you get the joke? Clever wordplay is my forte… as is rhyming apparently. I’m sorry I didn’t do a blog post yesterday by the way, in my defence I have done them non-stop for a long time and I did say I was going to gradually do less, mostly to ensure every post is top quality and also so my readers don’t end up swamped in so much new content they stop bothering and just pretend to have read it (Which the anxious part of me always suspects is the case whenever people say “It was good”… like, I’m stating an argument, it was good doesn’t make sense really, it’d be nicer to hear if you agree or not or if you thought I fought my case well.

Anyway, I didn’t come here to discuss that, I came here to discuss my progress with the jogging thing. I meant to start sooner but things kept cropping up but today I actually did it, I actually went jogging. I didn’t jog very far, I must admit, only the length of Sydney Avenue which is down the road from my house and is less than a kilometre long. Yes, I didn’t manage even one kilometre of jogging, I’m that unfit but to push myself, I did then go on a twenty minute walk around Monkmoor on the steepest hills I could find, I felt pathetic having to take two rest stops to jog the length of one strip of road. However, a few things to note are that I am of course very unfit from a bad diet, various health issues and a lack of practice but also, in my prime, such as it were, I was a sprint runner, not a distance runner. I could cover seventy metres in a flash, sure, but any longer than that and I burnt out spectacularly and I looked into the length of Sydney Avenue, it is seven hundred and forty metres long so that’s more than ten times the length at maybe… well… a fifth of my usual speed? I daren’t do the math, my head will hurt but I think the results would show I’m not doing too shabby, certainly not as bad as I initially thought.

I’m going to have to give jogging a miss tomorrow sadly, I have somewhere to be, but the week after that is clear for me so I’ll push myself to keep it up. I may have to invest in something to play music as I jog, though the scenery is nice and because it’s so cold and wet, nobody is out by the river except the odd parent and child playing with the dog. In the summer, my gosh, that road is just a surge of health freaks running around looking impressive and making me feel fat. I felt a bit silly today in all fairness, wearing a jogging suit, oh how I wished I wasn’t me so I could wear a suit and look at me all sweat and baggy trousers and just shake my head but fuck it, dressing like Rocky Balboa is something I can endure for a flatter stomach and better stamina rate than “Haha! I’m up… And now I’m down”. I’m too young to be old, if that makes sense, I creak as I move, I get out of breath just carrying heavy bags and I sleep like a log the moment I’m out, it’s hell to fall asleep but when I’m asleep, I’m really fucking asleep (Which is sorta against the Maori proverb of a true warrior waking at the sound of a snapping branch. In all fairness though, I’d constantly be waking up if I was like that, there’s a public footpath behind my house which is the path most frequented by drunken shambles wandering home from the nightclubs. Irritates me like mad, just want to use my bedroom window as a sniper perch and shoot those noisy bastards right in the… erhem, no, no violence Jake, bad)

I said I’d give you all a progress check and I’ll grant you the fact this is more just me telling you “Hey, I actually started!” but y’know, hey, I started, I made a conscious effort towards my resolution. I’ve also told everyone to stop putting sugar in my tea, I did not give into cravings and reward my efforts for jogging with a giant sticky bun, I just ignored it. I’m going to have to look into healthy snack foods (I’ll give myself an apple so I can look like even more of an asshole). The jogging has played havoc with my appetite though, I was so hungry tonight that I ate whatever people left behind on their plates as well as my own dinner so my brothers are pretty sure the effort I made today was just undone in a feeding frenzy on chicken and rice. Chicken and rice though, that stuff is healthy, you dig? The fact it was covered in Tikka Masala changes nothing right? Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know how I’m doing, let me know how you’re doing with your resolutions or if you’re stuck for ideas, maybe I can write a post about some ideas I can share with you, that sounds like a good post idea actually. Today’s post was actually done by request, a reader said they really like personal updates so I thought I’d throw them this bone since these posts are generally easier to write without much thought and otherwise I might not have come up with anything. Thanks for reading folks, stick around for more in the future!

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The Year Ahead

Trigger Warnings – Strong language throughout

Alright readers, are you all sober again? Hmm? I trust you didn’t all lose your phones and/or wallets last night, you probably lost your lunch but who am I to judge? Anyway, continuing on from yesterday, I’ve told you about my 2014, now let’s get onto what I want out of 2015 and how I hope to get on with it. I know what you’re thinking, resolutions are hooey, nobody ever keeps them going on into February, we all give up on that diet after one salad and that “I swear I’m going to work out” then becomes “I swear I’m going to work out the best possible way to do nothing productive”. However, I think putting these goals up on a public domain that I can easily access might make them stick with me better and I’ve already got people willing to help me achieve some of these goals so let’s see what happens, maybe I’ll give you all a progress check next week

First up, lose weight, not a lot, just enough so that when I look down, I see my belt buckle and not my belly. I get told all the time I’m worrying over nothing and that I’m still as handsome/ugly as I’ve always been, the only one seemingly bothered by my pudge is me but therein is the big factor, it bothers me. My body is my own and I want to feel as attractive as possible in it, it took no effort to do that through my teen years but I don’t have a black void for a gut any more, if I eat fatty foods, it shows. I’m also annoyed that looking in the mirror, my jawline has rounded out so I look less like my former self and more like a bearded hamster. I am Jacob Wolfe, not Jacob Hamstere. Furthermore, people say they haven’t noticed but until I made it abundantly clear it wasn’t appreciated, I noticed over the past few months jokes about my appearance became targeted at my shape, namely the fact I am short and tubby – previous jokes about my appearance used to be about my messy hair or scraggly beard  but lately it’s been more about the fact I am shorter and fatter than most people I know. Terrific. So that ends there, I’m no longer taking sugar in my tea, I’m starting to take vitamins to help me improve all round, I’ve sworn off all sticky buns and cakes as comfort foods and I’m going to take up jogging. I didn’t today, boo me, it was raining heavily and my mood was low but if I feel better, I’ll go for it.

On a serious note, I have to get my act together this year, I’m twenty years old and I have no further education beyond lack-lustre A-Levels and some work-based training, I still live with my parents because of many many reasons but I’ll just have to get around it and I’m currently unemployed and single. The single bit, eh, no big deal, I’m single for the right reasons and I know what I really want in a relationship now so I have ideas how to move forward there but the rest of that shit? Got to clear it up. I’m going to get back on Jobseeker’s again, find a job that uses my new skills and pays a decent wage, save up a packet to get me some driving lessons and a car in the future, I’ll probably need help from the family for that (Dad did say he wanted to make my 21st birthday a big deal as he felt he didn’t do bugger all for my 18th so maybe I can talk to him about that) and then look into education and moving closer to where I attend. I need to decide what to study, I’d say creative writing or such but I’m not sure, I may well take up Foundation Psychology and work my way in that way, psychology is actually one of my main interests alongside history and film/gaming culture and recently politics. God I sound boring… Hey Jake, you’re an attractive single male, what are your interests? Mmm fucking love me some textbooks and Hitchcock movies, that shit’s the bomb. This resolution isn’t so much a silly little thing I’d like, this is serious, this is “Jacob, get your flipping act together!” so I must stick to this one, fat gut or not!

On the subject of my blog, I want to move it to YouTube and become a vlogger, though I need to find a way of making myself stand out and I promise you it won’t be “Look at me, I’m a zany twenty something with lots of material possessions I own as the backdrop to me jump cutting around the room and calling things crazy”, that’s just not me. I’ll aim to be funny and interesting, obviously, and probably more engaging or lively than I usually am in person but it’s not an easy feat for a guy like me, my main conversation consisting of the odd one-liner slid into appropriate moments and a series of distinctive shrugs and “Hmm” noises. I have someone willing to help edit and work on the videos, I already have someone offering to let me use some of their equipment and I’ll look into getting some of my own of course. I’ll probably post less frequently here but I’ll look into making the posts themed or something, have some better structure going as opposed to “This is what I feel like doing today, deal with it”. I’ve really got back into this, I lacked confidence and sometimes my confidence does wane with the view counter but I definitely think my latest posts are more coherent and generally better all round than my old material, but that’s for my audience to decide. So that’s going to take a while and might be difficult with everything else going on but I’m going to try my damned hardest to balance it all and if I can, maybe get TDWC into something I like.

Well, I’ve got a lot on my plate, it’s not going to be easy but I’ll keep record of what I do. I have a diary, journal, whatever, I stuck to the mood one pretty well and need to evaluate the results of that but yeah, decided I’d also get into writing a normal diary such as it were, day by day thoughts. Hardly going to be the work of Pepys but y’know, it’ll be good to look back on and I’ll be able to see just how far I did or didn’t make it over the year. Anyway, all that remains now is to wish you all luck in your own endeavours and I hope you wish me luck in mine!

And so let’s look forward to a glorious future, hopefully, maybe, optimism for the win. I’d love it if you could like and share what you see here and as usual, please check out the link below and click that like button to get updates from me in your feed and the opportunity to catch these posts the moment they go up! Feel free to hit me up with comments and messages too (Be tasteful, spam will not get responded to)

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