Productive, connected, creative and rested.

Productive, connected, creative and rested. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Productive, connected, creative and rested. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Somehow, I have the space this week to feel like I will be able to be productive, connected, creative and rested.

Thing is I’m not quite sure how all this turned out.

I know it is a result of decisions I have made…could every week be like this?

Or is it just an anomaly? Or can this happen every few weeks?

I’m going to stop thinking about and just kick back and enjoy it.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,203

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

A delight.

A delight. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A delight. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Doing whatever I want for a day is a welcome relief.

I am amazed at where a whole day can disappear to.

It's a delight really.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,202

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

The kissing cam is over.

The kissing cam is over. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The kissing cam is over. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Last night I went to the football.

Sure, take a moment to take that in.

This is not the kind of thing I do very often. My family has an annual pilgrimage to a particular match between two particular teams that represent a long-standing rivalry between my Dad and one of my Sisters.

I go because, well I can, and it's a whole world I never really visit. It is a spectacular, a theatre experience really.

At quarter time the people stop running around chasing the ball and 80,000 people go to the toilet or buy another drink or sit and check social media while the players chat about what happened and what they want to happen next.

To entertain those who are lost in the internet they do this thing they call the “kissing cam”. They go around the audience and pick a man and a woman (always a man and a woman) and they pressure them to kiss each other.

I was shocked.

I couldn't believe that this is really a thing. That this is still a thing. I can see how light it is meant to be. How people look at it and get a laugh. And mostly it is just people who are married or dating or have been together for a long time having a laugh and kissing on screen for an audience of thousands.

But there is this other edge that I found disturbing.

If there was reluctance from the two people on the screen, then the camera would linger on them and the man on the voice over would apply some pressure.

There was one particular man and woman who were extremely uninterested in kissing. I’m pretty sure they were not at the game together and had never met. So, maybe a producer has made a mistake and picked a couple who weren’t a couple…it’s what happened next that I found unacceptable. They lingered on them and said…

“We can’t start the next quarter until we get a kiss…”

The woman sat there stony faced (which I read as a silent plea to be left alone) and the man pointed off camera to his left at his unseen partner to indicate he was happy to give a kiss in that direction (one that would be, we assumed, consensual). Finally, the producer picked another two victims and the awkwardness abated, momentarily…because they kept coming back! Two more times they visited these two strangers and pressured them to kiss. At this point I realised this was all part of the script the producer was running. Find the reluctant pair and pressure them over time, create the tension and finally get a win when at least one of them gives in.

On the third visit to them (at which point the producer could easily have selected the man and his actual partner to get the kiss they felt they needed) the man reluctantly invaded the woman’s personal space and kissed her on the cheek without her consent.

I know some people would think this isn’t really worth thinking about.

That nothing happened, just a harmless joke on a couple of strangers at the football.

I think that view downplays the incredible power that ‘football’ has as an author of our culture. What was this ‘story’ saying to the men and boys in that stadium?

To me it was saying real men do the thing everyone is pressuring them to do, real men get the girl, that its ok to keep pushing until you get the thing you want (or that you are being told you want) even if the woman seems reticent or openly reluctant, that once you ‘get the girl’ the crowd will cheer and pat you on the back.

And what was it telling the women and girls in that stadium? I think it is telling them that if you say no to a man then you are wrecking things for everyone else, that you are letting the team down, that a man’s needs (or what he is being told he needs) are more important than yours and that everyone will appreciate you just giving in and letting him do the thing he wants (or thinks he wants) to do. I think it’s saying that your personal space, your body, isn’t really ‘yours’ its ‘ours’ and if we want you to ‘share it’ then who are you to say no?

I felt deeply for this man and this woman.

What was he thinking? I wished he’d had the courage to just look at the camera and shake his head or at least lean out of shot and kiss his actual partner. What did he want to happen? How did he feel about being placed in this position? Being asked to take something from someone he didn’t know?

I wondered what she was thinking. I felt offended on her behalf. Angry at this uninvited invasion of her life. I wondered what she really wanted to do? Did she want to give the camera the bird? Did she want to turn to him and say “kiss me and I’ll call the police”? Did she just want to walk away? Did she want to turn to the camera and shake her head?

I may have misread this whole situation. Maybe they were both totally into this ‘game’ that was thrust upon them…I don’t think so though.

Regardless, I think this kind of stunt sets up the culture that means men aren’t allowed to be kind and respectful in front of their mates and women aren’t allowed to be in charge of their own bodies.

The kissing cam is over.

It was never ok, but now it has run whatever course it had to run.

It’s time to stop this kind of rot.

Now.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,201

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

More than useful.

More than useful. Drawing Luke Hockley.

More than useful. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I like the idea of my friends wanting to spend time with me because they like my company rather than the idea that they enjoy my listening and problem-solving skills. My worry is that people find me very useful to be around and that I trade this ‘usefulness’ for their friendship.

Weird right?

I don’t know if this is really a thing or if it is a thing that I have made up.

I think that there is some kind of thing going on here. Which is about what I think I need to do to keep my friends and about how well I ask for the things I need from my friends.

I default to this ‘support’ role in many situations in my life. So, it’s pretty likely that that is what I am doing with my friends.

I’d like to spend time with my friends without being in that mode. Being in that mode is so comfortable, so familiar, I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to not be in that mode.

Am I talking about having fun together? Perhaps I want to ask my friends to get together with me more often just to have fun.

I think it is pretty well established by now that I am still in the process of working out how this whole friendship things works.

Sounds like I want to have time with my friends where I am being more than useful…time when I am being playful.

Sounds like it.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,200

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

Boring and repetitive.

Boring and repetitive. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Boring and repetitive. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

It has been an extended period of not really wanting to write this letter every morning.

It’s a bit disconcerting, if I am to be honest.

I feel a little bit bored with having the same conversation with myself again.

I’ve been here before, and I feel like I know what the answer is…but can’t quite catch it and hold it in my hands.

At this point I ask myself whether I actually want to keep writing this letter, then I go through a process of identifying what the benefits are (or aren’t), then I decide, again, whether I keep writing or not (so far it has been to keep going, obviously).

I can feel that I am holding myself outside of this conversation with myself.

I think I know that the letters I am writing at the moment are not particularly rich or insightful or profound…but they are a lifeline.

I’m moving through something right now that I don't understand…and having this thread to hold the basket of my life together is pretty important.

Even if it is a bit boring and repetitive.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,199

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

A good teacher.

A good teacher. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A good teacher. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

A good teacher is life changing.

My Alexander Technique and singing teacher, Chris, is a good teacher.

We have been working together for around 8 years I think.

Over my life I like to think that I have been cultivating a deep sense of knowing myself.

However, when things get all out of whack, having a teacher who knows my habitual responses (both good and bad) and who can help direct my attention towards the more useful things has been a real relief for me.  

It can short circuit days of discomfort.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,198

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

The metronome.

The metronome. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The metronome. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

When my world view is most mushy and my perspective is skewed towards the negative it is valuable for me to keep doing the things that I usually do to keep the ship afloat.  

Writing this daily letter, moving everyday, going to the gym, connecting with other humans, doing the dishes, tidying up, singing and playing music... 

But, at these very moments, I don’t want to. 

I will do anything to avoid the very things that refill me.  

Why!? 

What on earth is going on here?  

During these times I like to think of my self care activities as a metronome. I just do them. Regardless of how it feels or if I feel like it. I do one thing and then just do the next thing and then the next thing. 

Eventually I look up and fee the joy of it all again. 

Eventually.  

Love  

Luke.  

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,197

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

Resolution.

Resolution. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Resolution. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I just want everything resolved without doing any of the work.

Is that too much to ask?

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,196

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

I hope so.

I hope so. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I hope so. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Do I have the courage to deal with the things that I would like to deal with?

The things that no one else can see.

Can I love and care for and believe in myself enough to take the time and space to heal myself?

I hope so.

I really do.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,195

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

Creating space.

Creating space. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Creating space. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m creating space right now so that I can work through a few things.

That’s tricky for me to do.

I’m filled with a conversation about how I’m wasting time, not getting on with things, flailing…

But I think it might just be as simple as a bit more space for everything to sort itself out.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,194

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place