I was planning to write this article in November for International Men’s Day. After learning that this week is International Men’s Health Week, I decided to bring it forward. If you know anything about mental health, you’ll know men commit suicide at three times the rate of women. Men are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol; you’ll also know that 85% (ish) of rough sleepers are men, and many of them are mentally ill and vulnerable before they become rough sleepers.
I’ve been thinking about doing this article for several months. I’ve never been sure what to include. How do you write an article about not wanting to do something? It wasn’t easy coming up with ideas. So I did some research on social media, articles from child free people, attitudes towards us and much more.
As awful as the pandemic has been, a lot of people have used the time to do stuff they’d never previously done. The running joke is that we’re all now banana bread master chefs and massively overweight from all the cakes and biscuits we’ve made and eaten.
It’s great some have taken the time to slow down, but it seems to have made a pre-pandemic problem far worse.
You’ll find hundreds of articles like this. And yes, I know this article might just get lost in the void. Sure, some of those tips from professional writers and editors, and people with 20 books under their belts. But we’re all different and we all have different tactics for getting through this. Here are mine.
The idea for this post essentially began a decade ago. I’ve started and junked about five past version about the apparent debate over real books vs audio & ebooks. I’m amazed anyone thinks it’s valid to challenge how anyone chooses to consume literature when it’s literally the same content in a different format. Ebooks and audio books are not the only fiction formats subject to such snobbery though.
Just over a year ago, we went full on middle age when we decided to take on an allotment. For the non-Brits, this is a parcel of land that you rent from a landowner to do with as you please (within reason). Some people use them as a private garden but for the most part, they’re used to grow food. This was our intention but also to put some space aside for wildflowers and decorative plants.
NB: I know Snowpiercer season 2 is currently going up on Netflix so I’m going to limit discussion of it to season 1 alone.
Carnival Row on Amazon Prime and Snowpiercer on Netflix are two vastly different TV shows. True, they have some big name actors (Jennifer Connolly and Sean Bean in Snowpiercer, and Orlando Bloom, Indira Varma, and Cara Delevingne in Carnival Row) with high product values and slick effects. They’re grand in scope and set design. Yet they have so much in common, particularly in how they explore social privilege.
Digital detox – you might have heard the term. Essentially it means to disconnect from some or all social media accounts. Although the science behind a dietary detox is pretty shoddy, there are good reasons to take a break from social media. When done well, you can come back refreshed and with a better focus.
When I have looked back on past posts defining my expectations for the year ahead, change seems slight and incremental. Little changed between the January and the December though I’m typically heading in the right direction. But this year, all bets were off. The post from December last year looking forward to 2020 seems like 1000 years ago now. Little did I know then, just 6 days before Christmas, that the worst pandemic in over a century was on the horizon.