So, another year has passed us by and it almost seems as if it has gone faster than the previous years, picking up speed each year until most years pass with a blink of an eye leaving us to reflect and ponder and complain of ‘just where has time gone?’
Time is very much a ‘use it or loose it’ commodity like a money off voucher or coupon with an expiry date, quite simply if you don’t use it, then you have to accept you loose it! And hey, all those vouchers add up especially a ‘5p off per litre of fuel’ voucher that personally I let expire recently, rather frustratingly!
Where have you been?
Or as my mum would say when I had disappeared on my bike up the road as a child, ‘Where the bloody hell have you been, get in!’ complimented probably with a hand smack on the back of the head as I passed with an action of an expected duck to avoid the impending swing and wallop. It was the 80’s and I’m sure policemen where giving out the occasional back handers to the misbehaving youths….I digress.
It’s been a while since I blogged, and I will explain and blog more on this in the future, but time or rather wasted time is the ‘theme’ of this blog, of which I feel and know I have wasted time dealing with and being attacked by depression.
Time for review
So, it was December 2022 that I started that annual dive of more anxiety and further depression due to the impending New Year, and thoughts what I wanted to achieve and do differently this year, and the lull of looking back on things I hadn’t achieved or done and come to the same yearly conclusion of ‘what’s the pointy. Same Shit, different day / week / month / year, and ‘nothing’s going to change!’
Well, I needed it to change and I looked at one of the things that was impacting me on a constant basis, it was following me everywhere, it was living in my pocket, on my computer, on the radio and even in the car, and much to the annoyance of my wife, it followed me to the toilet!
It was of course the NEWS, Social Media, and ultimately my bloody phone!
Gone are the days when your phone was quite simply….erm…. just a phone. The early phones did not have the capability to store phone numbers and names let alone text messages and with the multitude of messaging apps, social apps and push notifications of ‘Breaking News’ it’s a constant distraction. But, it is much more than that my friend, its an addiction begging for attention to consume our time and more dangerously our feelings, thoughts and mental health.
OK, so that sounds so 1984, George Orwell’s novel and a bit dramatised, but the truth is, it’s not.
Our minds are being affected and we are being watch and monitored with trackers and cookies to feed the timeline with more stories or rather “CONTENT” for us to consume,
Someone once said, and I will take the time to come back and edit this, but they said along the lines of, ‘If the products’ free, then you are the product’. Meaning that us, or rather our actions and data are the product and data is BIG business! I will revisit this topic again in the future, I feel to express my feeling and experience in danger of being labled mad, a conspiracist or just mental, but remember, it’s not healthy for us.
There is no good news!
You see, the News has always been designed to coax you in with emotion and empathy and ultimately, when you break the news into ‘Good News’ and ‘Bad News’ (using a nice pencil and ruler on a clean piece of paper that any nerdy accountant would do and then to progress to an excel spreadsheet and graph!), you will see it’s quite literally all bad news, bad news sells, it’s as simple as that!
People would rather look at a tragic story of loss rather than one of which an elderly couple called Joan and Bernard from Nottingham have won 72 million on the EuroMillions last week.
I realised that reading or listening to the News wasn’t good for my health and was honestly making me feel worse in myself and it was difficult to take on all the doom and gloom in the world especially if I had completely no control over it.
It is so easy (and convenient) to grab your phone out of your pocket, off your desk, browsing your iPad or by flicking on the TV and watching Sky News to ‘just see the headlines’ (which I was guilty of) then when you then see the headlines reappear and you realise you have been consuming the news for a whole hour. What a waste of time and an intake of emotions and thoughts that you could simply do without.
Ok so here was the plan:
– Not to watch the news on the TV in act of boredom
– Not to watch the news consciously on the TV
– Turn off the radio in the car or at home when the news comes on
– Remove all news apps and notifications on my phone, laptop, iPad etc.
– Don’t browse the news via a browser on my phone (which is too easy to get sucked into).
– Don’t discuss the news with anyone, just say I don’t watch the news.
– Don’t listen to politics, they are all as bad as each other
I achieved my ‘Happy News Year’, I successfully did not consumed news for a whole year and it is still the case now at the time of writing.
It was hard at first but it is simply a bad habit to grab the phone and get sucked in, once I hit a week, and then two and the milestone of a month, it was straightforward and plain sailing.
I don’t know, quite literally, what went on in 2023, and did the world end by me not knowing? No it did not my friend, and quite frankly I feel better for it. You don’t need to know, *you just don’t need to know.*
This was an achievement I can build on in bettering my mental health, its progress even if its slow and steady.
So far, I have LinkedOut for 19 days for 2024 and not checked LinkedIn once, again this is mostly content driven as a social platform rather than the professional networking tool it is promoted as.
When looking as how happy other accountants are and how successful their practice is, well to be quite honest, it gets me down and a bit jealous. But just like Facebook, comparing your lives to others is not healthy and it’s probably very likely its not a rosy as they are making out. Another subject for another day!
“I have done it! What a feeling, I have achieved something today, this week, this year. I have blogged today.”
Thanks for stopping by – Have a good day!
The Depressed Accountant™