Saturday, 5 January 2019

Ways of organising your life!

The weekend papers are full of the usual New Year’s stuff about “wellbeing”. This is one of those modern terms that covers health, fitness, diet, and almost anything else connected with a healthy lifestyle. I discovered that there is a new challenge to overcome: FOMA. And it stands for Fear of Missing Alcohol.

It seems there are still masses of people out there who are unable, or consider themselves unable, to let their hair down without the help of alcohol. And so they go on Dry January because they feel the need to detox, but are terrified of actually giving up alcohol full time. A journalist explained how she got into drinking lots of alcohol all the time early in her career because she followed the example of other successful journalists, particularly female ones. As her career progressed and deadlines became more frequent and more pressing, she was surprised to discover how much easier it was to meet them if she didn’t have a hangover. Her head was clearer and she could organise her thoughts more efficiently. How very revolutionary!

Gradually she cut alcohol out, despite her fear that she might not have as good a time as previously. Since then she has had a series of “sober firsts”: her first sober first date, her first sober dinner party, her first sober wedding, and so on, even her first sober hen party. The hen in question almost didn’t invite her as she knew about her newly acquired alcohol-free state and thought she might find it boring. Her friends were amazed that she could still stand up and do karaoke without a drop,of alcohol having been imbibed!

I really thought people had got over that by now. I can remember going to staff Christmas socials and getting up to dance, only to have colleagues remark that I must be “well drunk” to be able to brave the dance floor. But I knew I had to drive home across Greater Manchester at the end of the evening and I wasn’t prepared to risk my licence. And I did like to get up and dance.

No need for alcohol if the music is good enough!

Of course, it might be that my dancing was so bad that I looked drunk!

I’ve also been hearing a lot (again / still) about young people and depression. Teenage girls are more likely than boys to suffer from this. So say the statistics and the experts. It is now thought to be because girls use social media a lot more than boys. Boys are more likely to be playing games or finding rude songs on you tube, if our teenage grandson is anything to go by. Girls, on the other hand, spend more time passing comments about each other.

Experts recommend limiting use of iPhones and other such devices. Easier said than done when 16+ year-olds are involved. A journalist commenting on newspapers on the television news the other night said how difficult he found it to keep his two and a half year old off social media. She apparently demands to watch stuff on netflix all the time as well as insisting on stuff on youtube. Oh dear! The pompous old busybody part of me wanted to ask why he had introduced his two and a half year old to such things in the first place! What will SHE be like when she is a teenager?

My Spanish sister has been sending me distressed and distressing news about the far right VOX party, which has been gaining ground in Andalucia, where my sister lives. The VOX party is currently refusing to form a coalition with more mainstream parties, such as the Partido Popular, unless they agree to end funding for measures to combat domestic violence. They say the legislation is anti-egalitarian and puts men at a disadvantage! Wow! This party, which was already known to be anti-abortion, and declares itself to be family centred, now proposes that parents should be given votes according to how many children they have. They would keep the legal voting age at 18 however. No matter what the views of the older teenage children, their votes would still belong to the parents. It could be recipe for family strife!

We continue to live in interesting times! 

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