Happy Monday (1st February 2021)

Welcome to February, the actual month of ‘better you’. January felt like September anyway, which might be the reason I’ve managed to actually get some things done. But now with it over, let’s take our lessons and move on to having a better life. February is also a month of love if you believe the commercial hype around Valentines, but we’re in a pandemic so it feels like it’s a lot less hype-y this year and I like that.

What I’ve been reading – ‘Come as you are’ by Emily Nagoski, PhD. A book on women’s sexual wellbeing written by an actual expert, based on research, acknowledging the complexity of our cultural relationship with our genitals? Yes please. I’m about 15% in and already learnt a bunch – or more like, unlearnt some of the bizarre things I’ve been taught growing up in a conservative, religious society. No, the book is not anti-religious, left-wing agenda, anti-male, or really pro or against anything, it’s simply based on science. Even though I’m nowhere near the end, I am going to recommend it to you, whether you are a man or a woman. I have also read a handful of others, including ‘Can’t Hurt me’ by David Goggins (good for getting your rear of the sofa) and ‘The Financial Diet’ by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Hage (great beginners’ guide to getting your life on track in financial and lifestyle context). My second ‘on the go’ book is “When she makes more” by Farnoosh Torabi – I don’t make more and I’m about 1/3 of the way in, stay tuned for a review.

Best thing I discovered recently – learning based on teachable moments makes the knowledge stick better. To explain, we absorb knowledge when it is applicable to our lives and we can put it to use right away. Otherwise we ‘learn and forget’ when the knowledge is only useful in a context not applicable to our lives, such as school exams. This means that if I want to learn something really interesting or useful to me, I can learn it better by applying the knowledge in my own life. Want to understand stock market? Research while you are investing. Want to have a better grasp on the history of your country? Stand yourself in a palace and imagine the life the the historic characters have been living. The weird thing about the teachable moment concept is that I knew it…except I am adapting it only now because it became relevant to what I’m learning.

What’s been on my mind – The speed of EU making a decision around the Northern Ireland’s boarder in context of the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, and the speed of a U-Turn on that. It’s been on my mind mainly because we’ve had two major administrative changes in the world recently; Trump – Biden and Juncker – von der Leylen. While I was expecting upheaval from the first one, the mishap under the second one was a surprise and got me thinking about just how screwy the admin of running something like a large trading zone can be. Let’s just say that I am not impressed with Ursula’s team, at least they could have read what Juncker & Barnier got agreed with the UK before throwing their toys out of the pram. Aside from the politics, my mind has been going around in circles over an idea of moving to a different country and hiding away in a log cabin by a lake for the foreseeable future, courtesy of…next point.

What I’ve been watchingEamon & Bec. There is something particularly appealing about the lifestyle choices these vanlifers cum amateur builders are making, and they’re fun to watch. I’ve been following them for a couple of years now and despite their channel’s growth from 100k subscribers when I first came across them to close to 800k today, they seem to be surprisingly good at maintaining engaging content without turning into clout hunters. If you need some wholesome footage of cabin on a lake repairs in frozen Canada, they’re your guys today.

Quote of the week – “I never had an eating disorder. I had disordered eating”. This is by Alivia D’Andrea, a young (20, 21?) influencer making a self-documentary on transforming herself from a bratty, undisciplined and whiny kid with a major sugar addiction problem into a self-reliant, shining young woman. This quote was interesting to me because throughout my 20s I struggled within a cycle of undereating – overeating, which happens to be a surprisingly common problem amongst young people. It still catches me sometimes even now and I wonder whether content like this would have helped me back in the day and whether it is helping young people now.

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