Soapbox

‘Obligers’: Lend me your ear… A sort-of New Year Resolution post

Around December or January I usually write a post that’s a bit New Years resolution-y. Not because I necessarily plan to, but because, along with nearly everyone else in the population, it’s that time of year when I’m reflecting on life more than usual (which is saying something, because I’m constantly over-thinking anyway!). The New Year, and my birthday, are particularly angsty times. A year ago, I was angsting about being an obliger. Two years ago, I was angsting about how my resolution to reduce my social media use the year prior to that had been unsuccessful, and I just regurgitated the same resolution. In fact, still constantly working on that one…

Someone recently asked me if I had any resolutions for this year, and I was like, ‘Nah… Not really. There’s things I want to change this year but no particular resolutions.’ Thinking about it later, I realised that I actually do – they just snuck up on me in such an unusually ‘resolved’ way, I hadn’t quite noticed.

In 2017, I allowed my self-worth to get so low, I spent much of the year feeling like a Complete Failure in Life. I lost my sense of purpose and direction, my passion and drive, and I became resigned to being a disappointment to myself. From my backseat, I observed, with depressive mild interest, how other people seemed to be able to Achieve Things in Life. Not helped by recurring sickness, I basically wallowed in various states of (functional) despair, feeling confused and guilty about why I was experiencing this, given I have such a lucky and lovely life. Continue reading

#MeToo (#AllWomen?)

I’ve been reading about Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent #metoo movement with great interest, in awe of the women bravely stepping forward, including a number of my own friends. I had decided not to participate in the #metoo campaign myself. I’m fortunate that I’ve never been seriously physically assaulted, and I didn’t want to deflect any attention away from the women sharing their own stories and horrifying accounts of sexual assault.

Then it struck me as a little absurd, that I would think that my own experiences were inconsequential and not also connected to a broader, problematic culture that results in girls and women being hurt – physically, sexually, emotionally and mentally. And as I thought about this further, I got annoyed at myself, and then annoyed with a society that leads us to believe that our personal experiences are just a normal and to-be-expected part of being female… And now here I am, with another ranty blog post. Continue reading

The health and wellness bubble of privilege

I cannot say how relieved I am that winter is finally over. This one was particularly shit, and saw me get the flu twice, a chest infection, and then, a couple of weeks ago, end up in hospital with pneumonia. The kids didn’t come through unscathed either, with a resurgence of asthma and chest infections. As I’ve spent most of the last fortnight lying in bed recovering, I’ve considered throwing the towel in on this blog, and Instagram, largely because for me, feeling unwell = feeling down = low motivation = what’s the point?

But then an online post which suggested that people who complain that healthy eating is expensive just have their priorities wrong got me fired up again and reminded me why I started this in the first place: because I love food, and I also have things to say about food (and other stuff). I must be feeling better, because the urge to rant has returned.

This period of illness brought to a head something that has irked me about the health and wellness sector over the last few years, in particular a couple of ‘key messages’ that I see and hear regularly:

  1. That food is medicine and prevents illness
  2. That healthy eating isn’t expensive – it’s just a matter of personal choice and responsibility; and people just need to get their priorities in order!

Continue reading

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