This is the only post I will make before the I start using the blog properly on 30 October 2022. That is the official start date. But the start of what ?

I feel very concerned about my life. I mean that almost in every sense that I could mean it. I am concerned about my mental health primarily, with a history of low mood and negative thoughts, and that in turn makes me concerned for my life in the most literal sense. Whilst I do not plan to hurt myself, I am aware that the chances that my life will end at my own hand are greater than with the general population. That comes from my age and gender, plus the nature and frequency with which I think about those sorts of things. I’m sure I will visit the topic over the next year.

I am concerned about my health. I have some long-term conditions which impact on my daily well-being, however thanks to the amazing health system in the UK, I am being very well-managed and the medicines I receive keep my issues in relative check compared to many people. I am also, on the day this blog begins, 49. Which means I should be contemplating my health and how it affects not just me now, but me in the years to come. Like many my age, I could be slimmer, I could eat more healthily, and I could exercise more regularly. Topics for visiting also.

I am concerned about my interactions with humans. I don’t play nicely with others, usually in a verbal rather than a physical way, and as such I have never found it easy to gather friends round me. I am very fortunate to have those in my life who I can call upon, but I strain those relationships with the things I do and say. I am not “easy” in that way. This is something I would like to at the very least examine, if not actually improve. I mention humans because I do love dogs. They are the best, and my two dogs are a valuable part of keeping me healthy in a number of ways, and also contribute to me interacting with others. Notably I tend to interact more favourably with dog people than non-dog people. There’s something to get your teeth into, armchair psychiatrists.

I do not have a significant other. I often wish for one, but quickly start to wonder if I can actually share my life and space and wants with someone else who has their own life and space and wants. I try not to watch films such as Love Actually because I either find myself pining for the unrealistic falling-in-love scenario, or getting angry and the person who has the perfect person right there BUT JUST CAN’T SEE IT. Ha ! People who know me would probably not expect me to have such strong thoughts about this film.

I am concerned about my future. Will I have the money to live ? Will I enjoy what remains of my life ? Will I be productive with my time and make a positive impact in the years ahead ? I am not concerned about death, but I am concerned about dying. I’ll probably explain that at some point but I feel strongly about that distinction.

And finally, because the structure of this whinge makes this more poignant as a terminating section, I am concerned about everything else. Humanity; poverty; inequality; climate change; war; disease; annihilation. And should I be more concerned about those things ? Should I cut down on my navel-gazing and do something about it ? Instead of spending the last few days learning about WordPress and setting up this blog, I could have been digging drainage ditches in flood-prone areas, or picking up litter from hedgerows, or…something.

However none of the above is new. I have known much of what I have written here for much of my life, and yet many fundamentals remain unchanged. So I began to think that I needed to do something, anything, to give me a point of reflection on my actions. Back in the early days of being online, we all had a LiveJournal, but the whole point of that was to get comments and interactions from others. You didn’t just blog like a diary, you blogged like a play. You wanted to gauge the audience reaction. By setting this blog up and not telling anyone it exists, I am genuinely doing this for me and for the sake of me. If anyone finds it and contributes, that’s coincidental. I’m sure I will filter most of what I write here through a thin sieve of knowing people will see it, but perhaps I will not exclude some of my more meaningful if difficult observations because I am certain that people will see it.

So, here’s to Sunday 30 October 2022, when I will start jotting down my thoughts, my experiences, my interactions with others, my successes and my failures, and hopefully use that to put me in a better place by the same date in 2023. The consequence of not achieving that could be severe. I’m giving myself One Year To Save My Life.

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