Things I learned in 2016

Most Decembers I write a light and reflective round up of the year. As I’ve been as yet unable to digest the events of 2016 and am still bouncing from despair to mild optimism and back again, sometimes within a matter of moments, I’m going to stick to something far simpler. Here’s a list of shit I’ve learned about this year.

  1. Turns out cutting down carbs does in fact help you lose weight and feel better.
  2. Carbs are lovely.
  3. Feeding the birds is really satisfying. I like woodpeckers.
  4. I need to get better at arguing with racists (there are way more around than I’d thought).
  5. There’s zero point arguing with those who have rigid belief systems and racists as it just leaves you feeling terrible and post-factual.
  6. Most people are generous and thoughtful and kind.
  7. Things are better than they were, and we must hang on to that.
  8. Things are way worse and getting scary.
  9. No one is an expert, so we must engage with a wide variety of people and listen and learn.
  10. Of course we need experts, idiot. Who’s going to fix you when you get a tumour or something? An amateur? A newspaper columnist?
  11. Democracy is imperfect but the best we have.
  12. Democracy is rubbish because people read and believe any old shit.
  13. People have valid concerns and no one is listening to them.
  14. It’s ok to vote for a maniac if you feel ignored and ‘little’.
  15. We’re all fckd.
  16. Mental health services are properly bust.
  17. Mental health professionals should trust people more and enable them to help themselves and each other: it’s the democratisation of health.
  18. People read and believe any old shit.
  19. Walk or self-combust.
  20. A nice pair of shoes makes the journey more bearable.
  21. Books are much nicer in paper form. Sorry I ever doubted you, books.
  22. Getting angry makes things worse. Everyone’s so angry with each other.
  23. Watching Question Time makes me want to hurt people.
  24. It’s best to avoid Question Time, most news, Andrew Marr being annoying on a Sunday, most twitter scraps, for reasons of mental wellbeing.
  25. It’s important not to hide from current affairs and challenging debate. Don’t you know anything about the rise of Nazism?
  26. I really like owls.

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