A Birthday Playlist Est. 1986

Day 334: I’ve been run down with the dreaded ‘man flu’ over the last three days so annoyingly it’s been a pretty blank weekend. I haven’t left the house since Thursday. I’ve pottered around the place though and did jobs here and there. I certainly haven’t been in bed for three days! Kids put a stop to that.

Because I’m so motivated and enjoying my running at the moment it really pisses me off when I don’t get out for a scheduled session. Ideally I’d have been out on Friday and today but I don’t suppose it would have been wise. Hoping that I’m on the up again in the morning and I can get the new week off to a good start.

One of the things I have done this weekend is listen to a playlist I created on my Apple Music not long back where I included every song that was top of the UK Music Singles Chart on my birthday (since my birth in 1986). Take a look below at the very varied range of music that make up my ‘October 3rd 1986-2021 Birthday Playlist‘

It was interesting putting it together and as with most things I do at a laptop – I ended up going down some Wikipedia rabbit holes as I gathered the songs together. Take 1990 and Maria McKee – ‘Show me heaven’ was the power balled featured in the Tom Cruise film ‘Days of Thunder’.

1992’s Ebeneezer Goode by The Shamen was banned by the BBC and 2004’s ‘Call on me’ by Eric Prydz had a very memorable and provocative music video which I enjoyed as a teenage boy!

I can’t say I’m a big fan of the music in recent years but I’ll continue to add to my Birthday Playlist. Maybe consider filling a few hours on a rainy afternoon and do your own?! You’ll certainly end up listening to music you wouldn’t normally listen to.

I draw the line at Sam Smith though. I always skip his two songs.

My Birthday Playlist 1986-2021

Dry January

Day 332: I’m seeing and hearing loads of people doing ‘Dry January’ at the moment and it’s great to see folk giving their body and mind a break from the poison but something has always unsettled me about this ‘gimmick’ – because let’s be honest, for many it is just a gimmick. New Year, New Me. Skint after Christmas. Cold and dark outside. The month which gives us ‘Blue Monday’. It is the ‘perfect’ time to have a break from the booze. And hey, don’t get me wrong… any break is better than no break!

But from many people I’ve spoken to it was an excuse to ‘cane’ it in December knowing they’d have a break in January and then throughout January (so far) all I’ve seen under the public posting of ‘I’m 13 days in…’ is the common accompaniment of ‘can’t wait for that bottle of wine’ or ‘how do people live without booze?!’

I never did Dry January in the past (so this is my first dry Jan!) but obviously the journey I’ve been on means every month is dry now and as I approach my 1 year of sobriety milestone it is making me reflect more and more about where I was at as a person this time last year. Secret drinking, depression, extreme bouts of anxiety and becoming more and more reckless and insular.

I am now resentful of alcohol but of course, I don’t blame it entirely for my struggles. I chose to pick up the drink time and time again. But I dunno, I kind of think back to all the peer pressure from a young age, my Dad drinking around me in the house most nights after work and everything you see on TV and in Music that glamorises boozing. Alcohol is such a big part of British culture and especially common in my working class upbringing. One of my Dad’s happiest moments was seemingly taking me for my first pint down the local club.

I have no problem with people drinking around me (most of the time) and I have no problem with people doing ‘Dry January’ but as I head further and further away from the old me I am building such a disdain towards all things alcohol. I was dependent on the stuff. I loved the stuff. I’m still not entirely free of it because I still drink 0% versions of it to give me the taste. I don’t really see the point in doing that but it helps my sobriety whilst also annoying me that I am still in a sense under the spell of the big beer companies.

I will never be free of Alcohol because I have to consciously avoid it every day. It is around me daily and it will never not be. I don’t want to become ‘that’ person that preaches to people about drinking but at the same time I don’t enjoy seeing people drinking anymore. Not because it bothers me that the drink is there. More because I know how dangerous it can become. It makes me question their life choice. Silly I know, because for many I’m sure they will go through life ‘managing’ their alcohol consumption just fine.

But what really is ‘managing’ it? and what is ‘just fine’?

Hopefully Dry January gives some people food for thought about their future drinking and they either choose to cut down or who knows, remain sober. For most though… I guess it just means February will be open season again!

Jeez, I said I don’t want to be a preacher but I sound that way don’t I?!

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com