As a child there was one job I thought must be the greatest in the world, you got to travel and see amazing things, entertain and educate others and seem to have an all round great time. As a child I wanted to have the job of Sir David Attenborough. Perhaps subconsciously that’s what led me to try doing both a zoology, and then a media production degree. After all surely learning how to make TV programmes and being an expert in animals is the right way to go about it?
David Attenborough has been on British TV screens for so long, and has played such an important role in our media culture that (even though not dead) he deserves some form of celebration of his life. Rather than try to convince you how good he is, I thought I would just let his actions speak for him.
Tonight I shall sit down and watch his latest. I shall feel sad that I spent my day in front of spreadsheets instead of in the wild. Think of the sights I could see rather than be in the dark windowless corner we are located.
Most of all I will be glad, glad that there is still television and presenters like David Attenborough. Of all the greatest achievements of the modern era being able to bring nature into our homes has been one of life’s greatest wonders.
Gillette and the shaving industry have me on a blacklist. My DNA could bring down the whole shaving industry in one swoop ruining their ‘cheap handles – extortionate blades’ model. I am the Anti-Remington.
It is almost impossible for me to grow facial hair.
I only really shave once a week, and that is just because I need to reduce the length of the hairs coming from any freckles or moles. I cannot remember when I put the latest blade in my razor, but I have a feeling it was when two blades was the pinnacle of face gardening technology. I don’t really need it to be sharp, a vigorous face wash tends to do the trick.
In fact my whole top lip seems to be a no-grow zone, the only attempt at a beard is a darkened line I get under my chin. If I was to attempt Movember I would end up looking like Worf, but with less frown lines.
Mrs G is particularly happy about this as she is not keen on the hirsute look, and only complains when the few hairs that grow get too ‘spikey’. I’m guessing she has exceptionally sensitive skin to feel that the bum fluff on my lip is scratching her.
But it’s that time of year when looking like the cowboy from the Village People comes back into fashion. When stiff upper lips get relief from the cold weather and froth related embarrassment increases.
That’s right it’s Movember, and for anyone not aware, a chance to grow a ‘tache for charity and raise awareness and money for Men’s health. Especially illnesses like prostate and testicular cancer.
Some of the facts about male related cancers are genuinely scary, and it’s great to increase people’s knowledge of the big C when it comes to men. For example: * 10,000 men will die of prostate cancer this year in the UK. * The occurrences of prostate cancer are comparable to the rates of breast cancer in women. * 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK * You are 2 1/2 times more likely to develop prostate cancer if your father or brother has it.
Last year Movember raised £22 million in the UK and £79.3m across the world. I would love to join in the Movember fun but I have one small problem…I can’t.
So I’m going to do my bit for Movember, I’m going to put out some useful links for any guy who has read this far, and ladies you can have a go with your significant other as well – you know just like us guys are happy to give you a hand with checking your breasts.
It was going to be a new beginning. It was going to be what defined me. In the end it was another false dawn and the only solution was a digital fire.
After years of my digital identity being defined as a geek I was ready to move onto the next phase of life, being a parent. Just as though I refused to be 100% pigeon holed before I should have realised that once more I would balk at any classification.
I renamed all my accounts on social media, and even set up new domains. I was ready to begin anew but in the end my life as “chilled parent” was a summer night’s fling as once more I am living my life as Geek Ergo Sum.
So what happened?
Other than confusing some people as to:
What Chilled Parent meant?
What I was still doing blogging?
Well it was meant to be clever. Chilled as in:
Relaxed – because you should try to make parenting less stressful
Refrigerated – because some of the best drinks to cope with parenting are served cold.
Scared – because parenting is mostly terrifying.
As to why I was still doing this? That is harder to answer and not something I am sure I have a reason for. The simple version is why not? What else am I doing at night and why not try to eke out a space as a parenting influencer?
That was the reason it had to die. I chose a name with the aim of making something of writing, but that has never been the purpose for me jotting down a few hundred words. The moment you monetise a hobby it becomes a job and I already have one of those, but I struggle for activities to keep me occupied.
I quickly came to the realisation that I was never going to be 100% committed to just being a parent online, in the same way I am not 100% defined by my children in the real world. Yes they take up a substantial part of my life but I am more than just “dad”.
My old writing is what set me on a path to the life I lead now. It was the first thing Mrs G (much better than Mrs CP!) knew about me and survived weddings, house moves and childbirth. Now I’ve come to realise that I’ve not moved onto a new state of being, just evolved.
What brought me back? Was it the desire to reaffirm my place on the internet and once again spew my poorly written missives online? Maybe the creative urges spurred me into action. What if I told you it was something incredibly geeky, something quintessentially me.
It was being able use Google Analytics.
I’m meant to get angry being labelled a numbers guy, but it does something for me apparently because it has motivated me to write a blog post for the first time in nearly a year.
Well I think it’s a year, having once again razed this site to the ground I’m at post zero. In the meantime I’ve also gone through several rebrands (RIP Chilled Parents and something about tea) and some aborted attempts to make my writing more professional.
But this was always confessional not professional.
That was the case nearly 10 years ago when I first registered this domain and remained the case for so long. In that time I have become less miserable, less lonely and less likely to open a note and begin typing.
So why come back?
Maybe it is because I spend so much time with quantitive data that I need something more qualitative in my life. Mrs G (remember her) has her hobbies but I’ve settled into doing stuff to fill up the time.
I clean the house.
I then sit around waiting for bedtime.
The lack of a creative outlet is starting to eat at me, so I’m returning to the keyboard to start over writing again. Things are the same as they were but time has also changed me.
Since I last seriously wrote the world has been politically on fire, so I’m no longer as concerned with how aggressive my views are (while still being respectful and avoiding the nastiness of “telling it like it is”). I’m less upset with my poor grammar and phrasing, I write what I write.
Yet I’m more aware of the impact on my kids, I’ve become a little more sensitive to their depiction and appearance. This is true not just here, but I feel I have a responsibility for their privacy…to a point.
So here’s to the return of side notes in parentheses, to overuse of ellipsis and my regular use of passive voice.