Wednesday, June 29

Has my weekly self-review helped me avoid the worst of midlife? | Life and Style

WWelcome to my last column of the weekend, guys. I was debating how emotional to get on this case. I’ve spent the last few days listening to Kanye West’s new album so I’m pretty depressed. This column is my Donda.

Two years ago, I was commissioned to write in this space. And every week I broke 600 words to his delight, all about my ongoing path to self-improvement. There was the goal of spending less time on my phone, which has worked so effectively that I have already checked it twice since I started this article. I learned how to be a DJ, which has not progressed at all, and now I have a gig in October where I am expected to mix (I could end up being the first exposed DJ for imitation). And of course, who could forget the year of weight loss and fitness that led to a series of before and after photos that were essentially identical? That was the initial mission, at least. Some weeks, I had a fully formed idea in my head, I would sit at my laptop for 45 minutes or so, and I was done, and I would be happy. Other weeks, I was haunted by it, adding one sentence at a time, before eventually sending out a column with a covert apology and an offer to completely rewrite it.

Sometimes the column comes in and it prints and I look at it and think, “I have no idea why the hell I thought it was a good column.” That is quite normal for me; in fact, I think it’s fair to say that the day I’m happy with something I’ve done, I’ll know it’s time to think about doing something else. When you do television or radio, your social networks are full of people who tell you that it is good and people who tell you that it is horrible in a fairly equal measure. The most I get out of this column is someone punching me on the shoulder (figuratively speaking, I think if someone genuinely punched me on the shoulder to get my attention, I’d be pretty mad) and say something like, “I thought your wife had reason to be mad at you for the furniture delivery “or,” I prefer Tim Dowling, but I enjoy it when I read you sometimes. “

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I’ll be honest: I can’t think of many life changes that have stalled, but I’ve come to realize that’s not the point. The point is to keep trying things and failing at all of them, so that you can write a regular column about it. For all the self-improvement challenges I’ve written about, the one I haven’t addressed would be time management. Even as I write this, I just got an email from one of the editors saying, “As soon as I can please!” I don’t think that in two years I have delivered a column on time. Editors are incredibly polite about it, which is why my inbox is full of emails saying things like, “I’m really pushing this topic, buddy!” and “Sorry to bother you, but I could use the column today” when in reality what they mean is: “Are you aware that you are creating a level of stress completely disproportionate to what you contribute to the publication? Are you an idiot?

So I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all of them and thank them for reading, if they did. I have a habit of leaning on everything that criticizes me, and just a couple of weeks ago someone texted me to tell me that this column was navel-gazing garbage. So what could be more navel gazing than a column about writing a column? GOODBYE FOREVER! (More than likely he will be writing for The Guardian again soon, but he wanted a dramatic outing.)

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