What’s piqued my interest this week?
Over the Christmas and New Year break I’ve been reading lots of blogs from across the pond and around the world. I don’t usually talk mental health on this blog. As part of a strict work-life balance the closest I get is usually philosophy. A post by Liz, Mrs Frugalwood, prompted me to break that rule (1). I’ve particularly enjoyed the tales from the Frugalwoods, whose ‘homestead’ dream sits nicely with my own smallholding aspirations. In her post, Liz talks articulately and openly about the experience, the feelings, of postpartum depression.
“My friend Melanie Lockert recently told me that “depression lies to you.” It tells you that you’re worthless, it tells you that you’re hopeless and stupid. But this isn’t true. You can be pulled out of this heavy fog. Please allow yourself to be helped.” (1)
Other UK finance bloggers have also eloquently related their experiences of mental illness; Mr and Mrs Young FI Guy, Little Miss Fire, Wephway at Deliberate Living UK and Sonia at MFTMG to name a few (2, 3, 4, 5, 6). I’m sure there are others, and I’m sure there are those who choose not to share. Mental illness is hidden in plain sight. Every week, one in six adults experiences mental health problems (7). One in five adults has considered suicide (7). Mental illness is the biggest cause for lost productivity globally, anxiety and depression alone accounting for $1 trillion lost annually (8). For stigma to remain around something so common is crazy.
I hope the stigma is improving, certainly since I’ve been practising more people from all walks of life present to see us rather than suffering in silence. For some people there’s a reason, a trigger. Life is full of bumps in the road, stresses and unexpected turns of events which can throw the wheel off your cart. Everybody deals with things in different ways, and what could be a major issue for one person could be a casual shrug for another. We’re all wired differently. Some people’s moods vary more (9). For other people there is no identifiable trigger or cause. It just is. Mental illness is an illness. You don’t need a reason to get appendicitis, it’s just crap luck.
It stands to reason that the rates of mental illness should be no different in the financial blogging community. I’ve privately wondered if they’re actually higher. Financial independence and diligent saving takes order, structure and self-control. It requires attention to detail and extensive planning. When something throws an unexpected spanner in the works, e.g. MMM’s ongoing divorce, it can put a lot of stress on not only your financial system but your mental system too (10). You can’t plan for everything.
Have a great week,
N.B. Apologies for the late post. I’ve spent the weekend away, bumped into Mr and MrsYFG, and discovered that we’ve known each other several years through a mutual friend. Small world.
- The market ends 2018 as the worst year since 2008 (11)
- John Lewis bucks the high street trend (12)
- Tesla shares drop as it misses delivery targets (13)
- The 26-30 railcard goes on general sale (14)
- New Year means the newspapers are full of clickbait financial tips like this from the Daily Mail (15)
- And “tips” like this. The comments are a shitshow (16)
- UK power generation has consistently fallen as renewables reach record levels (17)
- I really enjoyed this video from The Plain Bagel on the Grossman Stiglitz Paradox
- Stock market volatility matters less than you think – Independent (18)
- RIT reviews their High Yield Portfolio performance for 2018 (19)
- MrYFG reviews his 2018 reading list (20)
- Weenie reviews her Dec 2018 savings progress (21)
- And makes some goals for 2019 (22)
- The Savings Ninja reports on their December savings (23)
- The Frugal Cottage looks at their 2019 goals (24)
- Next Chapter FI UK, a new blog to me, posts their spending report (25)
- Indeedably reflects on what drives your decision making interests (26)
- On facing fear (27)
- And updates their net worth (28)
- The Ermine reflects on the last market comedown, and how he reacted (29)
- TEA talks living with no regrets, and lessons from the dying (30)
- Where Eagles Fear to Perch shares their investment returns (31)
- LMF moves to a new website (32)
- Found here, starting with their 2019 resolutions (33)
- The Finance Zombie reviews their 2018 overview (34)
- GFF reports on their December 2018 savings (35)
- As does Early Retirement in the UK (36)
- As does the Obvious Investor for their growth portfolio (37)
- Firevlondon reviews the whole of 2018 with their December update (38)
The kitchen garden:
- Jack Wallington reflects on a year in the garden (39)
- Sharpen your spades has 2019 in pictures (40)
- Paul’s patch thinks about the year, Yule and the origin of seasonal calendars (41)
What I’m reading (now affiliate links):
Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch – This was an absolute corker that I read in a fortnight. First time in ages I’ve stayed awake to one am reading. Looks like another series to get into.
Starting with Chickens – Kate Thear – A hint to a goal for 2019
Enchiridion by Epictetus – Bedside reading for a bad day