And so here we are: the final day of 2018. But before I burst into a cocktail-fuelled chorus of Auld Lang Syne, here’s a look back at my favourite blog posts of the year.
The ten posts I’ve selected are a mix of some of my most popular posts and other personal favourites, touching on everything from Moana to, er, waistcoats.
When I wrote my ‘top ten’ post last year, I listed them in the style of Friends episode titles. I liked that concept so much I’ve done it again this year. (Also, I didn’t come up with an alternative, so there is that …)
1. The one with the existential crisis
Maybe what I’m experiencing right now is the dying of the light. Or perhaps it’s just that the fire needs rekindling.
Back in March, I found myself at a crossroads where, for the first time in 11 years, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to continue blogging. This post was a verbalisation of my thoughts on the question, “What’s next?”
2. The one about me
You look at the man in the mirror and see a jaded and cynical reflection staring back at you. That’s not who I want to be.
Six months later, I talked about the importance of embracing change in a blogging world that is barely recognisable from the one I first joined. That for me means not blindly following the latest trend but to allow myself the luxury of being me and letting things like my love of music become a bigger part of my writing.
3. The other one about me
Fundamentally, I am the world’s quietest, most boring hedonist.
I was shortlisted for Best Dad Blog at the Vuelio Awards this year but I’ve never been comfortable with labels. Indeed, I don’t really consider myself to be a blogger, at least in the modern, commercial sense of the term. I write for fun, not for money. And I don’t necessarily fit neatly into a single box. (I didn’t win, by the way.)
4. The one where I didn’t win an award (again)
I would say I’m one of the more distinctive and versatile bloggers out there.
I was also shortlisted for Britmums’ Readers’ Choice Award for the third year running. I didn’t win that one either but, as is traditional, I wrote and performed a parody song to present my case to voters. This year I based it on You’re Welcome from Moana. I have so much more respect for The Rock’s rapping skills now …
5. The one about privacy
We live in a world where privacy is a scarce resource in the same way as time or money.
In our 24/7 social media world, will our children ever really have any privacy of their own? And is it the fault of technology – or are we ourselves really to blame?
6. The one about jobs
How do we prepare [our children] for jobs that don’t even exist yet?
Many people still don’t regard ‘blogging’ as an actual job. But there are so many jobs that exist today that were unheard of even a decade ago. How do we prepare our kids for the future workplace when we don’t know what ‘work’ will even look like?
7. The one about a short film
What I saw, though, was far more personal. I saw me and my own relationship with my mother in microcosm.
The short film Bao was shown before Incredibles 2 in cinemas. It’s a touching tale that had a surprising resonance for me.
8. The one about Kara’s birthday
You make the Duracell bunny look like a sloth with the flu.
I write a letter to each of our children on their birthdays. This was the one I wrote to Kara for her sixth birthday in May.
9. The one about body image
It’s not that I hate my body. But I have always had low body confidence.
News-flash: men suffer from body image issues too. I’ve always been fat. I still am. But losing a big chunk of weight this autumn has helped me feel better about myself. My self-esteem isn’t dependent on losing weight – but it does help.
10. The one about the wedding
I did feel it would be fitting to mark the occasion in the best way I know how: with a parody song.
Harry and Meghan got married in May. I wasn’t particularly fussed about the whole royal wedding shebang. But that didn’t stop me writing a song to mark the occasion.
And that’s my top ten posts of 2018. All that remains is for me to wish you and yours a Happy New Year and, if I haven’t put you off completely, I’ll see you again in 2019.