A Different 2017

My New Years Eve celebrations came to an end at 8.03 pm last night when I fell asleep. I managed only two glasses of Chateau Haut Marbuzet, which I bought after some recommendations – it was OK. But it was the jet lag that killed me. 8pm was 4am in Bali, which is where I had just travelled back from. I woke up this morning at 7am, checked Twitter straight away, as you do, to see what I had missed; very little it seemed. I then loaded up my BBC News app, putting it to one side whilst I spoke to my girlfriend in bed for a while. Fifteen minutes or so later I went back to the BBC app, and at the very top of the page was an article about another terrorist attack, this time in Istanbul, which killed 40 people. And so, 2017 started very much the same way 2016 ended.

I laugh a little when I see people write on Twitter how bad 2016 has been. How it’s been the ‘worst year possible’. Lol. Wind back 100 years and we were in the middle of World War 1. The Battle of the Somme happened during 1916 where over 400,000 British soldiers alone died. Perspective is something we millennials don’t seem to have in abundance.

But in 1916 they didn’t have Twitter. No Facebook. No online media sites constantly updating and making us aware of almost any news story we wish to hear about. Not even Tinder. Think of how many suicides there would’ve been if these young men were aware of what was ahead of them? We are fortunate to know the present so well  that we can make a good guess of the future. But when the present seems perpetually frightening and disappointing, it’s easy to see the future holding the very same prospects. This is what 2016 looked like for me.

Last year, (2016!) I learnt so much. Away from golf, I am quite a fervent news reader and  I am one of those people who likes to be in the know. Not because I want to impress anyone, just because I don’t like not knowing what’s happening. In 2015 I began looking at moving to London. So I started browsing Rightmove every day, hoping to see a flat that I both liked the look of, and one that was under 1 million pounds. The day never came. And so me being me, I had to know why everything was so expensive. It seemed not to make any sense. From September 2015, to now, nearly all of my interest has been in learning about the economy. I have followed many people on Twitter, YouTube, and have watched endless hours of Bloomberg and CNBC, all in the attempt to know more. And boy do I know a lot more than I did 18 months ago, but heck am I depressed about it.

So frightened I got, that at one point I invested in gold. This isn’t historically a bad investment I know, but I only did it out of fear for our immediate economic future. Bearish and cynical I became about all things  economical and political. And so it is I have become trapped in this cycle of simply having to learn more so I can ‘protect’ myself against the future, and subsequently have myself become more cynical and generally low. I’ve been aware of this pattern developing for some time, but haven’t been too concerned about it. Mostly because I knew I’d reach a tipping point down the line where I would simply be able to switch to something else, like how a chameleon changes its colours. I think I’ve reached this point. Plus, in everything I’ve ever done regarding the direct use of my brain, I’ve always wanted to push myself beyond the point of discontentment, purely to see how I react to that. The idea of being depressed doesn’t scare me because I know during that process so much will be learnt. And I’m always confident in myself that I can come through anything that requires some thinking.

But I now need to stop thinking. My mind has become a pinball machine, unable to turn off from the world. I’ve become so attached to my news sources, to the point where I’m becoming biased and certain of the future, even when there are valid arguments otherwise. This is extremism.

So January 1st 2017 will be the day where I turn off. I’m seeing this as an experiment to see how my mood changes over the coming months, simply by knowing less of what’s happening in our wonderful world. Being alive in 2017 has to become about more than living inside other peoples realities via snapchat, Instagram or Twitter. We are as a collective so lucky to be living in these times, and the fact that social media, and other media types, can make me feel otherwise suggests I need to look the other way. My dad is happier than me even though he has bad knees and hips, and far fewer material things.

I will continue to blog however.

I’ve always refuted the idea that ignorance is bliss, I hope I can prove myself right over time, but for now I need some quiet time.

Happy New Year and let’s hope 2017 is better than 1917 was….

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25 Responses to A Different 2017

  1. tim hancock says:

    The News is so depressing – thats what feeds it. To clear your head and mind, go climb a mountain and enjoy. Even better, go live near a mountain, it won’t cost you a million either.

  2. Craig M says:

    Yet another fantastically written piece that makes several valid points that come from a personal view point but also seem pertinent to us all.

    Happy new year to you and yours, and please carry on blogging!

  3. Joe Pepperell says:

    Very deep for the 1st of January Edward but very good also. I can relate to the fact the mind being like a “pinball machine” good analogy 👍🏻. 2016 could be seen as a tough year, but I’m sure you will view it as a good learning experience. I’m sure in 2017 the blossom will spring early for you!!

  4. bob lander says:

    Even though we are generations apart you seem to have an uncanny ability to put my thoughts into words. Have you tried just dropping out of social media before? I have it’s hard, not as hard as giving up smoking, but close.
    My knees are shot as well so I’m adopting open stance golf pain and swelling massively reduced if it helps your Dad
    Love the blog
    Thank you

  5. If social media had existed 100 years ago most of those 400,000 would have been revolutionaries, not suicides, and the generals would have been decorating lampposts. Have a good year, Eddie, and thanks for sharing your experiences and wisdom.

  6. wazmn says:

    I too am surprised to find so many of my own thoughts in your words.
    Please doo keep us posted, perhaps we too can give you some counteraction, so dont cut us all off 😉

  7. NichH says:

    Not easy to be selective, guess the trick is to be positive. Keep the blog going

  8. Another very nice blog,keep them coming and a looking forward to a good years golf from you,cheers.

  9. Chris R says:

    Eddie,
    In 2017 may you continue to be more inspiring and thought provoking than anyone else in golf.
    And may you enjoy many a long walk with your putter

  10. Kim says:

    Have a wonderful 2017 and I very much enjoy reading you blog so glad to hear you will continue!

  11. Paul Dronfield says:

    HNY to you and yours and I’m looking forward to keeping an eye out for someone different this year!

    Good luck for 2017 and don’t be a complete ostrich

  12. Peter wilks says:

    Great blog very thought provoking keep up agree blog
    Happy new year to you and yours

  13. David Everett says:

    Would that many others would follow your lead. Not much available info has much intrinsic value. Filtering is a lot of work. The best to you and thanks for continuing to share your thoughts!

  14. Eric C. says:

    Hoping Eddie stays connected enough with the world to continue his insightful blogs .
    Low expectation on the Golf course is what one needs to score well .
    Maybe someone can advise on achieving that . Hitting too many balls gets me tired and seems to raise my expectations for next start . Monty does well with his minimal practice routine ??

  15. Tipps says:

    A wonderful and insightful post. I think your approach for 2017 is a good one. Stick with one reputable national/international newspaper and ignore the maelstrom of thoughts and comments on social media. Best wishes for a happy and successful 2017.

  16. Alan Morris says:

    As ever Eddie a wonderfully insighftul article. Social Media has many strengths – it is a great way of communicating and sharing news. However I also think social media has promoted intolerance and outrage seems to be generated at a drop of a hat. Your absolutey right about historical context, apart from 1916 what about 1939-1945 the second world war, 1945-55 the age of real austerity not to mention the plague of the middle ages. Im glad you are going to continue to blog and good luck with your golf in 2017.

  17. Jim Duggan says:

    Happy New Year from Dublin Eddie. Fine article as usual. Good luck in 2017

  18. Duff Shakespeare says:

    Another piece of literary eloquence, I’m as ever impressed,
    But for a lad of your age, it’s back-to-front, “up messed”,
    Innocence, optimism and fun turn to cynicism and grump with age,
    A constant battle for shocking brightness, to avoid old age beige,
    Being “the best golfer you can be” will not be achieved by luck or hocus-pocus,
    It’ll come from your natural intellect, immense skills, and focus, focus, FOCUS !

    All the Best for 2017

  19. Mark Batchelor says:

    I do enjoy your blogs, infrequent though they are! Oops, there’s my first unneeded exclamation mark of 2017. Anyway, very insightful as always, and I could not agree more that millennials need to develop a little more perspective. I doubt 2016 is even close to being the worst year of this century, let alone ever.

    Good luck with your golf in 2017.

  20. Alastair Taylor says:

    An interesting and thought provoking blog – I haven’t commented before but just wanted to say I enjoy reading your blogs Eddie and I wish you all the best for the coming season.

  21. Hi Eddie,

    Randomly came across your blog. What you’ve written above really resonates with me, from the “switching off” all the way to the bits you say about having to read everything you can about things to gain knowledge, I’m exactly the same (although I’m sh!t at golf haha).

    Have a read of this, I think you’ll find it really interesting:
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/10/01/the-low-information-diet/

    Cheers and good luck for 2017

  22. Matt Wilson says:

    Another great entry, this Eddie. A pleasure to read your thoughts, so many of which resonate with my own. Keep on blogging…

    Best of luck for 2017 – but moreso, play well.

  23. prawn sandwich says:

    Forget following the financial news like a day trader. Most economic forecasts are rubbish. When you have funds to invest follow the old masters and their current acolytes. Look at your portfolio annually and regard it as a gas bill.

    Be calm and quiet. Continue to write. And win a tournament or two in 2017.

  24. Tam Buckingham & Ann Richardsoon says:

    You won’t remember me, your Dad will, I was a member at Drayton G C. when you were a very young lad. I follow your progress with passion. Your blog is always very interesting, Have a great year. I now live in New Zealand so if you are ever down this way there is always a bed available. Tel: 06 8633199 Address 836 Gladstone Rd Gisborne NZ

  25. The meaning of life is fleeting, but golf is such a microcosm of that life it lends itself to a constant search for something better. Nice to see your good play and interviews at the Hero, things didn’t go your way on the weekend, but still a solid week. I think you might like these guys to help tune out all the noise that is inherently part of our lives these days. https://youtu.be/1DWCxeVaRIs

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