A New Year, a fresh start, a blank first page in a new bound book of 365 pages. I decided to make some changes. I have never been one to embrace the notion of New Year Resolutions truly in a wholesale form. I prefer to make incremental changes. Consistency, I am told, rather than dramatic or drastic change is the key to sustaining a new habit that will stick beyond the first month of the year.
Like most people I have a handful of podcasts, I listen to on a regular basis. Two from Arseblog relate to my beloved (and at times beleaguered) football team from North London, bookends for the start and end of the week. The next two relate to personal finance and by pure coincidence are both from the BBC – FiveLive Consumer Panel featuring Martin Lewis and BBC Radio 4 Moneybox with Paul Lewis (no relation). Plus an independent blogger who covers personal finance and happens to share my first name – Andy Clever. This total of six podcasts clock in approximately six hours of listening time each week. As well as listening while working and carrying out the domestic chores I would listen to whatever podcast I had remaining during my weekday lunchtime walks (three times a week).
For 2021 I decided to make a change. As you might expect I have a number of podcast series downloaded on the fantastic Podcast Addict app on my Android device to cover me for situations when I find myself with nothing else to listen to. To the point whereby I have upgraded to the Pro paid version of the app to remove all the annoying ads. While listening to playlists on Spotify can pass the time, I always like to be educated and informed by having a range of podcasts available offline whenever the opportunity arises. Being such a big fan of space I downloaded the podcast from BBC Radio 4 – 13 Minutes to the Moon almost two years ago but never found the time to listen. I decided that from now on I will use my lunchtime walk to listen to one exclusive podcast in totality. This gives me something to look forward to but also creates that motivational factor to get out for a regular lunchtime walk, regardless of the weather.
My Dad actually turned 12 on the day Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. I regularly wonder what he felt about this greatest achievement of mankind as he entered the final year of childhood before becoming a teenager, living in his adopted country of England and probably watching the event live on television at home with his family. Considering it was almost 4 am in the UK when Neil stepped foot on the lunar surface it may have been the news broadcast later that morning. The podcast focuses on the crucial 13 minutes which was the time taken for the Lunar Module to undock from the Command Module and descend onto the lunar surface. The critical final few moments of the project had been set in motion by JFK when he set NASA the challenge to blast a man to the moon and return him safely to the earth.
Having sat unlistened on my phone for several months (if not over a year). I decided 2021 was the time to start listening. Plus it made a break from the opinion on the last 90 minutes of football or advice on which LISA to invest in from multi-millionaire Martin Lewis. The football podcast diet in particular was not benefiting my mental health and had become a burden I had to face each week, on top of the poor performances on the pitch.
[Update: I assumed by the last day of January 2022 I would have completed both seasons of 13 Minutes To The Moon and completed at least two other podcasts over the course of the year. Alas I shall only be starting episode nine of season one this lunchtime when I go for my lunchtime walk down to Jocks Lane and around the outskirts of the Temple Park development.]