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Digressions

Nothing wrong with asking

It’s been more than a year in lockdown and it seems that there’s a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. I am fully vaccinated, transitioned to my new work (from home!), and the free time that I posses is spent either on a bike, in the kitchen, or playing video games with friends.

To be honest, I had set really low expectations for myself mid-2020 as the uncertainty of the pandemic lockdowns was causing a lot of attrition towards being productive. On one hand, this was an unprecedented time to finally get to do home projects that I’ve put off — some as simple as huge Lego Technic sets while others were more complex — setting up the raised garden with a Vegepod.

I think the general slowing down of life gave me more time to talk to friends (online) about, well, mostly anything. I would say 60% of the time it was about baking, farming, coffee recipes, and cryptocurrency while the 40% were general sanity checks — mostly happening two to three times a week over Discord and a multiplayer game on the PC. But what I didn’t realize till later was the amount of time I actually spent giving advice. I had helped out some friends with setting up their coffee nooks, fixed up a bunch of friends with their own home carbonation system (yeah it’s pretty niche but carbonating your own water at home is a really good path to quitting store bought soda — and ultimately zeroing your liquid sugar intake). One post I would also reference a lot to friends would be my sojourn into wet shaving as I transitioned from the electric shaver / those plastic disposable razors. In the past I would get these queries from the comments section of this blog but as social media became more dominant, all the inquiries just went to my Facebook, which, come to think about it, is a bit limiting as I usually only open up posts for friends.

There are awesome concepts though such as the Ask the Men section of Men Who Blog that serves as some sort of modern twist on an advice column without the limits of print.

One of my learnings during lockdown is that there’s always going to be someone who can directly relate to a situation you’re in. As a guy, it’s .. well .. guy issues. Especially now that I’m 40. And although Google is your friend, it really helps to be a tad more specific in seeking out advice. Ask The Men submits your query to a panel of men who specialize in various niches — from the nightlife to parenting, so you get more nuanced and useful answers. This posting on low alcohol wines is an example, as I’m trying to follow the 14 units of alcohol weekly limit for good health.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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