TL;DR: I won’t be blogging or using social networks in November/December. This is twice as long as last year. You can see what I got up to last time here.


For the past three years, I’ve sworn off personal email and social media during the month of December in order to respond to my body, improve my mental health, and generally recharge. I call this period ‘Belshaw Black Ops’. This strategy has worked well: in conjunction with sleeping more, Vitamin D tablets, SAD lights, and the support of my family, I’ve managed to survive the winter.

But I can do better. I can tweak this further.

Initially, I thought of starting ‘Black Ops’ slightly earlier after (re-)reading about the French Revolutionary Calendar and the month of Frimaire (‘frost’) that starts around 22nd November. The trouble with that is it would mean returning just before Christmas. And there’s something about coming back on January 1st that suggests rebirth.

I’ve decided, therefore, to take the slightly radical step of doubling #BelshawBlackOps13. In other words, I’ll be gone from 1st November 2013 until 1st January 2014.

As usual, I’ll forgo social media and personal email, while continuing to fulfil my duties at work. This year I’m also going to avoid as much news as possible after reading this post by James Clear. If something important happens, I’m fairly sure someone will tell me about it. I won’t be living under a rock.

I’m quite excited about this year’s Black Ops. It was a real relief this morning to finally make the decision to double it, and I’m very much looking forward to planning what to do with the additional time I will free up.

If you’ve got suggestions of books I should read, things I should learn, or films/YouTube videos I should watch, please do share them!

Image CC BY alatryste