Here’s a free piece of unsolicited advice: don’t give unsolicited advice.

Wait! Don’t go! I promise that’s the last piece of hypocrisy I’ll be dishing out for at least 3 paragraphs.

In all seriousness though, advice-giving is a tricky, complicated business. And as such, it should be dispensed with the kind of care that might be afforded a pre-menstrual grizzly bear.

Because, like a flatulent old man after a hot curry, advice has a tendency to backfire. And not necessarily because it’s bad. …

I have great respect for words. As a speech pathologist by day and a blog writer by (occasional) night, it would be problematic and confusing if I didn’t.

But I don’t think all words have a place in our language.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m no linguistic purist. My utterances are often peppered with not-quite-right lingo; my writing regularly riddled with suspect syntax that would have Chomsky thrashing in his literary grave.

But words hold more power than we often give them credit for. And as such, lexical selection is best made with at least a sprinkle of discretion.


The other day, I received a rather scary email.

It addressed me by name and politely informed me that it had successfully hacked one of my accounts and here was my password. In order for my private particulars not to be shared with the wider world, here were the details for a Bitcoin account into which I could deposit $1,500. Thank you, and have a nice day.

Not ideal.

The me of 6 months ago would have freaked the f*@! out. Not because the hacked account was of particular importance. Indeed, the email didn’t actually specify which one had been…

While debate has raged around many aspects of our pandemic, there’s one thing we can pretty much all agree on: the whole situation has been one protracted series of emotional d*ck punches.

About a week ago, a large portion of Australia’s population was downgraded from Stage 3 restrictions (severely limited fun) to Stage 4 restrictions (fun is cancelled).

Thanks to our almost year-long lockdown (with a few short weeks reprieve in the middle as some sort of cruel ‘psych’), we have become — nay, instructed — to become incredibly isolated from one another.

Access to the people we love is…

It’s a mad time right now. Making it through a single conversation without encountering words like ‘unprecedented’ or ‘new normal’ is an almost insurmountable challenge.

In the current cray-cray climate, almost every new day seems to herald a new list of things that we must or must not do in order to be socially responsible citizens.

This week, mandatory masks are the new thing.

For the lucky, corona-infested populace of metropolitan Melbourne (where I live), masks will be compulsory as soon as we step outside our front doors as of midnight tomorrow. …

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So far, 2020 has seemed like some sort of bad joke. The kind that, once cracked, earns you long, withering looks from anyone in earshot.

In Australia, it started with the bushfire season from hell. Our air quality levels plummeted to among the worst in the entire world. Our landscapes were transformed into apocalyptic scenes with smokey, blood red skies. Zombie dingoes prowled through the flames, chewing on babies*.

The first half of 2020 has been a sh*t-storm of fairly monumental proportions. The kind usually reserved for bathrooms following Indian street food feasts.

But to those who have weathered the COVID-storm and emerged on the other side, clearer skies are on the horizon. Our iso-diet has worked. The curve has become less curvaceous. Restrictions are being relaxed. The light at the end of the lockdown tunnel is aglow.

As anticipated, many are champing at the bit to race out for that long-awaited haircut… er, I mean family reunion. …

In stark contrast to our standard ‘She’ll be right’ approach, Aussies have begun genuinely prepping for the apocalypse.

As one might imagine could occur in conjunction with end-of-world arrangements, there’s been a definitive up-tick in the supermarket sales of canned goods, bottled water and long life milk. And fair enough. If you’re buckling down in a bunker to wait out the wiping out of humankind, you’re probably going to need some sustenance to keep you going while you’re down there.

The bizarre bit is that supermarkets across the nation have been completely cleaned out of toilet paper.

It sounds like…

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Your attention is hot property right now. Like, seriously hot. And like most piping hot commodities, everyone wants a piece.

At this very moment, there are squillions of other attention bidders vying for the prize of your eyes. Heck, the fact that you’ve chosen to park them here for at least 3 lines of this blog feels little short of miraculous.

But even as we flippantly cast it about, the direction in and duration with which we choose to invest our attention can have some pretty significant implications. Implications that shape the world around us. And implications that shape us.

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Around 3 years ago, my partner and I figured out what we felt was a pretty great financial strategy. And ever since, I’ve been busy trying to convince everyone else that they should adopt it too.

Before you abandon this article for fear of an incoming 500 word drone about money management — this is not that kind of blog. This is a blog about why I was so hell bent on encouraging others to embrace our scheme.

At first, I didn’t think too much about why I was plugging our approach so hard. Perhaps I subliminally assumed that I…

Sharon Flitman

Musings from a human with eyes and ears. Read more at

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