Friday, February 24, 2012

Perspective

Life has a reassuring habit of tapping you on the shoulder sometimes and saying, “hey, I know you think you’ve got it bad but it could actually be a lot worse”. Lord knows Karen and I have found the last 4 weeks tough and at the height of it we were living like zombies: staggering to work, staggering home, staggering the problems to try and make them more surmountable and then just collapsing into the comforting oblivion of sleep.

But really. Things could have been worse. A lot worse.

I met my old friend, Dave, yesterday – the guy I wrote about a couple of weeks ago on this here very blog; my partner in late eighties C90 based toilet humour. It was one of those chance, out of the blue meetings that are sadly all too rare but do serve to ground you and remind you that actually the entirety of all existence isn’t circling solely around you and your miserable little band of troubles.

It was good to catch up but not good to hear that, like a lot of people I’ve heard from recently (is there some weirdly negative cosmic zeitgeist going around at the moment?) he and his family have been going through the mill lately. I won’t go into detail as the details are not mine to share but let’s just say that persistent illness of a loved one is at the core of it and the situation is not improving. Hence Dave is running around like the proverbial bluearsed fly and not having very much “me” time at all.

Sometimes living life is like trying to nail jelly to a wall with someone on your back charging you extortionate rates for the use of the hammer whilst lubricating the jelly.

I’m sure that image will stay with many of you for a long time. Please don’t thank me; it’s just what I do.

During our chat Dave and I couldn’t help but reminisce back to those relatively carefree days when we used to give our woefully adolescent subconscious minds free reign to express themselves onto Sony C90 tape. We spoke a little wistfully of the dreams we’d had at the time. Dreams not plans. Because there was loads of stuff we knew we wanted to do – travelling around America was one item high on our list, I seem to recall – but we made no definite plans to see any of the dreams realized.

And then before we knew it the opportunity had gone and life had given us a bag of jelly mix and a lump hammer from the local ‘building and plumbing supplies’ hire centre.

In the blink of an eye you’re fast-tracked into the rat-race; nose-dived into the grid. Welcome to the real world. The desert of the real.

And so you grow up. And you mature. And your perspectives change. Your dreams become simpler but in a way far more meaningful.

You want your loved ones to be happy and healthy. You want quality time with them. Sometimes you’d gladly swap a coast-to-coast tour of the US just to sit with your family and watch a decent sitcom on the TV and feel that all is right with your world.

A little bit of homespun wisdom for you all: even when things are at their worst the good things you have are still good.

It really does help to remember that. Trust me.

(Good luck, Dave.)



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25 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

Man, that's so true. I remember Dolly Parton saying something very similar many years ago, and now she's very contented. Hopefully you'll follow in her footsteps...

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: sadly a legal injunction put in place by her lawyers prevents me...

Deborah said...

The image hits the jelly on the head - I love it.

Marginalia said...

I think it's the Roaring 40's syndrome. But at least you're not stuck in the Doldrums.

There's a whole world out there, weigh anchor and sail away Columbus!

Owen said...

I think someone has been inside my head trying to nail jelly to my skull with a sledgehammer, no wonder I've been feeling like scrambled eggs for brains lately... thanks for providing the diagnosis. And no, you are not imagining it, there is a lot of strange energy in the air these days, all sorts of things are going haywire. As for travelling across America, there are more interesting places to go, imho... (Somalia, for starters?) So, yes, err, where were we, shall we focus on the good in life ? Maybe a film with Sienna Miller could help ?

English Rider said...

True stuff.

Steve said...

Deborah: If you've got a hammer that can hit a jelly on the head I want it.

Marginalia: at least we're not having the boring forties, I suppose...

Owen: Sienna Miller? Each to their own. Give me Kate Winslett or Dr Alice any day. ;-)

English Rider: if only I could bottle it.

libby said...

See? onwards and upwards like I said....ride out the storm and enjoy the good times.

Steve said...

Libby: yee ha! Just like Rawhide. Kind of.

Being Me said...

SO true. Best to your mate Dave.

Steve said...

Being Me: I knew you'd get it. Thank you.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

It is a bit of a wake up call - when maybe the Black Dog has you in his jaws, or Life's veered off the rails of intent - and you talk to someone, friend or not, and find that they are worse off than you! But our own problems are real none the less.

And completely off track re 'blue-arsed fly.' I always thought that was a colourful Kiwi-ism!

Steve said...

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden: blue-arsed fly is something my mother used to say when I was a kid and I'm sure she got it from her parents before her. Vernacular poetry is universal!

Suburbia said...

Thanks :-)

Löst Jimmy said...

Whilst it doesn't diminish our strife and struggling it does illustrate that we not alone in being in life's firing line. Never give up dreams either.
Have a good weekend Steve

Steve said...

Suburbia: pleasure.

Löst Jimmy: having a friend by your side when facing the firing squad is inevitably comforting. Have a great weekend too.

Keith said...

Family life is the total and well spring of being. That half and hour in front of the sit com is the holy grail.

And route 66 will always still be there.

Steve said...

Keith: I never did learn to drive... but I can handle a remote with the best of them.

the fly in the web said...

When you're young you think it's all about you...later you see that it's all about the people you love.

The Sagittarian said...

Loved this post, jellyhead and all!
Now then, where's my USA road map.....

Steve said...

The fly in the web: now that really is hitting the jelly on the head.

Amanda: have to say, now that I'm older and wiser, Australia and New Zealand intrigue me far more.

The Sagittarian said...

You big tease! You are always threatening to come down here....don't make us come up there and get you!!

Steve said...

Amanda: but it's so much nicer to be chased...!

Suzanne said...

There is something weird going on at the moment (life throwing curve balls every which way but loose to many of my loved ones also)...I am trying with all my might to find positives and believe that things will turn out for the best.
We have got lots to be grateful for.

Steve said...

Suzanne: absolutely. Here was I thinking Karen and I were having it bad but others around us have got it far worse.