Many years ago, I was crossing Elizabeth St, heading into Chemist Warehouse, and my phone rang. It was a friend, Lynn, having one of her tougher days, and calling to vent. As I perused the shelves of hair removal cream , I patiently listened to Lynnie and her woes. Work just sucked so much. Mark hadn’t texted back for over 2 days (‘I’m going to be realistic this time,’ she said firmly) and to top it off her ASOS order hadn’t arrived in time for Dan’s 30th that night. Fuck it. ‘Why do I have to battle so much?’ she said.
One could sigh ‘first world problems’, and they would be right. But really, we’re all guilty, even the most optimistic people out there, of saying ‘why is my life is bloody hard?’ In the last few weeks I have been thinking life is pretty hard, like the self centred creature I am; I have even written a list of what I am fucked off about. And I have had a cold all week and my fucking nose is blocked and I can’t even taste my Easter chocolate, wah. There’s a humour aspect when I write something on this blog, obviously. But focusing on the bad shit is probably not useful.
I always thought constantly reflecting on what you are grateful for is pretty fucking hokey concept, but I happened across a rather good podcast as I was walking along the river the other day and have begun to rethink the ‘battling’ as just one of those shitty inevitabilities about being an adult. The basic thing is everyone thinks they must battle more shit than others. And that’s not useful for anyone.
The thesis put forward by the most excellent boys at freakonomics was that we have tailwinds and headwinds. When we have a headwind we struggle to move against it, and battle, but then the wind changes we get a tailwind to boost us along – and even after not very long we forget the tailwind and to appreciate it. And we should appreciate those tailwinds a bit more.
In fairness, it’s been awhile since I have been for a jog, and longer since I have been on my bike, but I get it.
A close friend recently vented to me (maybe people just vent to me) that her husband was away 3 weeks out of four, and he never actively parented, and she would really prefer it if he stopped playing on his phone over dinner. Probably being grateful for the good stuff (healthy children, nice shoes, etc.) would be useful to remember. Everyone’s allowed a vent, but to dwell will bring you down.
Do you know, for instance, how much it took you to become a human? So many eggs don’t become anything. That’s quite special. What about the fact you are reading this on the internet right now? You have access to that. A fuckload of the world doesn’t have that privilege. Perhaps rather than worrying about the five extra kilos of chub (conservatively) I have been carting around, I should be grateful for the fact we enough money to feed ourselves?
So, I am going to write every day for the next week of stuff I am grateful for, and see at the end of the week if I am still thinking why the fuck do I have to battle everything. The argument put forward is that gratitude has been shown to be good for us. And I’m willing to test out that thesis. SO! New positive Bridgey.
Today I am grateful for the lovely night we had in Gembrook last night at a magnificent restaurant, and how lovely and bright the stars were as we walked back to the house.