Right, I can see how that quote might have seemed a little bleak, particularly in light of last Monday’s entry. But really, no. Not bleak. Granted, last week was difficult and depressing and dreary and other words not beginning with D, but my indefatigable cheer is picking up again, dear readers, and I feel confident that it’s all going to work out just fine.
So what’s up with the quote, then? Well, I was pondering this the other day after talking to my mother – bless her, she’s fabulous, but positive thinking is not in her core repertoire. She seems a bit out of sorts when there’s nothing to worry about, and (perversely) most comfortable when there’s the shadow of a catastrophe on the horizon. Give her a glass half full and she’ll visualise how it’ll look after it’s been dropped and broken. Obviously, this is not the healthiest weltanschaung, and I’ve therefore been trying (for years, really) to teach her to at least try not to fixate quite so much on the possibility that everything’s going to go horribly horribly wrong. Sometimes it even seems to be working. And all this time I’ve been more or less running with the unspoken assumption that this is how most people work – looking on the bright side at least most of the time, seeing the happy possibility in things.
Apparently this is not the case. Apparently (so I’m told) I’m borderline Pollyannaish at times – though my ability to beat myself up at the slightest provocation does even things out considerably. And I’ve begun to see that my reaction to my own unhappiness, when it comes along, is odd too. When I’ve got something to work through or turn over and over in my head hoping for a solution to appear, or just something to worry the edges of until I drive myself halfway round the bend, I do a lot of brooding, but I do it in written form (though not often here). And in pictures. And in long walks observing the neighbourhood, which invariably cheer me – if there’s not a delicious-smelling flowering tree, there’s at least a good bit of graffiti somewhere. In fact, I enjoy all of those things. My best writing, almost without exception, has been done when I’m upset about something, and many of my favourite photos were taken on those walks. So, it occurs to me, even when I’m unhappy I’m kind of… well, not exactly happy, obviously, but sort of OK about it anyway. And the Davies quote got me to articulate that, mentally at least, for the first time. Which I thought was pretty cool.