(Okay. Amongst other profound and useful things. For example, the instructions to my new rice cooker proved pretty invaluable when I cooked rice last night.)
Something occurred to me recently – I spend an awful lot of time feeling melancholy about things. Usually family related. Always time related.
And let me tell you, Time is a robbing bastard and feeling at the mercy of it can get pretty exhausting.
Let me delve into this for you.
Almost everyday, my happy moments have the power to actually flip-reverse, and make me feel the total opposite. And I wouldn’t mind betting that this is an entirely common mind-set, particularly amongst parents. Because there is just something about having those rapidly growing children around which makes the everyday life so poignant; SO meaningful and SO true … That its sometimes just too much to bare. Am I right or am I right?
But of course, regardless of whether you do or don’t have children in your life, I’m pretty sure that beyond a certain point (for me its been since hitting my thirties) we are all painfully aware of that sodding, fast approaching demon that is ‘ageing’. Yuk. And we are all busy doing it right now, just ageing away; those plumped-up, collagen and time rich, bouncy cells of youth just slipping through our (probably sun-damaged … soon to be arthritic) fingers. God damn it.
To clarify: I’ve begun the terrible habit of feeling sad that moments/days/hours etc, are over, BEFORE THEY’VE EVEN BEGUN. How insane is that? And what a truly stupid way to live ones’ life and approach the everyday.
And if that’s how I feel about the humble everyday, don’t even get me started on Birthdays and Christmases. Its harrowing stuff.
I mean, its like I’ve gone and taken the notion “Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses” a little too far. I cant stop smelling those darn things. And I appreciate them so much. What is with all of that exhausting appreciation?
I know, I know. I’m doing just what all the Facebook quotes tell me to do, so its a good thing. Yes. But we cant just stop everything all of the time, and spend our lives copping a giant waff, we’ve got to actually walk past the metaphorical blooms of beauty in order to get shit done too, right? Otherwise we get stuck in some kind of futile vacuum of sad, sad sniffing and sniffling and reflecting like our lives depend on it. They don’t.
Whilst all of this full and deep appreciation of the right-now is crucial, and Zen like, its not the full picture.
So If I’m not careful, I risk missing out on enjoying all the other bits too; the pruning, the dormancy, the fertilizing, and lets be honest, the occasional need for some serious dead-heading once the bloom has invariably bloomed and stop blooming forever more. For ALL OF the above is part and parcel of life. The whole cycle of the rose counts, not just its smell.
I think that maybe I’m just too sensitive to stuff sometimes. Too empathetic as well, which, by the way technically makes me the exact opposite of a Psychopath, which is good.
But Anti-Psychopathy aside, I recently read a wonderful interview with Helena Bonham Carter in Red mag back in November of last year, which soon managed to whip me out and off of this silly thought path and set me on some much nicer feeling tracks.
And it went a little something like this:
‘We’re getting dilapidated, but you can’t control that, so why worry? I’m more conscious of the kids’ childhood going, because that goes so fast, it’s a bit like watching one of those time lapses. There’s no pressing pause. You’ve just got to say goodbye all the time, but also say hello. You must remember to say hello. So I’m going to say hello to my 5-0 – because otherwise when I’m 60 I’ll be going, “Oh, you should’ve enjoyed your fifties”‘
And just like that, I am cured. Thanks Helena.
Remember to say Hello.
A simple mantra, isn’t it?
But something I forgot to do. And for a while there I allowed myself to wallow too much in the goodbyes; the goodbyes of each day as I put my children to bed; the goodbyes of each Christmas as we took down the tree; the goodbyes of school terms; of weekends done and dusted come Sunday evening, of old photo’s where everyone was younger, and of people no longer here.
It can’t ALL be about the goodbyes.
We simply can’t dwell for too long because there just isn’t time. I think Richard Gere said that, or along those lines anyway… he is also quoted as saying ‘Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many’ And I really like that too. Kind of makes me feel silly for feeling sad about what’s past.. and what’s also busy passing me by on a daily basis. I cant press pause, so I may as well stop wishing I could and just crack the hell on with it all and enjoy this super fast ride called life.
And ageing? No, not yuk. More, Yes. Thank you. Hello.
Can you relate? Do you feel sad with the passing days … does watching your children grow older make you feel melancholy too? Perhaps you’re an Anti-Psychopath too … is that even a thing, and if so, what’s it called? an Emoshopath?
We would love to read your comments below.
Thank you for reading, Anna x