I’ve been sad this week which is unusual for me. Getting me to shut up and stop being an unceasing cheerful sod,those that see me every day will tell you, is a tough trick to do. My wife, my kids, my workmates all suffer my silliness, comedic and childish outlook on the world. I’m proud to be a half full type of person even at the worst of times, irrepressible but not so this week.
Then again, perhaps sad is the wrong word. Perhaps melancholic is a better one to use, a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.
I’m getting older, soon to enter my second half century, and though I kid myself I’m still a wiper snapper my bones ache longer post exercise, glasses placed on the end of my nose to read and love of my slippers are suggesting otherwise. That and my world class ability to grow the odd hair on my ears overnight tells me otherwise too.
They don’t tell you that’s going to happen when you’re at school do they? And if I’m looking to blame anything and something for my melancholy this week I could point a finger at those times when youthful optimism provided all the answers to all life’s questions.
This week however optimism gave way to a new reality. Let explain by way of an example. I’ve always been loquacious and verbose. In other words, a big mouthed git who normally has something positive to say even in the direst of times.
This week my youthful exuberance faded when faced with occasions when some welcome words where needed or positive spin on some worldly happenings. My melancholy took hold after I realised that sometimes I don’t have the right words or any words to account for such things
There is sometimes nothing when can do or say to put right a wrong, a fleeting moment that defines a life going forward or turns a happy face upside down. All those hopes and aspirations dashed, whether it be a poor performance by the England footie team or more importantly an inability to provide comfort or understanding to another when they need it most.
My melancholic weight has lifted somewhat now, my youthful optimism dashed by time and circumstance but a new reality now occupies its place and should guide future actions.
Wise ‘old’ people have said this before but I didn’t take notice, young people with a lifetime of experience placed on their shoulders to early also have this realisation. People describe them as ‘old souls’.
Quite simply what they know and so I realise now is… We have only now. Now, all we can do is the best we can and the rest that follows… will take care of itself.
How do you do this? In the words of those ‘old souls’ ‘Bill & Ted’… ‘Be excellent to one another’, but I would go further, be excellent to yourself. And if you do, the melancholy that drags you down is an easier burden to carry, then, when the time is right, set aside.
That all said I’m not ready yet or foresee a time when I will set aside my childish silliness, ability to laugh at things that others don’t find funny and I will raise up my half-filled glass and say ‘Cheers’.
RB July 16