For the miserable, moody and mercurial, one’s outlook can swivel on a sixpence. Or dime, if you prefer.
Not so for the irrepressibly cheerful, the waggy Labradors who go through life with a smile on their face and the conviction they are about to win the lottery. Waggies are always cheerful, pretty much. It takes a lot to get a Labrador down.
Back to the perennially miserable. The external situation may change little and yet the mood might swing through 180 degrees. And back again. It has to be down to wonky wiring.
Today was a case in point. I have been working on a project for over a year with little success. With repeated failure in fact. And then today, after my arrival at our cottage on the happily unfashionable East Kent coast, I was met with the news that the project had blossomed.
After a few bad weeks (or has it been months?) something has actually gone right. Sadly I have not won the lottery but then I am too mean (and too statistically aware) to engage in that absurdity.
None the less, the triumph feels to be a pretty major one. Suddenly the sun shines and I can see the Teletubbies dancing in the garden. Lala, Dipsy, Po and of course Tinky-Winky.
I am always reminded of my wife and her sisters when I watch the Teletubbies. And there the merry, bossy little souls are, dancing around like rotund little faeries in the garden.
Is there any lesson to be learned from all this? No, I don’t think there is really. The trite tropes one may find scattered throughout the internet come to mind. All of which are bollux.
Don’t give up. Keep trying. Rome wasn’t built….. Bollox.
The stark fact is that we are all built differently and we are largely stuck with the results of the genetic lottery.
I was reminded today that an uncle of mine suffered from black moods. I had forgotten the poor fellow had a major meltdown and became convinced the CIA were after him. He was a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong back in the ’60s, and his specialist subject was Tibet.
That was in the days of the truly warped and horrible monster Mao Tse Tung. What a brute he was, with his nasty little red books and bad tailoring. Should have tried Sam’s in Hong Kong. Wonder if they are still there? I must have had all of 20 suits made there 30 years ago and promptly stuck two fingers up to investment banking. So I never really wore any of them – still stuck in the attic I think.
Anyway poor old Uncle H was convinced the CIA were after him and to be fair, a left wing university prof might well have been a target, especially if he had inside info on the ghastly Reds.
There seem to be a lot of nutters among my close and immediate family; some of them are still around, creating chaos and misery for their nearest and dearest.
And so back to me. Miserable victim of an uncaring and random universe. Recipient of three pounds of grey shyte which passes for a brain; all the wrong bits connected to all the other wrong bits.
What to do when you are amidst the encircling gloom? Stuck somewhere half way across the Styx. Well, you could, I suppose reach for your copy of the Peaceful Pill Handbook.
The only other remedy I have found remotely helpful is to cut off, completely and utterly from everyone and everything. Bring down the shutters, lock the door. Disconnect the phone. Refuse to speak to anyone – those around you can contribute little at these dark times.
And then the fog may lift for while; not for long perhaps. But you enjoy it while it does; “normality” briefly returns.
It is hardly surprising that such a condition comes to rule your life. It warps and corrodes your every thought and governs your every achievement (or non-achievement). For many of us, a job would be impossible.
I’m sure some manage better than others. But my natural state of mind is cynicism and introspection. And of course black pessimism. For the world, the universe and for my own particular corner of it.
The Labrador wears rose tinted spectacles; I wear impenetrably black lenses.