Thursday, 6 June 2013

Zen and the art of positivity



I'm feeling cheerful today. Don't really know why, just have a feeling of positivity about me. Perhaps it's because it's sunny (highly likely to be because it's sunny, in fact; how depressing our usual grey backdrop is), maybe it's because I know that The Annoying One is away next week and the office will be so much calmer and more pleasant without him, maybe it's because I have a particularly good tune on the go. Maybe it's a mixture of all three, maybe it has nothing whatsoever to do with any of it. Don't know, don't really care. I'm feeling less-than-depressed today, and that's good.

I quite like feeling like this because it means I actually do stuff. When I feel my usual self I tend not to want to do anything. Why is that? The more bored you are, the less inclined you are to pick yourself up and do things, even if things need doing, even if doing those things might make you less bored. Is it because actually those things themselves are inherently boring? Can't be, not everything is inherently boring. Or is it because the fog in front of your eyes is so impenetrable that the synapses in your head marked 'that'll be interesting' just don't fire? Whatever it is, sunshine, good tunes and the knowledge that I'll soon have a week off from having to deal with The Annoying One conspire to make Marcos a happy chappie. Let's strip naked and rejoice!

I do have one regret this morning. I’m a bit of an avid photographer. Like to take photos of stuff. Been doing it a while, and have a very large and heavy professional looking camera that makes me look as though I know what I'm doing. Every now and again I think to myself ‘really should carry my camera around with me.’ The only problem is that it is very large and heavy, and carrying it about is a bit of a pain (even if I'm not already carrying other things, which I often am), and this morning despite the weather being glorious and sunny, and the sky being blue, the grass being green and the conditions being bloody marvellous for a nice bit of photo taking action, I took one look at the thing and decided it was too much like hard work. Left it at home. Now of course I'm sat on the train on the way into work and getting more and more frustrated at myself by the minute as I realise what a complete tosspot I am. Lazy, weak willed, slothful. Allow opportunities to run past me with barely a look. If my headstone has an epitaph it's likely to be "Fuck it, that'll do."

Happiness doesn't last long, does it? Feeling quite fucked off now.

My life is full of little regrets. When you look at them all individually they don't amount to much, but add them all up and they lead inexorably to a deathbed revelation of despair and futility. Well, perhaps that's a bit strong. Didn't want to use 'regret' twice, you see, but it's probably more accurate: a deathbed revelation of utter regret at missed opportunities. For example, I once spent ten years learning how to fly, on and off. Ten years. Got quite good at it in the end, could fly in the end. Spent thousands of pounds on lessons, amassed about 60 hours of flying time, got as far as doing my QXC (qualifying cross country flight, for the uninitiated: a solo cross country flight from Stapleford in Essex, to Leicester, to Cambridge and back - in fact got lost on the way to Cambridge, that was a sphincter puckering moment), sat and passed five of the necessary seven written exams...and then stopped. I felt I had my reasons at the time, of course. The Child had just been born, money was tight, flying was taking up rather a lot of my time... but it's all utter tripe, really. All that time, all that money, all that effort, tossed away because deep down I'd grown tired of it and was secretly a little bit nervous at having to take the flight test.


Or playing the piano; spent years learning how to do that as well, and I really was good at it. Did my grade exams, was playing grade 8 and diploma pieces with ease, liked nothing more than to spend every waking hour tinkling away, practice wasn't a chore at all. Performing was a joy. Even got to perform my own pieces at the Queen Elizabeth Hall once, and believe me there’s no drug that can quite replicate the feeling you get when you soak up the applause of a thousand people. Then what happened? Life got in the way again. Exams took precedence. Going out with my friends took precedence. Not being arsed took precedence. Truth be told I got bored with it. I thought I'd take a break and come back to it, except of course I never really did. Now, years later, I can still play the odd little thing but not like before. All that effort, all that time.... Patterns do tend to repeat themselves, don't they?
I get bored, that's my real problem. I flit. My father was the same. He'd get really into something, spend a fortune on it, think of nothing else  and bore us all senseless for months, and then one day simply wake up and decide he didn't like 'it' anymore. Maybe I've got it from him then, this mad passion about something, this intense desire to do something, to become good at it, and then a sudden overwhelming boredom with it as soon as I have become good at it. Maybe that's why I've suddenly decided I loathe my job. Spent years on it, a great deal of effort, got quite good at it....and now I'd quite like to give it up and live in a cave somewhere.

How do you cure a problem like Marcos, eh?

Despite appearances, I am actually still quite positive. The urge to walk out in front of traffic was still there this morning (‘come on then, you feckers, prove you’re paying attention,’), but my usual desire to maim my fellow commuters with a blunt plastic coffee spoon just wasn’t. Positivity, see.