Grey Expectations

So… this will be my 50th post – I’ll leave short pause for everyone to go “Oooh!”

What does this mean? Well… it means absolutely nothing, except that, perhaps in this case, it will probably be fairly short. This has nothing to do with the number, and much more to do with having to use a broken keyboard (I am away with my children for the weekend, and using a borrowed laptop).

I guess, as I sit here in the heart of the Peak District; the freezing wind outside stripping branches off rain-soaked trees, under the oppressive grey ceiling of January… It occurs that I may be one of those Seasonal Affective Disorder people. I am fairly well known for my optimism, and a sunny disposition which irritates the crap out of most who dare to get in its way, so it has surprised me how easily that optimism has deserted me in recent weeks, but it may well be just Januaryness. When the end of March approaches, you can’t keep me down with 200 lead balloons and a bag of homeless puppies, peeing on a newspaper adorned with headlines of armageddon. The spring brings fresh, bright greens to the trees and hedgerows, which rustle with a thousand screwing bunnies. Roadkill is on the rise, and as that all-too-cocky squirrel bounces off your headlight and slides lifelessly into the gutter, you turn up the radio, roll down your car window, breathe in the humid, petrol-choked air and enjoy the ludicrous conceit that you’re inhaling nature. The Summer air crackles with thunder and the warm days roll into autumn before you can say “Wash the barbecue tongs in the paddling pool and defrost the sausages, Doris! Tonight we dine like Kings!” You can hold the pessimism of the approaching winter at bay for a couple of months as you first notice the beauty of the changing colours in the trees, and then look forward to the smiling faces of children; huddled round a pile of gifts beneath a fire-warmed tree on Christmas morning. Then, finally, the tinsel comes down and you squeeze the last drops of optimism out of the bottle; using it all up on New Year celebrations, and resolutions intended to bring about a new dawn for humanity… or at least a diet.

So here I am in January… Optimism-less, clock-watching, and cold. I love science-fiction, but I could never live permanently in the shadow of nuclear winter. I’d throw myself in front of the first stampeding 50ft cockroach I could find. Like a sexually frustrated builder in a portaloo… I need the Sun. I need to soak up its radiation like Brandon Routh in a funny red sheet. It’s the only explanation I can think of for why I’ve spent so much time looking down at my wet shoes, even though my life is looking up. I wait with pouting breath to see if my life is going to move in the direction I want it to over the next few weeks, and wonder whatever happened that left me so completely convinced I don’t deserve happiness, that when it comes along, all wrapped in ribbon and virtually falling over itself to be a part of my life, I convince myself that this perfect package must be letter-bomb; that I’ll die screaming as the car I won in a competition on the back of a crisp packet, explodes, the first time I turn the ignition.

Am I the only person who feels this way? Am I the only one convinced that the ink is going to run as I go to cash my winning lottery ticket? Why can’t I just accept good fortune for what it is?

If anyone reading this finds they have the same problem… please, let me know.


4 comments on “Grey Expectations

  1. The SAME problem I’m not so sure. I tend not to get depressed for extended periods of time, but what weather we’re having certainly has a profound effect on my mood, for the most part.
    I just hope you can kick the SAD and get into the GLAD (Giddy, Ludicrous and Almost Drugged) of spring sometime soon :).


  2. Knowing you at all Jim I would say that you will have to GLAD back in you before the rest of us even consider the opportunity. And on happiness, I wouldn’t go as far as to say ever one deserves it, but since you can make me smile while talking about misery and lack of optimism, you sure as hell do. Everything will work out, you have to believe that to have any chance of it being true. And there I go with the optimism, damn you Jim….

    Great stuff as always, looking forward to more.


    • Thanks very much for that, Ben. It’s nice that someone stills remembers Optimistic Prime! He seems to have taken a winter holiday, but there’s nothing especially unusual about that.

      Always great to read your comments, buddy. Hope to see you again soon.


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