It sounds a bit emo, doesn’t it, but there are times I think the universe really has it in for me and I’m sure other people go through the same. It’s like there are cycles of bad and cycles of good and once we’re inside one of them, we can’t get off until fate decides enough is enough. Like one of those horrible fairground rides where you wonder why on earth you’re there in the first place. And why the hell you actually paid for it!
So what can you do? Other than moan to your friends and walk around with your grumpy face on permanently? (Yes, the blobfish in the photo is me in disguise). Well, there are a few things I usually try, as follows (although not necessarily in that order):-
- Listen to music. There’s nothing better when you’re really down than singing along to your favourite song lyrics (preferably when no one else is listening if you have a voice like mine). Green Day’s ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ is pretty much perfect for this. Or any number of cheesy 80’s power ballads. (Sorry, but I love those).
- Immerse myself in the world of books and leave reality altogether and just pretend it’s not happening. If I stay in the fantasy realms for long enough, maybe the bad stuff will go away. That’s the plan anyway. Doesn’t always work, but there are always more books to read and that’s when you really appreciate your TBR pile.
- Ditto with films. With a really good movie you know that for the next two-three hours nothing else will matter because you’re there, in that world, part of the action on the screen and your own life doesn’t exist. Perfect.
- Meet up with my best friends and moan at them in person. Great for me, probably not so great for them.
- Gardening – take out your frustrations on the weeds, they deserve it. Probably not a good option at the moment, with the weather being so cold and all, but in the summer, yes.
- Hug my dogs. I know cat-lovers will probably dispute this, but for me there are no creatures as supportive as dogs. They know when you’re feeling down, they give you unlimited love and don’t mind being hugged. Sympathy is their strength, they’re there for you whenever you need them.
So this week I’ve read three books and started number four, seen two movies and watched some of my favourite TV programmes. I’ve been away from my dogs (travelling) but will be hugging them shortly. And I did get together with some of my very best friends who kindly allowed me to offload a bit. No gardening though – as I said, not a good idea right now.
Did it help? Well, sort of. Sharing is always good as you feel less alone. And it put the bad stuff more in perspective, even though it didn’t make it go away. Getting some distance between yourself and the crap happening sometimes allows you to see the bigger picture and you can give yourself the I’m-actually-pretty-lucky-overall speech. You know, the one your mother used to give you when you were little and complaining about stuff she thought was unimportant in the scheme of things. Because most of our day-to-day problems probably are. Will they matter in a 100 years? Or even 10? Not really.
Okay, enough with the negativity, even if it is Monday – all I’m saying is thank goodness for friends, books, music, movies and dogs! (And sometimes gardens). And now I’m off to channel all this emo stuff into my writing – that’s the best place for it!
Pia Fenton writes contemporary romantic YA stories and her Northbrooke High series features UK heroines clashing with US heroes in an American high school setting. The latest one is New England TLC.