Monday, March 16, 2009

'Yes, but ...': how to tell if your blahs are serious blahs

That old chestnut 'Count your blessings' has saved me from the pits on a number of occasions over the years, as have 'This, too, will pass', 'Think of it as good life experience', 'Think of it scientifically', 'Worse things happen at sea', 'At least you don't have insomnia', 'Just get through the next fifteen minutes', 'Breathe in, breathe out' and, if all else fails, that immortal line from Northern Exposure: 'Suck it up, Fleischman.'

Usually, as is currently the case, the serious blahs are not about anything concrete but rather an accretion of small or non-immediate facts, foibles, f*ckups and fears. When I get the blahs, which doesn't actually happen all that often,'Count your blessings' usually works straight away, so you know your blahs are serious blahs if a little interior voice immediately pipes up after each blessing saying 'Yes, but...', so that your blessings list looks like this:

The lemon tree was not killed by the 47 degree heat and is thriving. Yes, but its roots are probably what's blocking next door's plumbing.

Obama won the election. Yes, but look at the state of the world.

You are ahead of schedule with your weekly deadline for once. Yes, but this incredibly depressing novel about the execution of a counterrevolutionary in provincial China in 1979 is going to slow me right down.

It's raining. Yes, but the gutters need cleaning out and I might end up with water running down the inside walls like I did in the winter of 2006.

Labor's in federally and in nearly all the states. Yes, but how can you tell?

Look at the cats. Yes, but ... um ...

It always works eventually.



15 comments:

Henry said...

The world is in the sewer
And my super's done a bunk
My choices now are fewer
And I am in a funk.

The garden's gone a crinkly brown
My waist is getting fat
But none of this will get me down
Because I have a cat.

Mindy said...

Everytime I feel like bitching about my job I have to remind myself that at least I have a job. Then when I start worrying if I will still have a job post June 30 I think about all the time I could spend with my kids and the money I would save on childcare. Sometimes it works.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Mindy, indeed. I too think self-consolingly about all the time I'd have if I lost my job. Time to get out there and frantically trawl for work.

Henry, that was very beautiful, and uncannily accurate in every respect.

TimT said...

Heat didn't kill my parents lemon tree. But it's in imminent danger from this.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Oh oh oh, Border Collie porn! I do so heart Border Collies.

cristy said...

Hope the blahs are receeding. (Did I misspell that?)

Pavlov's Cat said...

Thank you, Cristy, they are indeed. I've had a lovely message from a mate and there is, as yet, no water running down the walls.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

Clearly a smudged cracked glass nearly empty person. You'll never get a gig being interviewed by Oprah, even with an Austalian vampire love story about a child bride overcoming great odds and becoming wealthy.

The Paradoxical Cat said...

Cats are proof that the universe is insane and we may as well just enjoy the ride.

Your picture cured my blahs anyway :-)

Ampersand Duck said...

Sometimes my glass feels half empty, but I do a list like yours and then fill my glass with a nice NZ Sav Blanc and all's right with the world again.

We've started getting cold, which means I get extra servings of cat, especially in bed, and that helps too.

Fine said...

A few years ago I was very involved in the Van Nguyen case (the guy who was executed in Singapore for drug trafficking). His grace and poise under pressure was amazing. So, whenever I'm feeling blah, the thought pops into my head, 'at least I'm not being executed tomorrow.' It's quite effective at times.

Feral Sparrowhawk said...

I think this might be the genesis of a meme, if it isn't already circulating.

I'm sure you deserve a better first apostle than my effort, but it's here:

http://rapturousthinking.blogspot.com/2009/03/counting-ones-unblessings.html

Anonymous said...

Apologies if my response came across as excessively flippant. I figured from your later comments things were better, but got a bit worried after I had posted.

Maybe the fact it is now not accepting my password indicates displeasure on blogspot's part.

FS

Pavlov's Cat said...

Not at all, FS. Excellent news about the chocolate, BTW.

Feral Sparrowhawk said...

It's only set to be rolled out in the UK next year, and if it succeeds here the year after, I believe. So there is still time to get in shape.