Sunday, 8 January 2012

Don't talk to me about Life

I have been musing about people's positive and negative attitudes to life having been acutely aware of the difference these attitudes make to those around them since childhood. My parents, for instance were at the extreme ends. To Dad waiting at a busy road to turn right in the car meant "We'll be here all day" or "Well never get out of here" and to Mum it meant looking for an opportunity and a "chance to shine". If the weather turned dull and it started to rain to Dad it meant "it's set in for the day" and to Mum it meant it was a "clearing up shower" or if there was a smidgeon of blue in the sky she used the hopeful  "enough to make a Dutchman's pair of trousers" saying. When I was older she and I even had a jokey way of imagining what tiny strips of blue sky sky were enough for which Dutchman's apparel!

random pouting child
My brother  tended to his Dad's side as a child in the optimism-pessimism stakes and we felt it most keenly on holiday. His moaning, pouting lips were dubbed as "Lips to Penzance" [we were mostly in Cornwall in the early years ] and I later re dubbed this in my own children as "Lips to Kettering" as we were midland based.

As an 18 year old I went on a boat trip to Denmark. 18 hours at sea and 4 hours in the country in effect. All the people I went with moaned the whole time about how BORED they were and I left them and joined another group who were dressed up in animal skins as some kind of history group and we danced all the way there and back through storm and calm. I had a whale of a time! It taught me a valuable lesson I think.

There is something quite amusing about taking a pessimistic view on things though. We all love characters like Eeyore and I have plenty of Eeyore like people in my life...more on conspiracy theorist another time perhaps.

Eeyore - why does it always rain on me?
Another character that amuses me is Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhikers Galaxy to the Galaxy with his entreaties.."don't talk to me about life"  and his moans that he has "The brain the size of a planet  and all I get is "Open the door Marvin"".  
Of course we all have days when we have every reason to feel negative and days [or moments even] when we feel unaccountably cheerful or miserable. Even though we might like to think we are in control of our emotions I think how we view life is overwhelmingly down to the chemical changes that are going on in our body and not a lot to do with how the others around you are behaving.


  1. I am somewhere in the middle. I suffer from neither extreme optimism nor extreme pessimism - a bit boring probably! It does make for a peaceful life though!

  2. Your story of joining the skin clad group made me smile. I too grew up in a negative environment and it's very hard to stop myself from slipping back into it at times.

  3. On FB Eileen said
    Optimistically yours!

    and Jan said
    I tend towards pessimism in order not to be disappointed when things don't work out. I also think sunshine, or lack of it, has a huge effect on mood and thus outlook.

    Heather - not boring - perfect in my book who needs such ups and downs!

    Rosalind - not as negative as it sounds with such a positive Mum. Made up for it in spades! Easy to catch yourself spiralling down though as you say.

  4. It's good to have balance in any relationship be it a marriage, friendship, or whatever. I try hard to be positive. Whichever we choose, it can affect those around us. Hopefully the effect is a good one.

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