Dare I say it but summer might actually be here and yeah I know that I usually start off every single one of my blog posts with a comment about the weather, like an awkward ice-breaker. My mother would probably tell you that my middle name is ‘awkward,’ so it’s quite fitting.
I’ve taken a break from sunbathing in the garden so that hayfever doesn’t turn me into a snotty mess (anyone else have shares in Benadryl?) and I was inspired to write a post by the book I’m currently reading- The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick.
I haven’t see the movie yet and I’m only halfway through the book so no spoilers please. From what I’ve read so far, the main character is Pat Peoples, a guy who has just been released from a psychiatric unit and desperately wants to reconcile with his wife Nikki again, despite the advice from his family. Pat is happy to have a new therapist, who doesn’t write down or analyse every little thing he says and appears to be understanding of Pat’s optimism in life, something which the doctors in the institution he was in, lacked. He’s fascinated by clouds and therefore believes in the ol’ mantra of ‘Every cloud has a silver lining.’
It made me think whether that old saying is just an optimist’s belief, y’know like “the glass is always half-full,” or “there’s always light at the end of a tunnel,” or is it some sort of ego defence mechanism that people use when the going gets tough because most people like to believe in hope. I mean, is there always a positive spin on a bad situation?
Don’t think for a second that I’m disregarding the entire notion because I’m one of those people who does try to see the bright side of things even when it can be quite difficult to do so. My motto in life afterall is C’est la vie but the book has made me think about what we do when no silver lining appears?
It also made me think whether the silver lining mantra also ‘appears’ to us when things start looking up again. If you think about all of the crappy things that have ever happened to you in your life, I can guarantee you that we only start to see the positives once we have cried or stopped being angry or sad. Emotions may be a mind-set but I think physically our bodies have to go through a healing process too, the ol’ Fight or Flight syndrome when we either decide to face something or run for the hills. I mean, do we only see the silver lining once we’ve reflected on things?
For me, whenever I look back on certain past events that haven’t exactly been pleasant, I always try and look at them as some sort of learning curve, even if they were beyond my control. That’s another reason why I think it’s important not to regret anything because life throws small challenges at you to make you learn, whether it’s an explicit one or not.
While I’m not an all-dancing, all-singing, butterflies and rainbows kind of optimist, I think it’s good to believe in certain life mantras, even if it’s just to keep some sort of sanity like Pat Peoples.
That’s my food for thought for today, enjoy the rest of your Bank Holiday!