A Different View with Dave O’Connell
Sometimes it really doesn’t help to think too much; we’re better off as worker ants, heads down, pushing the stone up the hill, rather than wondering just how futile an exercise that really is.
It’s only when we take the foot off the pedal and pause for reflection that the problems kick in – when we start to remember those we’ve lost, the struggles we endure, the obstacles that always seem to rest in our way.
That may seem depressing or defeatist, but the truth is that we’re better off biting off life in small bits.
It’s like winter – if, like half the world, the thought of long, dark, cold, wet nights stretching out for months in front of you is enough to send you into a tailspin, you’ll find it much easier to just think of the season as one week at a time.
There was a friend of mine whose wife had cancer at a time when they were expecting their second child to add to the active toddler already occupying their busy lives.
Cancer is a tough time in any context but imagine finding out you had the disease at a time when treatment wasn’t possible because it would threaten your unborn baby.
Both of the expectant parents happen to work in radio – and so, in an effort to come to terms with their devastation, they decided to think of this as a radio programme.
In other words, if you looked at three hours of broadcasting lying out in front of you, it could be overwhelming – but if you break it down into the fifteen minute slots between the ad breaks, suddenly it doesn’t seem quite so daunting.
And that’s also a good approach to life, particularly during the times when it might be hard to deal with.
It’s particularly prevalent at this time of year when you’re reminded of the past at every hand’s turn – and then you’re bombarded with predictions for the future that boil down to one thing…it won’t be getting any easier any time soon.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year if you’re a child and the New Year is party central if you’re in the first quarter of adulthood, but things go wrong when you start to think.
You remember Christmases past, those days of your childhood, waking up on Christmas morning to see what Santa left under the tree.
All happy and innocent times – but then you remember those who sat around that dinner table and now long gone, you think of siblings who now live on the other side of the world and nostalgia turns to sadness.
New Year’s Eve is even worse because at least Christmas is a traditional holiday – December 31 should be just another night out but instead we now have to reflect on the last twelve months and resolve to make a whole load of changes first thing in the morning.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.