In my recent post, My Zombie Christmas, I whined about how the flu virus made me feel like a zombie. There was some dark humour in there, but essentially it was a complaint about how much I detested feeling like crap.
Boo-hoo, right? Poor Dave, feeling sorry for himself. Get over it man, it’s just a virus.
After reading Sarah Potters January Guest Storyteller post featuring David Milligan-Croft, I visited his blog and was astounded at David’s dedication to writing 365 posts in 2014 about what he was thankful for.
And that got me thinking.
I’m not the most dedicated blogger around, and often leave it weeks before I remember to post anything new. Sure, my posts tend to be quite long, but they’re not frequent. Whereas David showed he could write one every day, often short but rich in quality and worthy of time spent absorbing his message.
Now, there’s no way I could hope to write one every day in 2015, it’s not in my nature to be so dedicated. But I felt inspired more by David giving thanks than his actual posts.
Plus, I wasn’t entirely happy at how I started the new year with a massive moan. So why not turn that around and strive to be more positive this year? I feel I’m a pretty positive chap, yet I am drawn to the dark side of life, in a twisty and broken kind of way.
I can be positive, I’m sure of it.
So why not offer up some thanks to things that make my life what it is? I’m not saying I’ve turned over some wretched new leaf and have decided to fill my cup with icky positive vibes, posting colourful memes with disposable messages.
You see that? Yuk.
The interweb is riddled with that kind of filth. Does that really make people happy? Does that image inspire you? Or does it make you feel a little bit sick because yet another unnaturally happy person is trying to ram hot throbbing positivity down your throat?
That sort of message makes me angry.
I’ll be positive in my own time, thanks very much Mr Pointless Meme Creator.
If you like that shit, go Google “positive” and stare at the image results. I’m all for spreading good vibes, smiling and the paying-it-forward malarkey, but these days I’m more of a pragmatist and prefer to accept the world in a more balanced way.
Too much of one thing and you become a bit weird.
The Glass – half empty, or half full?
Everyone has an answer to that question, and everyone knows how to argue the toss over whether their answer is the right one.
Some might argue that the way I wrote the heading above is very telling as to my state of mind.
I could have written it as:
The Glass – half full, or half empty?
And you may have had a different reaction to the question.
It doesn’t matter which side you take, you’re wrong in someone’s eyes. As for me, I prefer to consider the glass as none of these things. The glass will always be in a different state, ranging from empty, a drop in the bottom, a quarter full, half full, almost full, to full.
And if you can accept that idea, I think you’re more likely to be a better person for it. Life will often hurl a shit sandwich at you and drain your glass, though I’m not saying life jams a shit sandwich in your glass and replaces the water. That would be weird.
At the other end of the spectrum, life hands you golden moments and your glass is overflowing. The water of life ebbs and flows because there has to be a balance.
Okay, Dave, about these genes, yeah?
Right, back to my point. I like looking at the dark side of life, and indeed explored it in my novel, The Range, yet despite my characters chowing on some serious shit sandwiches, they were touched by positivity. The themes of chaos, rage and violence were balanced by love, loyalty, friendship and courage.
I like that about life. The fact there’s always a balance between things.
So, just because I like the dark and twisty, doesn’t mean I live there all the time. And giving thanks to stuff is my way to actively remember how much good there is all around me.
I’m not promising a vast post once a week on the reasons why I’m giving thanks to stuff. I am indeed grateful for so much in my life, so why not share that with others?
Just like how I shared my ice-cream with lovely Ben here.
Giving Thanks to my genes.
I’m grateful to my parents for combining their genes to create me. I am here because of their DNA and I wouldn’t want to be any different.
Some people say they’d like a nicer nose, smaller belly/bottom/ears/boobs, longer legs, less/more hair in certain places, and a million other combinations that make me think: “Really? Can’t you just be happy with who you are?”
Okay, there are plenty of people in the world who aren’t lucky, who have very good reasons for wanting to be different. And I sympathise and agree with them.
However, when normal people bitch and moan about their lives, it makes me think how ungrateful they are. My life isn’t perfect, but I don’t wish I could go back and change any of it because everything that has happened to me, from conception to the nasty zombie virus over Christmas, has helped shape me into the good person I am today.
One tiny adjustment to my genes and I’d be a different person.
I don’t want that.
I like me. I’m comfortable with my physical oddities – weight issues, eczema on my fingers in hot weather and too much hair in places. In my youth I was overweight, lazy and raged against nothing. But right now I’m happy where I am.
I guess there is a good argument for nature versus nurture, but I like to think that without my genes, without that inherited set of instructions, I’d be a wholly different person. Sure, experiences shape who we are and guide us on the path of life, but it’s the building blocks we’re given that make us who we are.
It’s funny because right now I want to argue against myself, and insist that every tiny experience shapes our moral and ethical compass. And that can lead down the path of arguing about causality, a topic I love to debate.
Nevertheless, my genes are who I am, first and foremost.
And I’m grateful for being coded just the way I am.