Sunday, 20 January 2019

Relentless Optimism

I've had a lot of blog ideas colliding in my head over the past few weeks but haven't been able to pin down anything concrete, so apologies if this one strays.  Things haven't been helped by me being in a bit of a fug since mid December - lots of causes that I won't bore you with but suffice to say I temporarily misplaced my usual chirpy demeanour.

The more I pondered the more I realised that all the ideas were actually related.  I wanted to write about Health -v- Wealth and how we are continually encouraged to trade a desire for bigger, better and shinier things by working longer hours which we ultimately pay for with our health.

I also wanted to write a blog called "I wore pink today" about how easily we miss the signs that someone around us is depressed, or struggling, because we're so wrapped up with our own struggles and challenges.  We miss the fact that someone who normally wears bright and cheerful colours is suddenly wearing a lot of grey and black.  Of course it might be nothing more than a new fashion trend (or the only clean thing in the wardrobe!) but we so rarely ask to check.

I also wanted to write something about the health benefits of being outdoors; not just on our mental health but on our overall wellbeing.  The benefits of removing our faces from a phone screen and sucking in great lungfuls of fresh air.  Our electronic devices are purveyors of doom and inadequacy.  There's a saying in journalism: "If it bleeds, it leads".  Bad news sells so in many ways we've only ourselves to blame.  Even negative comments by "trolls" attract more attention than positive "yeah that's amazing" posts and we all have that one friend who only ever comments to pick out the flaws in something we just shared...

Right now things look bleak.  January is never a good month - we're all broke after Christmas, the nights are long and dark and for some insane reason people insist on making it even tougher by giving up alcohol, going vegan or forcing themselves to go to the gym when they really don't want to.  The news isn't helping with Brexit dividing families, Trump trying to literally divide the American continent and a bunch of people getting upset because Gillette are suggesting that bullying kids and harassing women isn't how men should behave.

On top of all that I'm bombarded with adverts telling me that getting old is a bad thing and that somehow I can reverse the ageing process by buying some ludicrously expensive gloop to smear on my face.  I'm no Brian Cox but I'm pretty sure it will take a serious deviation from the laws of physics to stop me getting older.  Ageing is a fact of life.  It's a fact of the universe - but we live in a culture that celebrates and values youth and beauty.  Well, b******s to that! 

I once did a personality assessment which told me that it is my "relentless optimism" which most annoys other people so I have chosen to take that as a compliment and not only build on it, but channel it right into the heart of everything Cumbrian Rambler does.  The world is NOT full of misery but it is so easy to miss the good stuff, or overlook the small joys in everyday living and find faults instead of fun. So, here it is.  In a world where s**t happens every single day this is my remedy for 2019; I will find the fun in everything I can and continue my relentless optimism to the end - who's with me?


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