Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Get Over It

‘What a wonderful day it’s going to be,’

I had just breezed in with my trusty duster and cleaning cloths. He greeted me with these words from his spot at the computer in the reception area.

‘Oh?’ I said. ‘So you’ve got something special happening today?’

But he shook his head.

‘No, not really,’ he told me, and then went on to explain. ‘It’s just that I’m fairly new here and everything is still fresh and exciting. So every day is going to be wonderful.’

Do you know, the very first thought that popped into my mind was to say something along the lines of

‘Well make the most of it because it won’t last!’

But, thankfully, I managed to quash that thought before it found utterance.

See I remembered people saying things like that to me when I was all excited and filled with enthusiasm about something new in my life.
Like when, after years of being a stay-at-home Mum, I was able to get myself a job. I was over the moon, but the moment I expressed my feelings on the subject, everyone told me

‘Oh you’ll get over that, believe me’

I guess I’ve heard those words a number of times during my life. Whenever I’ve been brimming with excitement about anything – including my first adolescent crush – someone has always seen fit to tell me,

‘You’ll get over it,’

Now of course they were right. My enthusiasm did wane with time, sometimes much more quickly than others. What started out as so fresh and exciting soon turned into the mundane. Well except in the case of the first crush – that turned into reams of dark poetry filled with heartache and thoughts of ending it all. But I did get over it.

And I totally understand that we could never maintain that level of excitement for long periods of time without causing ourselves physical and emotional harm – all that adrenaline pumping, heart racing, jumping-out-of-your-skin reaction to life is really only ever meant to be a short term thing.

But I wonder how much of our ‘Ho-Hum’ attitude is actually due to an inevitable decline in enthusiasm and how much of it is actually programmed into us? 

Someone comes into work so obviously full of the joie de vivre and your first response is to ask them
‘So what are you on?’ (Or to make assumptions about their nocturnal activities of the previous night.)

The shop assistant is bubbly and wants to chat and we think,

‘She’s a bit over the top,’

Could it be a case of sour grapes? Do we react to happy, enthusiastic people in this way because they make us feel lacking? Because we wish we knew how to be more like that instead of being bogged down in our own particular patch of mire?

At the moment the (very young) guy at the reception desk is bursting with positivity because everything is new and life is full of opportunity. I have no idea if his youthful exuberance will stand the test of time or not, but I sincerely hope so.

 I didn’t want to tell him 

‘You’ll get over it’,

 because I really hope he doesn’t. 

©Lyn Murphy 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Jacarandas are in Bloom

©Peter Murphy

The Jacarandas are in bloom.

Everywhere we go we are greeted by the magnificent display of lilac-coloured blossoms, creating a giant halo for the branches, carpeting the ground beneath the trees and swirling along the footpaths in the spring breezes. It’s such a beautiful sight.

That opening statement was the only thing I found in my cupboard of inspirational thoughts when I sat down to update my Blog. But, when I tried to find an analogy to use – some way to turn the blossoming of the Jacaranda trees into a life lesson – I came up empty.

I wondered if perhaps my thoughts about the Jacaranda trees could have been more to do with aesthetics than anything else? Perhaps it’s just that I love the sight of the world turned magically purple – just as I love the explosion of red in the summer time when the Poinciana trees take their turn; and the haze of yellow in the winter when the wattles flower.

But then it occurred to me that everything in this life doesn’t have to be steeped in meaning. We were created with an ability to appreciate beautiful things.  Once upon a time, before the advent of Relaxation Music and the plethora of herbal remedies to cope with the stresses and strains of life, I’m sure people would just go and sit somewhere – in a meadow or on a hillside, and soak up the beauty of nature.

Of course, with the hectic lifestyle of today, it isn’t always possible to go communing with nature. But then this is the very concept that makes today’s lifestyle so hectic – the idea that everything has be such a big deal.
A child’s birthday party used to be a matter of heating up some party pies and sausage rolls, and making some fairy bread. They would have a treasure hunt and play musical chairs and you’d send them all home with a piece of cake and a bag of lollies. Nowadays you need to hire a Jumping Castle and/or a professional entertainer. And the cake? Well I’ve heard of one unfortunately lady who earned herself endless scorn by presenting guests with something worth about $30 from the local bakery.

This is just the first example that popped into my head, but I’m sure you can come up with a dozen more. Today everyone is expected to be perpetually busy – maintaining a career and a household and raising a family – or babysitting the grandchildren while the children tend to their careers. And the children are expected to grasp the basics of reading and writing, numbers and colours, before they even start kindergarten. There’s just no time for sitting in a meadow, breathing in the fresh, country air.

Maybe the only beauty in your day is a goodnight kiss from the little ones, fresh from their bath and smelling of soap and shampoo? Or the special glance that passes between you and your partner, over the breakfast table, when the kids are at war over who’s turn it is to pack the dishwasher? It might just be the joyful greeting from the dog when you finally get home in the evening; or an unexpected email from a loved one far away?

Whatever it is – let that be your meadow or your hillside. Soak it up. Enjoy the moment.

©Lyn Murphy 2012