it’s that time of the year again. The days are getting darker and the dark lingers on like a veil enveloping the world, devouring the light. It is a dark time, especially for people living with mental illnesses, and it drains all of us. Yet, the weather’s still good in the UK. Today we had a sunny day again. When the sky is blue and unclouded the grass looks even greener. In general, I find the grass to be most beautiful in the UK and Ireland. You won’t find it this pretty in any other European country. That is mainly because it rains more often here. People don’t like rain but it is necessary. Without rain, the plants will wither. We need it to live. Just like we need to be sad in order to know what real happiness is like.
I’ve always found it better to have a couple of good friends, a few people you can really count and lean on, instead of having many friends you don’t really have a meaningful relationship with. I think that people who always need to be surrounded by other people have a real problem. They’re too afraid to spend time alone. I get it, it can be scary to be alone with your own thoughts. You never know where they may go. We are all too often not our best friends, but worst enemies. Yet we are born alone and we will die alone. If we don’t learn how to be our own best friend, what can we really learn in our time on this planet? First, we have to take care of ourselves. I think autumn is a good season to do so. Yes, it is almost over and winter’s just around the corner, but it’s never too late to light a few candles, get cozy with some tea and ponder on some questions. Soon our minds will be occupied with what gifts to buy for whom. For me, winter is not only the most depressing but also the most hectic time. Probably because I take on other people’s emotions, and as post-Christmas everyone is running around like mad chicken looking for presents, I reciprocate their stress. I’m always glad when Christmas is over. Then I can stress for a week about how the year is going to end. And isn’t it amazingly terrifying how we will soon leave 2021 behind and run into 2022? I say run for a reason. Even though we’ve spent more than a year in several lockdowns, it still feels like we’ve been running a marathon. A really slow one. From one lockdown to the next, one covid variant to the next mutation. I, and I know many other people, still feel like we’re in 2020. Soon that’ll be two years ago. Time flies. I wonder if people in the last century felt that way. Or if time crawls when a World War is going on. Sometimes we forget about that. Our current disasters, and what is about to happen (climate change and whatnot) scare us so much that we forget about the last century. One hundred years ago people lived after World War One and before World War Two. How scary must that time have been? Yet, in 1921/1922 people wouldn’t have felt that way. People were glad World War One was over. How would they’ve reacted if somebody had told them that World War Two was just around the corner? Immense dread. Suicidal? We are lucky to have been born much later, yet, who knows what is going to happen to us? What if somebody from the future told us what’s about to happen? No, I am not trying to scare you. Just food for thought. It’s better to not know the future. One step at a time. That’s why taking things slower is so good for mental health. There’s a reason we can’t find peace of mind during the most stressful times.
It’s quite fortunate that we have got four seasons and not two. Imagine winter would immediately follow summer. Our bodies need time to adjust to the decrease and increase of temperature and light. Just like our minds and bodies. Everything takes time. That isn’t a very popular philosophy in our capitalistic society. It’s all about money. ‘Time is money,’ that’s what some people like to say. But it is not. Time is time. Money is money. If you measure time with money you’ll never find peace of mind. And why? Why is money so much more important than time? We haven’t got an infinite amount of it, no, in fact, a rather small supply of it. We don’t know for how long we get to live, and so we should treasure it more than money. We come to realise the importance of time when the days get shorter. Suddenly we wake up in the dark and even before going home it’s dark again. Suddenly we only experience the light from sitting indoors, when we’re working during the day. At least, for most of us. How sad is this? Shouldn’t we spend more time outside in the few hours of daylight? Shouldn’t our jobs accommodate a bit more to human needs? Yet we have to accommodate to jobs and this busy lifestyle that is being forced upon us.
I don’t want to sound too gloomy. Sure, we can decide to quit society and live off the grid. Or we take the deal and look after ourselves better. I think that’s what it really means to be an adult. To take care of yourself. Not more, not less. All the cultural conventions; becoming more serious and sterner, stop liking cute things, and whatnot, – that’s rubbish. Isn’t the great thing about being an adult to do whatever we want to do (if we can do them)? So go ahead and do it! Whatever makes you happy, and as long as you’re not hurting others, that is the best thing you can do for yourself. We know what we want, we just don’t always allow it to ourselves. And that isn’t fair. So, for the rest of this season, think about what you really want, deep down. You know it in your heart. The things that bring you joy, that calm your heart. Money can help, sure. But it isn’t money that makes us happy. It is a necessary evil that we need, especially in the following month. I’ve always had a complicated relationship with money. I never really struggled, but because it was always there, I am afraid it might be gone one day. That is a very privileged problem, I know, but it’s still a problem for me. I have to allow myself to stress out less often and spend it without feeling regret. Life is there to be enjoyed and we don’t know what’ll happen tomorrow, this winter, next year, or the one that follows. Would we worry less about what we may not have and appreciate what we have right now if we knew our future? Probably. Or maybe not. I try to take it as it comes, one step at a time.
Have a nice evening,