Sunday, 25 December 2016
The Metaphorical Pond
Some years are like that, aren't they? You think you've got the whole pond to swim in, and then overnight everything changes, and all of a sudden nobody's going swimming today. These ducks are not old enough to have seen this before: they're genuinely pissed off and confused. Hey, what happened to the water?
Young people, too, probably think this is the WORST. YEAR. EVER. I don't blame them, but they're wrong. I'm old enough to remember the Great Plague of London of 1665 (actually, I'm not, but it feels like it this morning – I never learn, I don't even like the sound of "mulled wine"), which was swiftly followed by the Great Fire of London in 1666 (and the Great Insurance Claim Backlog of 1667). Now those were bad years. Getting older is all about perspective, getting things in proportion, remembering to breathe.
This time of year is about many things, but for those of us who agree that the year ends around now, and especially for those of us in northern latitudes where daylight has just shrunk to its minimum, and is just starting to expand again (please remember to breathe, planet Earth!), it's a time for reflecting on the year that is passing into history and anticipating the year that is about to start.
So, being a bit of a contrarian, that's exactly what I won't do. I did have some seasonal thoughts a few years ago (A Day Like Any Other Day) which still seem appropriate, so I'll simply refer you there. As for the rest of it, my best advice is: remember to breathe. And go easy on the seasonal refreshments; remember you're not as young as you once were.