For those of you who read my weekly blog and have missed the regular outpouring of midlife angst, I owe an apology. I have been on a sabbatical – of sorts. Unlike many who enjoy a period of time out from their regular pursuits, I haven’t been considering a lifelong calling, nor have I completed a writing course in order to reduce grammatical errors!
I have always been described as a bit of a worrier. In fact, in primary school, I would spend the latter half of the summer holidays, worrying about which classroom door to go through next term. As a teenager, friends would break off conversations and dramatically place hand to forehead whispering, ‘Oh Woe is me’, at any given opportunity.
However, more recently, I was introduced to a new term which gave my worrying a proper label. To my relief I discovered that I am not alone in the fruitless preoccupation to ‘catastrophize’. In fact, I have discovered that this propensity is surprisingly common, and there are many fellow catastrophizers who regularly make molehills into mountains, refuse to let 2 and 2 simply be 4 or given a poor situation will provide the worst possible outcome as the most likely conclusion.
As with most things there are degrees of ‘catastophizing’, and like me many simply need to be told to ‘ get a grip’ ‘stop spiralling’ or ‘find some perspective’. However, for some a husband not noticing a new hair cut can end, (in a catastrophizers mind) in divorce, loss of custody of the kids and inevitable homelessness! In those cases I guess a coffee with a friend probably isn’t the fix it all scenario cherished by womankind!
I originally considered it was an affliction of the modern world however, on reflection, I imagine it has most likely been around since time immemorial. One thing of which I am certain, the coping mechanisms today are very different. In Georgian times you would possibly have found a young lady absorbed in her needlepoint or reading and re reading a line of her book. Occasionally, she would glance out of the window looking for her beau who should have been with her hours ago. In her mind, he has obviously fallen from his horse and whilst crawling to her side in the rain has been mauled by a wild boar. If she had managed to rationalise that one away she decides he has eloped with the maid and her life is now over. The needlework provides a mindless therapy, an ability to switch off, preventing the mind from taking one down alleyways of ultimate catastrophe.
Today, I have discovered many a friend who claims Candy Crush Saga to be the therapy of choice. A computer game with brightly coloured sweets which you have to put in a certain order to blow up jelly or bring down nuts or cherries….quiet clearly addictive! It provides you with the opportunity to stop worrying about what’s for supper, shut out the argument between the kids that is currently ensuing or fretting about what could possibly go wrong with the world tomorrow. The ability to combine a striped sweet with a liquorice allsort also gives you a sense of achievement difficult to easily replicate in real life….Bam!…..Sugarcrush!….Divine!!!
This is regrettably the way I have spent my winter sabbatical! My evenings have generally been fairly meaningless… no writing or sea glass globe building, simply sitting by a fire, blocking out all worries or concerns and finding links of three sweets or more in order to level up!
The reality of life had to take hold and with Spring upon us I have said goodbye to candy crush on level 78! No more immersing myself in mindless sweet combinations in an attempt to escape from …….actually I’m not sure what!
This is good news for sea glass lovers! I have eventually launched my website, cornishseaglass.com, putting aside the fears of being sued by a international lawyer for a random point of consumer law. I have linked my website to facebook ‘Cornish sea glass creations’, abandoning the thought that I will make a henous error and be laughed at by the entire facebook community and I have been out collecting sea glass on the beaches of Cornwall, without fear of disappearing into a pit of sinking sand……..
In short…. I’m back and with new vigour! The sea glass has never been so exciting and plentiful after the recent storms which – despite my mind creating many catastrophic outcomes – didn’t blow the house down!