Friday 18 November 2011

On firefighting

Twitter is a dangerous place for me to be really. With only 140 characters available, getting your point across can sometimes be tricky. Reading between the lines is often imperative. It's unfortunate, then, that this is a skill I really don't possess.

Yesterday my timeline was full of gloom. It was a gloomnami. Having just come out of a big spangly gloom myself, I thought that this was just typical. "Why can't everyone be cheerful at the same time?", I pondered.

When this was pointed out again to me this morning by my friend, it gave me pause for thought. I think that I do spend an awful lot of time taking care of making sure everyone I care about is happy rather than do it for myself. I suppose I have always done it, and assumed that everyone was doing the same thing. It's a characteristic I have inherited from my mother, whose frankly mind-boggling altruism (of course) drives me mad. "Why don't you just take care of yourself first?", I wail, continuing a proud human tradition of being most annoyed by the characteristics in others that are most damning of yourself.

Thing is, wanting the people you love to be happy isn't a particularly bad characteristic. There are worse ones. Racism, farting on all the cans in a supermarket or wiping your bum on the curtains are but three examples. However, when the same people I am trying to cheer are at the same time worried about whether I am happy, it's somewhat counterproductive.

"Don't worry about me" is something of a mantra of mine. And I always mean it. But I wouldn't say I've ever been particularly happy at any point in my life thus far. Neutral is about as high as I pitch for. Maybe it's time for me to worry about me a little bit more. If only because it will give other people one less thing to worry about. And then they'll feel happier.

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