It Could Be Worse: Take 2

I have to admit it. 2012 has not gotten off to the best of starts.

Mind you, nothing disastrous has happened, yet. So far, it’s just a sense that something might. At any point. Strike without warning.

And I know that I am not alone in feeling this way. My friends and colleagues seem to be affected, too. At least judging by conversations over the coffee. Conversations in which I am not doing ALL of the talking.

But, who can blame us? You turn on the news and it’s all rather overwhelming: economic meltdown, nuclear buildup, terrorist threats, the death of Twinkies and the Kodak moment, inadequate care for the elderly or jobs for the young. Newt Gingrich.

You can’t even take your 1,000 foot long, 115,000 ton ship, 10 feet away from a local island for a friendly ‘sail-by salute’ without it all going horribly wrong.

Reuters via the BBC website

It makes you think.

Well, it made me think. And what I thought is that there are two ways to deal with all of this. The first is to sit in your closet, under a blanket, and hope it will all go away. The second is to stare it straight in the face, and to beat it down.

Naturally, I took the first option.

I soon learned that there were drawbacks to this plan. Who knew how hot it could get in a closet, even under a fairly thin blanket? And stuffy. And dark. And, eventually, boring. Once the phone ran out of battery, and the iPad and the laptop. And the Kindle. And then, when I had nothing to do but sit there, sweating, the monsters outside the door started getting bigger. And stronger. And scarier. Sadly, there was no getting away from it. This was not going to work.

So, reluctantly, I emerged, blinked a few times and moved on to Plan B.

Which is to look it all straight in the eye and….run.

No, wait. That’s not right.

Uhmmm… you stare it down.

Except, how do you stare down the unknown, the nebulous, the ‘what ifs’?

I suppose the only way to do it is with a sense of humour and the realisation that it could always be worse.

For example:

1.  You could be a dedicated New York Giants fan, born and brought up in London, who has never seen a professional (or any other) American football game in the flesh. One who, for ages, has been promised a trip to the Super Bowl when (if) the Giants next get into it. Only to discover that they did, the year it was going to be held in Indianapolis. Instead of Miami. In winter. 

2. Or, you could be Kyle Williams, the San Francisco 49ers player who sent the Giants to said Super Bowl. Single-handedly.

3.  Or, you could be Andy Murray. Again. Or Ed Milliband. At any time. If ever there were men with  faces begging to be slapped.

4.  Or you could be out on the roads in London this afternoon, when Tom takes Kimberly for a driving lesson. What’s that saying about the half-blind leading the totally unteachable?

5.  Or, you could have until 6pm tonight to complete, proof and submit to your editor the manuscript for your book. The one that you can’t quite decide how it starts, and have, as yet, no idea how it ends. The one that was due in before Christmas.

Oh, wait. That last one is me. See, I knew things could get worse.

I obviously have to go now. But, before I do, what are your examples of ‘It Could Be Worse’? I know you have some. Answers on a postcard, please.

And hurry. I need some cheering up.

Not Leo Tolstoy (aka Eileen Riley)

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