Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lazy Sunday mornings

As a treat we went out for brunch this morning to the Beachstone cafe, which is a few kilometres outside Coffs Harbour in the middle of a new housing development, very close to Sapphire beach. E loves it because there is an excellent playground, and we've got to know the people who run the cafe and own the development. I managed to creep out of bed this morning leaving M to snore while I sneaked into the office to get a head-start on the quarterly business accounts, so brunch - as well as a general feeling of smug superiority - was my reward for hard labour!

Anyway, over two large cappucinos, a plate of lamb cutlets with roast beetroot and puy lentils (M), pancakes with sugar and lemon for E, and eggs, bacon and bubble-and-squeak (me), M and I got talking, had an argument, sorted things out and basked in the glow of mutual support before peeling ourselves out of our chairs and heading back into the world.

What did we argue about? Well it boils down to having fundamentally different approaches to life which, if held suitably in tension with each other, provide us with a good relationship and balance. But boy, if either approach gets the upper hand we end up in trouble, and this time I'm the guilty party. We were talking and I was thinking hard when a metaphor for my approach to life occurred to me. I continually act as if I'm edging around the outside of a building, many stories up, with my back to the wall, hanging on tightly and trying hard not to look down. If I hold on tightly enough I'm safe as I move gingerly from ledge to ledge but woe betide me if I relax my grip. M, on the other hand, moves forward in his life as if striding over flowering meadows with lambs frolicking around him and birdsong on the breeze. My 'internal weather' is a bit like the set of Bladerunner, all apocalyptic shadows, gloom and clouds; M's 'internal weather' is definitely predicted to be sunshine.

This all works, most of the time. As long as we're moving forward I tend not to notice the yawning crevices just in front of me, and as long as M moves forward he basks in sunshine and doesn't pay attention to clouds on the horizon. I don't mean to make this sound as if either of us has a simplistic approach to life: it's much more complex than it sounds and has to do with the life experiences that bring us both to this point, as well as what is psychologically necessary to us in order to do our jobs. Introspection and gloom have often been corollaries of an 'artistic disposition' (look at Van Gogh), so that's my excuse sorted out. M, quite differently to me, has to be positive and optimistic and must project that towards his clients, otherwise they'd have little faith in his ability to achieve his targets. Who wants to spend money with an Eeyore?

Recently, however, I've been very gloomy and depressed and the balance has shifted. M and I needed to talk in order for me to realise how difficult I sometimes make it for him to be as positive as he needs to be in order to produce the goods at work. I've spent weeks shooting down every little bit of sunshine and I've got to stop. Moreover, by making a conscious effort to stop I might facilitate some of the things I want in life too... So that's what I'm going to try to do.

1 comment:

  1. Andy asks what is wrong with Bladerunner? - nowt wrong with having Ridley Scott building the inside of your brain (apparently!)! But seriously, we have the same split - Andy is always buoyantly optimistic and positive and I'm the worrier or, as I prefer to style it, realist. And most of the time we balance each other out nicely!


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