The sweet and the sour

Sonnie Bailey

18 November 2022

I have a friend whose mood doesn’t change much. He says he’s a pretty constant 8.5 out of 10 most of the time.

He makes me wonder if there’s some genetic disposition that’s at the opposite end of the bell curve to having a depressive personality. If it’s out there, it probably doesn’t get reported on. Who would want an intervention?

I’m not like my friend. My moods are more changeable. They’re very changeable.

I have angels and demons. They’re my yin and my yang. They’re two sides of the same coin. Two edges of the blade.

Manage, not solve

Nowadays it’s rare to see the term “conflict resolution”. The term has been pushed aside by “conflict management”.

This is because many conflicts can’t be resolved. They can only be managed.

Similarly, many of the issues we have in relationships can’t be resolved. They’re often managed via acceptance, or simply outgrowing them.

The same with risks in general: often, the best way to address a risk isn’t to avoid or eliminate it, but to manage it in some other way.

It’s the same with our own angels and demons.

For a long time I’d get frustrated that I couldn’t kill my demons. I’ve come to realise that all I can do is manage my demons.

They’ll appear every now and then.

With time, they always go away. And when they return, I know they’ll go away again.

Taking the black dog out for a walk

I have a beautiful cavoodle, Ruby. I take her for a walk most days.

I also have a black dog. I don’t need to walk her very often. But sometimes I do, and that’s life.

It’s part and parcel of owning a dog, whether you chose the dog or you inherited it. Sometimes you have no choice but to do the best with what you’ve been given.

Someone once said to me: you have to learn to drive the personality you’ve been given.

We live in a pixel, not the picture

I love Tim Urban’s blog Wait But Why. One of my favourite articles on the blog is “Life is a picture, but you live in a pixel”.

It’s an entertaining-but-insightful meditation on how it’s difficult (impossible, really) to see the bigger picture – of our own lives, let alone our lives within the context of the society we live in, and human history at large.

When I’m at my worst, it feels like everything is permanent, pervasive, and personal.

There’s a world of difference, however, between feeling something and that thing actually being true.

At my worst, I have to remember: I’m living in a pixel, not the picture. This too, shall pass.

I try to remind myself: sometimes, you need the sour to taste the sweet.

It’s all part of the wonderful, full catastrophe of life.


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