I've been down lately, "lately" being measurable in decades, but more pointedly and more recently in months. It's a continuous state with me, neither alarming nor unnoticed in my experience of it. Actual circumstances influence it, along with internal chemistry those circumstances trigger, I suppose. Mood shifts, surges, wanes, and halts like weather patterns. My ways of cajoling myself into "pulling through" seem piss-poor to most people, I guess, but they do the job well enough.
One is that I remember (and try to heed) the admonition of a college history professor I had, a retired military man who used to invite a few of us students, dorm residents, to his home, his wife feeding us butters, jams, and bread made from scratch (before that practice became fashionable) and him showing off myriad antiques he had personally restored. (I learned more from this man's offhand opinions and quirks of character than I learned from his subject content--aromatic mimeographed pages of dates and battles in blurry purple print. To this day, I believe "characters" make the best teachers. A lot about me is explained within these parentheses.) The professor's admonition was
"Never complain about anything. Eighty percent of the people you complain to do not care, and the other twenty percent think you're getting exactly what you deserve."
The other things I take into mind ("take comfort in" would not be the correct words) are that
- Most things in life can't be helped.
- I do what I can do.
- I accept "good enough" in lieu of "perfect."
- I do not worry or hope too much about what is (1) out of my control and (2) not presently occurring.
- What will matter to me most, in future memories, are the things that now seem insignificant, not the shit that causes panic, ecstasy, or other excitements.
- Only one thing will ever happen to me in life that I won't get through somehow.