Sometimes you can, but sometimes you can't

December 11 2012

A lot of the messages coming through Listserve are about seizing the day. Carpe diem; strive for the impossible; yes, you can; just do it! These are noble suggestions and aspirations and true in the sense that yes, the world is your oyster, and you can change it to suit your dreams. I've experienced this too: push the world in a certain direction and you'll find that it will move.

However. I've recently been struggling with something I find difficult to put into words – the idea that sometimes, no you can't. This is in part trying to escape the tyranny of the overachiever, the idea that _only_ a life lived full steam is a life worth living. But mostly it's the simple fact that much as I'd like to permanently experience the state of Flow, much as I'd like to incessantly spread love and enthusiasm in my life, most of the time I can't.

I don't mean to sound cynical or depressed, nor need cheering up (like I said, I agree with the principle of You Can Do It). Just that, to quote Stephen Fry, that while the key to happiness might be to stop feeling sorry for yourself, "It's not easy to stop feeling sorry for yourself – it's bloody hard."

I guess what I'm getting at is to give yourself – and others! – a break for not saving the world today. But never stop trying.

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Helsinki, Finland

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