So there it is, staring me in the face, my old foe mediocrity, A bit of reflection today and a reminder of that which is important in life. I was poked and prodded Sunday week ago as I lay on a hospital bed, severe indigestion is what I thought but having preached recently to many others that when in doubt check it out I took myself off to the Hospital, ECG clear, blood tests clear and a shot of pink lady (Gaviscon with lidocaine) confirmed the diagnosis. Acute severe indigestion, probably an ulcer, like nothing I had ever had before. Cause well take your pick, most likely the daily dose of slow release Brufen mixed with a super stressed 12 weeks and a perhaps unhealthy relationship with caffeine. That’s the easy diagnosis but when I delve a little deeper it is not quite as simple really, I think I have lost the plot.
I have been hit by health issues and they are largely a result of imbalance in life, not enough exercise and an unhealthy work environment. Both issues I think I can deal with but the question is what is the fundamental that is driving these. I can’t really talk much about work as that is an ongoing narrative but I can talk about what is driving me.
My greatest fear is that which has spurned my personal motto, no not Illegitimi non carborundum, but rather something more inwardly focused. I have said in the past that rather I be condemned for passion than mediocrity perhaps as Thomas Mann puts it “Do you know what lies at the bottom of the mainstream? Mediocrity.”
The problem for me is my battle with mainstream, part of me wants to be mainstream for its perceived benefits, comfortably middle class, blissfully unaware of issues, blind to inequalities, injustice, indifference and suffering.
To be able to just not hear racism, sexism or any of this isms oh that seems to be absolute bliss but. Those of you who know me well know that is not me, here is a small example, sitting in the bank office the other day sorting some business, I saw a man drag a child across the road ,two or three this child was and probably having a tantrum of sorts but the force used was disproportionate to whatever the child had done, when the man finally gave up he scooped the child in his arms and carried him off easily, for once I stayed where I was in the
meeting and did little more than tut tut, expressing my contempt for what I had just seen. What did I do? Nothing and ashamed of it I was. One can wrap that in all kinds of narrative but whatever you like to say I saw it as a moral failure.
I have written before about caring and integrity and right now I am paying the price and to be honest it feels too bloody hard at the moment and yet hardwired into me is an inability to walk away. Please don’t get the wrong idea, Saint I am not ask my children but as I get older I seem to care even more and yet in some ways that caring seems at odds with my desire not to be mediocre. I am oft to tired to write as I feel I would like to, to disheartened to read and just want to blob. My life is so busy looking after the needs of others that I neglect myself and that in turn compounds my problems.
When I am like that I do not suffer fools gladly or with anything that remotely looks like compassion. When I am given a hard time I am able to roast the offenders with words, law and general bluster. I know which levers to pull what to say and how to say it to get maximum leverage for my effort. Whilst generally it gets results when I look at it in the mirror I am not always happy. Right now I am not happy and whilst I paint a smile on my face inside of me it is not so cheery. There is nothing to be done about it, nothing to be cured or fixed sometimes it just is, and in that I am not alone.
Not everything in this world is fixable and curable that is the simple fact and there are people who know this far more than me. It is part of life, that’s all.