May the Years We’re Here Encourage Us

馃挰 Highlights:

  • Many live like they’re cursed by time.
  • Though times can be tough, it is possible to use it as a tool for encouragement rather than destruction.
  • Loved ones, learning, and art can make negative time a little better.

“May the Years We’re Here Encourage Us”

Volume 2, Number 4

Winter in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. can be rough, especially if you can count on one hand the number of times you’ve seen snow growing up. When Nikki and I moved from Alabama, U.S. to STL, we very quickly found ourselves feeling particularly down during the winter months. We are outdoorsy by nature, and when the ability to explore nature twelve months out of the year was taken away from us, we found ourselves experiencing “cabin fever” quite often. The temperature would plunge, freezing the roadways and making it impossible to even go to the gym or get groceries. Finding ourselves stuck in our apartment, we were forced to confront negative time.

Once I knew a person who believed his life was just a procession of bad things, happening over and over again as if stuck in time loop. He believed the world was out to get her, the concept of protagonist disease taken to its logical extreme. Everyone was out to get him, and him alone. Aren’t we all that guy sometimes, though, screaming out against our problems? It is said that “everyone has problems,” and exchanging your issues for those of someone else’s would simply be a zero sum gain. From Shakespeare to Disney Channel, people are taught that swapping circumstances is just shuffling the cards of the problems inherent to living. Still, what you wouldn’t give sometimes for a little better hand…

Despite living in an age largely more devoid of superstitious beliefs than any other point in human history, we still believe in curses. These aren’t traditional curses wrought by witches or warlocks — being honest, we’re not exactly sure who brings them about. Some say nature, family, government, or the necessary evils of a career field. Some say the devil, or God, even. Some even say they curse themselves, and unbelieving in the concept of self-improvement, continue to exist in the boundaries of decades-long patterns. The curse? Time is stubbornly evil, and every minute we spend living life is a net loss.

With all my heart, I believe this should not be. The curse isn’t real, and I believe that with such passion that it frustrates me greatly to see young and vigorous people feeling worn down by the passage of time for no reason. Time is a tool for learning and improving, not for grinding people down until they have nothing left but loneliness and misery. Yes, bad things happen all the time. If you go a single day without something negative happening, that is an incredible accomplishment. But time itself is not to blame, and brighter days await. You have control of how you perceive the moments passing by. Is it a constant flow of opportunities or little curses? While looking at time positively does not circumvent the bad things from happening, most of which are out of anyone’s control, it can certainly differentiate what you learn from hard times.

Flee from negative time. Run from it as hard as you can! Spin it towards positive and productive things if at all possible. Make art, learn a skill, be with loved ones, engage with literature — anything to keep you from a steady diet of cursed time. Negative time can add up to years, which may be the most valuable asset we as humans have. May the years we’re here encourage us, forever providing us with experiences and emotions to improve the quality of our lives.

How do you spend a day stuck indoors? Also, do you have any strategies for turning potentially negative days into positive ones? Let’s talk in the comments!

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