It’s Spring! That time of the year when it’s neither cold nor hot, or hot and then cold. Recently, it’s been both at the same time. But Spring is not just about the Crocuses that bloom in the early months, or the Peonies and Poppies and Pansies that appear later. Spring is not only about the longer days or warmer nights and Oh! The return of Game of Thrones! Spring also ushers in that time of the year when if your resolutions aren’t blooming, you literally start shaking in your boots. Yes! Spring reminds us, we are nearing the middle of the year.
I was talking to someone the other day and all she did was bemoan the way ‘time flies’. It was already April and she didn’t even have a handle on the goals she had set in January. Where did February and March go? Very soon it will be June then August and then it will be winter again, and then Christmas! The thought of Christmas seemed to suck out the vitality with which she expressed the flightiness of time and brought instant horror to her face. There is something about the ‘passage of time that makes us a bit edgy. The middle of the year is indeed an awkward time of the year, a time when you are neither taking nor setting out stock.
When I first watched ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,’ I was left bemused. I was exhausted by the exuberance of Dev Patel, who was Sonny, the fast-talking, ambitious owner of an Indian Hotel for English retirees. His incessant optimism was inspiring at times and nauseating at other times. He is that kind of character whose sheer vivacity leaves you unconvinced, or loopy, or both. However, this is not an analysis on Sonny, but rather a focus on his favourite saying ‘Everything will be alright in the end, and if it is not yet alright then it is not the end’. Well, I suppose we can rephrase it this way: ‘Everything will be alright in the end, and if it is not yet alright then it is the MIDDLE’.
How we love beginnings and endings. The middle of the year like the middle of the story is almost always forgotten, like the case of the middle child. A birth ordering that is said to impact on the middle child in such a way that they often feel excluded or invisible, without the benefits of coming first or last and with nothing that is definitively ‘theirs’.
Beginnings and endings can be quite definitive. People usually remember how a story began and how it ended (whether it be a book, or the story of life). They remember things like, Agnes was so and so’s daughter. Her father was the so and so’s son… She died in so and so way. In the story of the greedy Fox we remember often, how he declared his greed (whichever variations we have) and how he famously or infamously ended in misery. With the story of the Sleeping Beauty we remember the kiss at the end, good conquering evil, the apportioning of rewards, good to good, crime to time. Few remember the middle, the struggle or the endurance.
So as this lady sat there, petrified by the flightiness of time, and the fear that another year has come and is going, and she was yet to exit her ‘biting point’ and into the first gear. She temporarily fell into the biggest pitfall the middle-ground dilemma poses, and that is the ability to leave you indolent, de-motivated, for a time at least, sometimes forever.
Our super ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Black-ish’ star Tracee Ellis Ross, sums this dilemma rather succinctly and clearly. She condenses this conversation into one of those really poignant nuggets that hits you with its sheer poignancy at the beginning and then just keeps on hitting.
I imagine she voiced this at a point in her life when the beginning was too far gone, and the end was far from sight. She said and I quote ‘I am learning every day, to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not threaten me’.
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