The silver lining

(No, not the movie which, irreverent truth be told, didn’t captivate me half as much as it did Academy Awards decision makers.)

The last few weeks took me on an emotional roller-coaster. Between being rejected for jobs, stressing over school-work and the worryingly slow progress of my thesis, missing friends and hating the moody weather, I thought I deserved to mope and whine about every little thing that did not go according to plan. But as I was fighting the resurrected snow on my way home today, I wondered: what if I shouldn’t complain?

Now, don’t worry, I’m not gonna break out the “starving children in Africa” argument, so skillfully used by mothers everywhere else to get you to finish your broccoli. And that’s mostly because I think it’s 1) lost its power through overuse and 2) too far from immediate experience for most of us to really have an impact. Wow, lucky us already, huh? To have a lifestyle so sheltered that we can’t relate to famine and poverty.

But what I mean is that every seeming catastrophe has a positive side, the silver lining in the title, if you know how to look at it. Instead of getting annoyed that I’m jobless, couldn’t I be grateful that my parents are willing and able to support me through my studies? Relatedly, instead of complaining about school-work, I could remember that I’m studying what and where I want to and loving it, for the better part. As for missing friends, there’s always memories to smile about, the upcoming trip home to anticipate and the overarching happiness that I *have* people to miss. It’s all about the perspective, when it comes down to it, and focusing on the positive might be better for your mental health.

But this weather has no reason and no excuse. Snow-pour and slippery sidewalks mid-March do not qualify for a silver lining.silver lining