Chicken Soup

Nick's chick

January 30th, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Soul…?

Great title! I’ve never read them I have to say, but the books are based on the old premise that chicken soup is a cure all.

It is a fallacy.

Sitting there yesterday attached to a variety of machines and monitors, prodded, poked and pestered, I refute the efficacy of chicken soup and consign it to Hades.

You wouldn’t think it could cause so much ruddy trouble.

It can’t all be blamed on the soup of course. The half slice of toast and the sliver of smoked fish must take part of the blame. But I refuse to hear a word against the coffee….

The medics, of course, can’t seem to agree to lay the blame on the soup, even though it is about the only thing I’ve been able to eat for the past week.

They have, it is true, been debating this for a while. Months and months on and off. But the soup, put the final nail in the… erm, let me rephrase that… was the final straw. Pain relief would be nice… but it does make me sleepy. Though that’s good too sometimes. There hasn’t been a lot of sleep, just tiredness and a few tears, but only when no-one is looking… so keep that to yourself.

So now they mutter about scans and needles, cameras and scalpels , bits of my innards I don’t want to contemplate, bone marrow and other details that make me wish I’d never studied biology, dissected rats in school or worked for a hospice charity. Imagination can occasionally be the very devil.

And that’s the problem, isn’t it? Imagination. We can’t help it sometimes in the wee small hours, when sleep eludes us yet again. I tend to get up and write. It is more productive than playing a cat and mouse game with Morpheus, though the obligatory coffee probably isn’t wise.

But otherwise I’d lay there and wonder, trying to plan for scenarios my waking mind flatly refuses to dwell upon. It’s this optimism thing. My ex-partner could never understand it, how I could remain full of hope in the face of impossible odds, like my son’s story. My son is just as ‘bad’. He refuses to contemplate defeat either. And there seems to be a common misconception about optimists, that we close our eyes to the darker possibilities.

I find it with a lot of people, especially those who take the view that if we accept the worst then anything better is a bonus. Bugger that, if you’ll excuse the expression.

Now I cannot say that I am right here, only that I am right for me. But I would rather examine all scenarios, including the very worst, acknowledge their existence as possibilities, then dismiss them. They cannot ALL happen. Or only one at once. And, as there is no way of predicting which of a number of equally possible possibilities will finally manifest, I see little point in wasting energy worrying about them. I’d rather employ those energies working towards the outcome I want to see.

It works for me. I get to carry on with life in my usual optimistic fashion, not failing to see, but choosing to ignore, the worst case scenarios. I can put a safety net of plans in place to cover any problems that arise, tie up potential loose ends, but that is as far as I am prepared to go down the path of pessimism.

Meanwhile all my energies, actions and attention are aiming for the possibility I prefer as an outcome. The gods help those who help themselves, it is said, but I do believe that the Powers That Be expect us to do our bit too. My energies are better employed Living than worrying. And if I aim for the moon and miss, there are plenty of stars to hit instead.

So, business as usual, walks, fresh air, communication, laughter…but if anyone mentions chicken soup, there’s trouble.

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