I wrote this post from a beach front hotel room in Greece. No, it wasn’t raining. Before you start to yell, let me explain. I don’t want to tell the story of the entire trip just yet, but I have to offer a few words of explanation so you don’t think I am squandering my vacation on the internet.
Alicia tripped coming out of the hotel room on the way to the archaeological site of Olympia. We spent a morning in Patras’ emergency room, and then we spent a couple of days with her leg elevated and in a cast. It turns out she just had a nasty sprain and partial ligament tear, no broken bones.
Our Patras predicament got me thinking about the mindset of despair. Perhaps our situation is not despair, but Alicia’s fall defeated our hope we would make it to Mt. Olympia and then the Achai Clauss winery. Put into perspective, we weren’t bad off. Patras’ ER facilities were incredibly efficient. Our cab drivers were accommodating in getting us back and forth from the hotel. We have a place to stay and a view of the mountains from our window.
People worry themselves into despair over much less these days, though. Instead of submitting to despair the goal is to find a way to better your situation. For example, I can find a book to read to make productive use of my time. I can also find the time to write a short post to share with people I care about.
Now, I may choose to be desperate, to read a desperate book or a story of a desperate person, but that is a choice. Right now, though, I’d much rather finish reading Swamplandia! and polish off the last of the 2012 Pulitzer contenders that I haven’t read. I am on vacation after all.
If you’re going to be desperate, be deliberately desperate. Act as if your life depends on your external circumstances and be prepared to explain why you acted that way. If you don’t feel like submitting to despair, find an entertaining book to read or a compelling story to write and refuse to submit.
Again, this is just a short note. More on the trip and my experience reading and travelling through London, Paris, Rome, Athens, and Amsterdam coming as soon as I can get it typed up. Thank you to all the great guest posts that went up in my absence. I did manage to follow them while travelling and, as usual, was very happy to see them received well by you, intelligent readers.