Today the rain is lashing against my window, but I’m not going to allow it into the room. My head is filled with sunshine and my heart has a warm glow. What happens inside my mind is the crucial thing, not what is happening out there. If I let that affect me then that’s the road to sadness. It’s not the events in my life that really matter for my mental wellbeing, it’s how I respond to them.
I have a choice and so I am in control. If I believed that whatever I do it counts for little, that fate somehow determines my future, then I would be depressed. I would be much like one of Thomas Hardy’s characters, destined for a tragic end whatever I do, nothing more than a victim of chance. In his novel The Mayor of Casterbridge Hardy’s hero tells us that “happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.”
It seems to me a very dark view of the world if all that life has to offer is a futile struggle against fate. That no matter what we do we will be made to suffer far more pain than joy. It’s a bit like looking at things through a very dark pair of sunglasses, so that even the brightest of days seems dull. This brings me back to the present and the inclement weather. Was it fate that made it rain today when I had planned a walk? More likely it was a trough of low pressure coming in over the Atlantic. Am I going to be its victim? I could sit here feeling miserable and wish that the weather had turned out better. Or I could simply re-plan my morning and do some writing instead. After all, the rain will stop eventually, won’t it?
I have begun to write my second crime thriller. The protagonist, Matt Crawford, is an ex policeman who was invalided out of the force and is now a private detective. It would be easy for him to feel sorry for himself. After all, why was he the one that was stabbed during the raid? That one incident ended his career and led to a painful break-up with his long-time girlfriend. No, Matt is not going to dwell his bad luck and he is definitely not through with fighting crime. When he takes on a missing person case he faces the biggest challenge of his life. His search for the lost man turns into a re-discovery of his own identity.