I had one of those odd conversations the other day. It started a bit like this:
Me: How’s Life then?
Friend: Life? It’s more of an existence at the moment than a life.
That left me in an odd position, wondering what was best to say which is odd because I’m not usually short of words. So I reason that he’s on a bit of a downer at the moment and can’t see what’s going on around him or where to go.
How about: Buck up man! Pull yourself together!
Fifty years ago that might have passed as reasonable but it really only means “I don’t want to hear any more of that. Tell me you’re OK so I don’t feel any more obligation to worry about your problems”. No way, I couldn’t say that.
How about: Have a cup of tea and a sit. I have some choccy biccies, I’m sure that will help. Think of nice things and you’ll soon feel better.
It could work. Unlikely that I can carry it off though, he’s not really that sort of person. It might work for some but it’s not really appropriate.
I finally went with: OK. So what is the difference between an existence and a life.
These are his words that mean something to him. My interpretation could be wrong and I could end up barking up the wrong tree. He gave me a list of differences that made up the difference between a life and an existence.
Then Later I went with: So with these things you can change your existence in to a life. Where do you want to start.
He had created a way forwards, some of the things were easy wins like work a little less and play a little more, others were more long term.
I went home and created a list of my own because I have days like that too. Some of the things on my list I’m doing today. Others have to wait till next week. It’s quite fun actually working out whether you have life or existence.