It’s the 6th day, since I’ve stepped on my home soil in Latvia. It has been a lot of fun, a lot of reunions and a lot of surprises. Majority of them very positive. Some of them not so positive – with recession and all. But I’ve pretty much understood that everything lies in your small and beautiful mind.
The most important thing is to walk the streets minding your own business. Get a large pair of headphones if you must. Put Belle & Sebastian on. Fantasize. Imagine. Plan. Make strategies. If you’re close to bankruptcy, use your imagination to come up with new ways of using the things you already have and don’t use. Don’t go to the clubs, make an in-house party with movies, cheap booze and clothes swapping. Play Monopoly or even hide-and-seek if you must. Even at hard times people have always somehow managed to get through. This is not a war, when you are losing the ones you love to the bullets and hatchets. No-one’s coming into your house and taking your children away, you know. It’s all in your head. Yes, the one that looks suspiciously pale today because of the reckless binge-drinking yesterday. The one that wishes that this was still Sunday. The one that possibly wishes you still had a job and money to pay your debts. Well guess what? This is not going to be a How to earn more money lesson. Because I’m no good at that. But I know one thing I’m pretty damn good at. Positive thinking. And imagination, come to that.
– Don’t talk about the crisis. Even if you’re at a pub and there is an uncomfortable silence between you and the person you want to talk pants-off. Talk about anything – refreshments (did you know that a hot tea is much more refreshing in a hot day than a cold coke?), music (well, I don’t have to give you ideas on this one, right?), Facebook (did you know that Facebook has recently launched a faster and lighter version called Facebook Lite?) or even me (did you know that I just spent the longest summer of my life? Eight months!)? Just change the subject. It’s not that difficult, I’m sure you can handle it.
– Spend more time with the kids. Even if you don’t have them. No, please don’t stalk kids on the streets, you’ll end up in jail. I’m talking visit your friends with kids and talk to them, hear their opinion kind of time-spending. You’ll find it refreshing and positive. And as Reamonn sung – this life is so complicated, until we see it through the eyes of a child.
– Watch TV shows. Sitcoms. Scrubs, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Black Books, The Big Bang Theory… These are my personal favorites, choose yours. Read books. The last really comforting book I’ve read is A Cat Called Norton: The True Story of an Extraordinary Cat and His Imperfect Human by Peter Gethers. You can borrow it, if you want. Turn the boring trolley bus rides in a world of your own. Put headphones on. Read. Don’t listen to others mumble about the sacking and hunger.
– Get out of the city. Go to the countryside. If you don’t have a countryside house of your own, invite yourself to one of your friends houses. Collect apples, plums, potatoes and camomile – it’s the right time. Make apple pies, plum jams… anything really. You’ll have a good time now and delicious treats in the winter.
– Tidy and clean your house. The poorer you are, the cleaner your house must be. Come up with new ways to make it even more personal. You have to feel at home at your home, don’t you?
– Meet old friends at weird places. Drop a line to a friend you haven’t seen for years and invite him to a picnic on the roof. To a clothes swapping party. To a gallery run. To a free concert. I’m sure you can come up with even better ideas. The main idea is – surprise people pleasantly, please! They’ve probably had enough of unpleasant surprises already. Stop drinking bad coffee at Starbucks or Double Coffee, please!
– Meet foreigners. No, I’m not talking about British stags who take a leak on the Freedom Monument. I’m talking about Couchsurfing.org, for instance. Offer them “Tea or Coffee and a show-around”. Hear their experiences. You’ll broaden your mind and have a great time. Not to mention, you’ll definitely do the possibly a bit lost traveller a favor, by showing the best places not mentioned on the tourist guides.
– Avoid reading news. I know this one is controversial, because you have to be a bit up to date, but still. If you do read them, read them as fiction novels. Don’t imagine those things happening to yourself. I’m not suggesting you to live as a Tibetan monk, or pack your bags and move to your imagination apartment, I’m telling you not to let all those bad things too close. It will do you no good.
So, anyway, the deal is – imagine, fantasize and create. Do you remember the line from Everything Is Borrowed by The Streets?
I came to this world with nothing, and I’ll leave with nothing but love. Everything else is just borrowed.