Leanne is a happy empty nester living in Australia and blogging about her midlife journey. Her goal is to share the joys and challenges of this stage of life and counteract the negativity associated with getting older and share stories about loving life. Find her at crestingthehill.com.au.
Make It Your Goal To Shine: Don’t Be A Light Sucker
A few years ago I heard about the Dark Sucker Theory where, in a nutshell, the idea is that electric light bulbs don’t give off light, rather, they suck in the dark. This is of course a load of bollocks, but the idea that something can suck in the dark and leave light in its place is an interesting concept.
I was thinking that the reverse would also be true, that a Light Sucker would suck in light and leave darkness behind. I took it a step further and thought about how this applies to certain people I’ve come across in life. They are the people who never have any joy in their life – they just lurch from one miserable day to the next and delight in sharing their doldrums with everyone they come in contact with.
These people just seem to drag you down, they are always moaning about their latest illness, the latest insult from someone, the latest unfair thing that happened to them, their miserable childhood, the fact they have no friends (surprise surprise), their unappreciative children, etc, etc. For those unfamiliar with the term, if you describe someone as a ‘misery guts,’ you mean they are miserable when they could or should be happy. You know the type. You start a conversation with them feeling quite bright and chirpy and by the end of it you are dragged down into the miasma that is their life. They can’t see themselves doing it and genuinely believe they are hard done by and need to tell you their grievances – these people are definitely Light Suckers.
I do my best to avoid Light Suckers because I don’t want to be drawn into their pity party or “poor me” view of life. it is easy to go down that path and if you get mired too deeply in the darkness this creates, then you start sucking out other people’s light too because they get drawn into the misery with you.
The older we get, the easier it is to fall into the trap of moaning about life’s injustices and misadventures and how we’re being left out or left behind. The whole empty nest thing is a classic example – “poor me, my children have left home and made lives for themselves and don’t call me every day” or “poor me, I don’t know what to do with all the time I have on my hands now I don’t have a family to take care of.”
SHINE – DON’T SUCK
Sometimes it takes a bit of effort to look at the brighter side of things and find joy in mid-life with all its little aches and pains and ups and downs. Getting older brings a natural decline in some areas, and the “joys” of menopause, weight gain, poor sleep, slower metabolisms etc. We can dwell on these or choose to look past them and see there is still a lot of light and life left to give out and share with others.
As for me, I’m making a conscious effort to not slide into Light Sucker-dom and instead, I’m choosing to shine light out to others wherever possible. Rather than sucking light off people and leaving a grayness behind, I want to leave people feeling happier for having spent time with me. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid the trap of being a Light Sucker, but if we keep working on it then maybe we can become the sort of people who others look forward to having a conversation with. Let’s make it our goal in life to Shine!