Vicious Circles


As soon as that much desired snow covered everything, it seemed that those to complain about it most bitterly were the very people demanding it the loudest a week ago or so. Who would have thought?… Forget about that white fairy tale like magic so craved over Christmas, now it’s all about freezing cold, snow and ice covered roads, impossible traffic… and the cold, oh the cold… and did I mention the cold? I must have – after all, that’s what everybody keeps talking about.

We’re children at heart, really… we must be, since we constantly trap ourselves in the same vicious circles , even if we know better by now. We want the toy in the window, that very one which we are denied. One way or another, we often manage to find a way to get it; but once we get our grubby little hands on it, the possibilities are limit. Chances are we are just about to discover that we don’t really like it as much as we thought we might or it simply looks different in the harsh light of reality. Or maybe it is exactly what we thought it would be, so we are going to thoroughly enjoy it for a minute or two, until we either break it or simply through it aside, bored with the predictability of that which we already have. We might remember it at some point in the future, we might feel intrigued by it on a few other future occasions, especially if other show interest in it too.

Of course, there are those rare situations when we treasure it and we might endeavour to preserve its lustre as time passes… but how often does that happen? The truth remains that more often than not, we start looking forward and searching for that even newer, more interesting, more amusing toy the very moment we finally can feel the other one in our hands. And so we are right back where it all began and we start spinning in new circles in order to get that which we now want. How many of us can honestly say they don’t recognize the pattern? I’m certainly not raising my hand…

What better moment for vicious circles if not the beginning of a new year? Personally, I’m trying to perceive it as the next part of something that started at some point in the past, I simply refuse to uproot my entire existence or at least fragments of it simply because one more year passed… or because a new one has just began… it depends on how you want to look at it. That’s partly why I’m not the New Year’s resolutions type of person. If I decide I must change something, then I cannot and need not wait for a symbolically charged moment in the year. Besides… I feel I would actually trivialize important matters by throwing them around under the title of ‘resolutions’, while irrelevant aspects aren’t worth being transformed into pivotal situations to stress our determination and dedication. Ultimately they seem to lead to disappointment, one way or another – we feel bad about ourselves if we cannot induce those major changes, we feel bad about ourselves if all we can manage is change those irrelevant aspects. Since finding that elusive balance between what I should, what I could and what I would change is anything but easy for me, I’d rather not come up with deadlines and to-do lists at midnight, just as one year ends and another begins…

It looks like I know better… but like I said, I can also recognize certain vicious patterns that might send me spinning in circles, and that’s simply because I know how tempting they are, I know I will occasionally give in. I was smugly pointing out the futility of such resolutions when my closest friend reached for his cigarettes, about to go out into the cold and light one up, after once again promising himself to quit smoking in the new year (I’ve lost count of all the years that were supposed to bring about the same change). I was just flaunting my superior knowledge, making my point by wondering out loud, ‘Is this the last of 2015 or the first one in 2016?’, when I caught myself thinking… yes, thinking (I refuse to say almost making) a resolution of my own…

I should really have more fun this year, I thought to myself. It was the third consecutive New Year’s Eve I was spending the same way… a warm, pleasant, cosy way… but the same predictable way, nevertheless. It was my own choice, yet it suddenly occurred to me I should have done things slightly differently. I am one of those people… those people who get bored easily… those people who once in a while need to rock the boat just so they could feel alive. These are the moments when it takes everything I have in order to focus on what I do appreciate, on all the reasons why it’s better for me to let the boat float safely and occasionally boringly smoothly, especially since I can vividly remember how much time, effort, determination and suffering it took to get the waters to calm down. I was aware it wasn’t all about the year that had just ended, but about that night itself – I was where I had chosen to be, but it wasn’t entirely exactly how I would have preferred everything to be. So the need to lash out and to somehow make up for it reared its ugly little head for a moment or two.

I resisted my own vicious circles on this particular occasion, even if it meant turning viciously sarcastic for half a nigh or so. I resisted the pattern not because I am strong, but simply because I know better and thus I can tell when it’s worth rocking the boat. It’s when I choose to allow myself to fall back into vicious patterns that I do it knowing and trusting my strength – I know I can pull myself out, no matter what. Even vicious circles lose their appeal after a while. But are we really to be blamed if we decide not to resist them, given that cyclicity defines our existence, be it for the better or the worse? That’s too relative a matter…


We don’t need to see the full circle to perceive it…

In response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle.

30 Replies to “Vicious Circles”

  1. I once sat on a airplane. The elderly woman next to me grimaced as the plane rose and fell in the winds beyond our port holes. “It is like life,” I said. “There are periods of great turbulence followed by moments of calm.” She agreed, her words strengthened by the wisdom of age.

    I recognize this same pattern in your essay. Viscous circles are a pattern of life. We are all caught in their vortex. Can you fight that which was created before you? I often try but rarely succeed. The circle is too strong, the return of the old now in the new is a force of nature, throwing our fragile jets about in the sky.

    Thank you for your beautiful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wise lady… Indeed, certain things simply cannot be avoided, no matter how hard we may try. But when it comes to those patterns, I can’t help noticing that we sometimes fall into them voluntarily, we relish our fall and we don’t even try to fight against them.
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


    1. Rocking the boat can be so tempting… 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by, I glad you enjoyed the purple. I’m a big fan of orchids, the ones I’ve got are blooming now and they really make my home a nicer place.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, my phalaenopsis typically bloom in late winter. I’ve acquired two others several years ago and one of them bloomed for the first time a few months ago; they require more heat and humidity than what I have in my indoor environment. But the phalaeonopsis are almost fool proof and keep blooming prolifically.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes, the phalaenopsis are not high maintenance 🙂 I’ve tried a different one as well, but it didn’t survive. Like you said, it needed more natural light than I could offer it.


  2. Thinking in terms of “If this had happened…If that choice…what if I had” had me depressed until I realized that i would probably have screwed up but in a different way so that I would someday be thinking, “If this…what if…” so there is no point in thinking that way.
    Thanks for liking my poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really well done – you are such a good writer and the second to last paragraph was my fav – so was the ending quote – need to come and read again – creative entry for circles – xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette… you always have the nicest things to say 🙂
      I felt that the last statement went well with the photo, even if it probably doesn’t make for the best conclusion (it made more sense in my head, where the post was about four times longer 🙂 ).

      Liked by 1 person

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