This may seem like a somewhat ridiculous thing to say, but bear with me.
Life is like a bathroom ceiling.
Most of the time, it’s just there. It sits around, mostly unobserved (nobody ever looks up!), white and bland. Boring.
Then one day a leak starts in the flat above you. It may not even be visible at first, just dripping away inside the walls.
Maybe the ceiling gets a little damp. But nobody ever looks up, so you don’t notice until it starts dripping.
By then it’s far too late.
The leak proves hard to track down. It’s not come from the flat immediately above you, but the one above that. It’s been dribbling down in the stairwell. Nobody noticed it, but it’s been there for months.
The water damage is too great, and before you know it, half your ceiling is on the floor and your bathroom is flooded.*
Sometimes, our lives are like that. We take them for granted, never look at them.
But there’s that niggling little thing at the back of our brains. Maybe it’s a neighbour who vacuums at odd hours. Maybe a co-worker who takes advantage of your good nature and piles on the work. Maybe your children are ungrateful.
It all adds up until suddenly, boom! Nervous breakdown.
The sad thing is, bathroom ceilings (any ceilings, really) aren’t bland and boring at all. Take a look at yours the next time you go. See the little imperfections in the paster and paint work. Are there patterns or textures in the paint? Look at where the ceiling meets the walls. What kind of joint is it? Is there an interesting fitting around the light?
And when you’re done with that, take a good look at your life, too.
* Mostly true. I had a fun weekend.