Akif Abdulamir When the roof threatens to fall on your head, sometimes you dont get the chance to hear the creaking sound. It just collapses heavily and crushes everything under its weight. When I was a child. I saw it happen once but luckily there were no casualties because it was the roof of a workshop. Its owner, a middle-aged handy man, used to pile up all sorts of things on the tin roof when he ran out of space in the storeroom. It is funny how these early experiences creep up, catching you unawares. It is like a sudden flash of lightening in a dark room that momentarily lights up dark corners. You see things in proper perspective and you are given a chance to connect the obvious. I also remember the words of my grandmother, God bless her soul, who used to say: We all have two roofs. She would leave the sentence trailing off, first tapping her gray head and then pointing towards the ceiling. She did not impress me then and I thought she was getting senile in her old age. Youth and old age sometimes do not hit off right away but they connect when one starts to bridge the wisdom gap, years later. As I come to think of it now, I know that the flashing light really does illuminate all the dark recesses. A building structure has a roof and a human body has a head. Unfortunately for humans, we cannot see what we pile on our heads until the roof caves in and crushes our mental faculties. Roofs tend to rust too and reduce the protective effectiveness. Similarly, a rusty mind diminishes a sense of reality when the burden becomes too heavy to carry. When you start to worry about your life it is like slinging scraps of information in your mind. The deeper you worry, the more brain space you use up until there is none left. It then takes only one more slinging for you to go into depression mode. It is often petty disagreements you have with some aspects of your life that grow into a mountain of discontent. Worrying wrecks are usually fusspots who look for perfection. Usually anxieties give way to despair, which in turn creates that hollow feeling in the pit of your stomach. The packed mind never lets you be at peace and will certainly send you packing to an early grave. I know of a woman who finds every excuse to ruin her day when everything is sailing smoothly. She would sit in her living room and look around to find that tiny speck that landed on her clean carpet. Her typical question would be: Who moved that jug to the left? In doing so, she would deprive herself hours of relaxation. Such people always feel guilty when they are happy. They may not know how to handle good moments and get suspicious when everything runs smoothly. I also know people who would spill food on their clothes but happily continue to eat despite futile glances from their wives. I should know because my wife has promised a countless number of times to buy me a bib. If I could attest to my grandmothers metaphor, then I would say that when the load hits the ceiling and becomes too much to handle, then we need to cut some of the overheads. I would suggest we begin by throwing away all the junk that 'pack the mind. Maybe then, we could free some space and let positive thoughts clear the way. But first, we need to convince ourselves we deserve to be happy no matter what the odds are. Khaleej Times