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There’s one thing I can’t help but notice since I’m back in Ireland for summer and that is the emphasis on ‘amazing’.   It seems, grand, fine and just alright no longer exist and everything from a burger to a minibreak is…..amazing.

Talk to anybody about a night out and they’ll tell you the meal was amazing, they had amazing cocktails, amazing craic, everybody looked amazing and generally the whole thing was amazing.   Talk to somebody about a holiday and they’ll say the same, the kids were amazing on the holiday, the place was amazing, the food was, of course, amazing and they feel amazing after coming back.   And leave it to those that spend an afternoon on the beach picking shells with the kids and send pictures, captioned, amazing day today in Roberts Cove

I have no gripe with amazing other than it doesn’t knock on my door, not much anyway. In truth perhaps only about twice, once being a goat’s cheese salad in Greene’s and the other being a beach in Greece, both were nearly twenty years ago.   My nights out are not usually amazing, enjoyable, yes but not amazing per se.   Dinner can be good, fine or alright, the craic peaks at good and always dips at some point to none. Everybody looks a little older, rounder and tireder despite the efforts of shellac and the spray tan, our efforts to grapple at our youth of yesteryear.

Holidays are the same. On arrival I usually wonder where the photographer stood to take the picture of the stretching living area when what is before me is equivalent to a studio apartment.   The kids complain about not getting enough return on their tickets in the amusements and seem generally underwhelmed despite your effort to wow them with the natural beauty of their surroundings.   I never feel amazing coming back, only knackered, bloated and broke and the day on the beach picking stones, in the absence of shells, was passable only because you got chips on the way home. No amazing here.

Frankly I find it intimidating, when I offer my holiday stories and present them all as fine, lovely and grand but opposite me, my friend says her trip to Lahinch was AMAZING, I’m sitting there, scratching my head wondering how come ‘amazing’ never happens me.

I’m really interested in amazing and how it has become so common, but it seems that once you scratch the surface, right underneath ‘amazing’ is anxiety, depression and inferiority complexes.   It seems that literally every second person either has an anxiety issue or is close to someone that is teetering on depression.   So, if everything and everyone is so amazing, how come no-one is happy!

It’s appears to be no longer enough to plough on through with raising kids, make the mortgage repayments and get by, you need to do it all with a smile and run 5k every day, and make sure you tell people that you run every day and give a wide smiled grin when you do so, so basically, they will think, you’re……amazing.

Pressures to have the right house in the right area, the right car with the right year of registration, the right job, the right holiday, the right shoes, the right handbag and if all that wasn’t enough, the right attitude. And now there’s arisen a new pressure, ‘are you happy with the way your parents brought you up?’, if you’re looking for a stick to beat yourself with, this is a given, ‘was your father encouraging, was your mother emotionally available?’.

So now I’m wondering maybe its not just me, maybe there is no amazing, for anyone, maybe contentment is being elevated to ‘amazing’ status to compensate for the banal, the ordinary, the everyday. Are we using amazing as temporary bandage to cover up the ordinary, if so, what’s wrong with ordinary?

Rather than fake and suffer the highs and lows wouldn’t we be a lot better off if we rid ourselves of ‘amazing’ and the depths of anti-amazing and just went with…. Grand.

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