It is holiday weekend here in Belgium (today, Monday, is a national feast day to celebrate the formation of Belgium). Usually it is a day of pageantry; of kings and politicians. This year is special however; because after several failed attempts to form a government, Belgium’s national political structure is in crisis. As if to match the empty feeling of the political vacuum, the weather is cold and damp making even the most optimistic of people depressed.

In keeping with this national malaise, last night at a family BBQ (held indoors due to the treacherous weather) we discussed the variance age has on our outlook on life. Comparing how it is from the eyes of our elderly relatives to that of their children and their children’s children. The result was a general acceptance that even with old age there is still much room for optimism and making plans, busying ourselves with activities that give our lives meaning. (As John Lennon aptly put it “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans”).

However, I do not think that anyone has put it better than Mark Twain “'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do”. With this wisdom, I have decided to enjoy my national feast day to the full, and not to slip back into completing business plans and dealing with unanswered e-mails. Today I am going to spend what little of it I have left, lazing around and achieving absolutely nothing.

Tomorrow the sun will shine, Godot will come, and I will be full of new energy ready to take on challenges that give my life meaning.

If you are reading this in a warm and sunny climate, in a country with a long and deep seated sense of history, with political stability and optimism, then I can understand if you think “what is Harley on about this week?” If not, I know you will not need any explanation of how bad weather can determine our prevailing mood?

Have a good week,