optimism

I’ve been trying to come up with a topic for today’s Sunday Thoughts. I’ve looked through my “blog ideas” folder and scanned lists of questions that will “change my life.” Nothing really inspired me. I found myself thinking that it’s all nonsense. Sure, sure. Nothing really changes. Blah blah blah.

Oh yeah, that’s the attitude that makes my happiness project so fulfilling.

I found this list of 12 things that happy people do differently. Nothing on it is particularly new or different. “Express gratitude,” “Avoid over-thinking and social comparison,” “Practice acts of kindness,” “Develop strategies for coping.”

Well, perhaps that last one speaks to me.

But then, there’s another I really need to work on, “Cultivate optimism.”

Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism. No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it. She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life. People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.

I call my outlook on life “being realistic.” Truth is, I have really come to a place of expecting the worst. At least most of the time. There are moments of unrealistic hope. Like sometimes I look at my mom’s face and I see the mom I knew, at least a piece of her. Or Dad has a good day and seems like his old self. And I think, this is going to be okay.

Once upon a time, I sliced straight into my thumb with a very sharp knife. I cut, I suppose, right along the bone and bisected my thumb from tip to the root of my nail. My first thought was, “that can’t be as bad as it looks.” Is that optimism or denial? I kind of view optimism like that. Oh sure, think the best. See problems as opportunities. View the world through rose colored glasses.

There must be somewhere in between, don’t you think? Not stupid, slap-a-smile-on-your-face optimism but realistic I’ll-get-through-this optimism. A not-quitting optimism? The energy to keep rowing because you know there is a path out of the swamp rather than being mired down in the mud just trying to trudge through another day.

I’m not sure how to get there. Maybe being aware of where I am is the ubiquitous first step.

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4 thoughts on “optimism”

  1. This past year has been a dose of awful; I’ve tried to be realistic and vented, cried, raged when I needed to–but in order to keep going, I tried to find a positive in each day. Sometimes it was very, very difficult.

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  2. It’s hard, isn’t it, to look past the awful? Finding something positive in every day is a good thing. I forget…… It’s important to be reminded.

    So something positive today. My gaming guild wants me to remain an officer even though I often feel like I don’t contribute that much.

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