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Looking on the bright side

Michael J. Fox had a TV special one day last week about optimism. I did not catch the entire show, but I did think the topic was a good one. What does make one person an optimist and another more of a doom-and-gloom person?

For the most part, I am optimistic, and I think that a simple story I read helped shaped this attitude.

In the fall of 1999, I had my heart set on buying a Honda CRV. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a new one at any of the nearby dealerships, and my car lease was about to run out. So one day, Brian and I test-drove a used Ford Explorer. It was bigger and older than what I wanted, but the car and I hit it off well, so I took it. However, within days, I had great feelings of regret and panic. I was sure that my car would need multiple repairs while I would still be paying a hefty car payment. In fact, some nights I did not sleep, I was so worried.

Then one day, I thought back to a Chicken Soup for the Soul story I read (or maybe I read it at that time). I don't think I have the details correct, but the gist of it was, some bad things happened to someone, who seemed to take it all in stride. When asked how he/she could be so positive, this person replied, "I can be sad that I wrecked my car, or I can be happy that I wrecked my car. Either way, my car is wrecked." I might be confusing this with another Chicken Soup story, but this same person may have even had cancer or have been shot and had the same attitude.

And that is the idea I have tried to adopt. Do I always subscribe to this theory? Well, no. Sometimes, I want to feel sorry for myself. Other times I cannot help worrying about things I have no control over. But for the most part, I think it is a good mantra to have.

I hope if life hands you lemons, you can make lemonade; you will probably be a lot happier and a lot less thirsty in the long run.

Go Pens!


chris h. said…
Facie, this is so funny. I have been feeling pessimistic lately, and wasn't happy about it (ha ha). So I started a post I named "Optimistically speaking" over the weekend and never went anywhere with it (maybe someday). Then I tuned into your blog and found your post on the same topic. Must be something in the water...
Facie :-) said…
Weird, wild stuff, that is for sure.

Hopefully someday I will get to read your post. Of course, I will probably have forgotten about mine by then.

Last month I found a post I had written in February (but never posted) about the bad economy and the fear of losing my job. I had forgotten all about it until I just recently saw it in my drafts folder. Weird.

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