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Accused of being an Optimist!

coast trail in Newman sound

Boreal Forest Trail
A view from along the Coastal Trail in Terra Nova National Park in Newfoundland, Canada. The trail follows the shore of Newman Sound. Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

November is all about being grateful, at least in my world. Yeah, there is some Christmas shopping, but mostly it’s a heightened awareness of the things that go right, and me trying not to dwell in the emotional desert when things don’t go quite right.

Count your blessings is such a cliche that sometimes we forget that being a cliche doesn’t make it not true. Without time traveling back to a younger me, I can’t state with utter certainty that I didn’t always get this. But I’m pretty sure I was clueless back then. [pauses to ponder] Yeah, clueless.

I know one thing I didn’t understand back then. Just because someone “puts on a happy face,” that doesn’t mean they don’t have problems. I spent (wasted) a lot of my youth looking ahead to “when,” because when xxxx happened, then life would be better. Fortunately I figured out that was a bad idea before I’d wasted too much of my youth future gazing.

I can still remember the shock I felt when a young mom told me that I didn’t understand her troubles because my life was perfect. I was like, “Oh, sweetie, my life would make you curl up in a corner sucking your thumb.”

“But you’re always smiling,” she countered.

Um, no. Because you aren’t “always” where you can see me, for one thing, and for another, I smile in public because what’s the point of inflicting my unhappy on the rest of the world? And if I leave the house with a smile pasted on, eventually it seeps down into the unhappy parts, slaps their faces, and tells them to suck it up.

That is not the first time I’ve been accused of being an optimist. I’m not sure I am, though. I’m actually kind of cynical. Winston Churchill weighted in with this:

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Hmm, not sure if I see “opportunity” or just can’t see the point of choosing to be unhappy. Yes, I get mugged by unhappy sometimes. It’s pretty sneaky, but when it takes me down, I wrestled it and then kick it to the curb as fast as possible.

Life is too short to be unhappy.

Seriously, my life is getting shorter and shorter. I passed a HUGE milestone in getting older this year. I do NOT have time to be unhappy for long.

So as I’m taking my journey down life’s path, I have lived long enough to know that I can focus on the shadows, or I can look to the sunlight breaking up those shadows. And I can even be grateful FOR the shadows that make the light seem brighter, even in darker times.

Though I might whine about them first.

Have you ever been accused of being an optimist? How do you feel about it? About them? Do they annoy you or do you “catch optimism?”

I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value).  Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.

And guess what? This is the FIRST blog post of the new month! And we have a winner!

Julie! (Thanks for all the boosts and support!)

Anabanana will be in touch with you about how to get your basket!

Perilously yours,

Pauline

P.S. So, it’s not ready to go, but I can’t NOT squee a bit over my VERY FIRST EVER holiday release. It’s part of a little bundle called All I Got For Christmas and yeah, it’s got some sunshine and shadow in there. Oh, and aliens. You know I couldn’t leave those out. It should be available by the middle of November. Optimistically. [grin]

All I Got For Christmas cover