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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How an Optimist Operates

A lot of people claim to be optimists, but to really claim the title (and take perkiness to a whole new, unhealthy level), you gotta be able to find the bright spot in ANY situation.  

It's more than making lemonade out of lemons.  
Any fool can do that.  
A real optimist can make tea out of sweat socks. 

For example, once while driving somewhere with my dad (I was still in high school), the car broke down.  Make no mistake, this was a crisis in the family.  We only had the one car, couldn't afford to get it towed much less fixed, and posed a real problem that persisted for weeks.

And yet, I found a way to be grateful.  I convinced myself that the breakdown prevented us from getting into an accident further down the road.  Wouldn't you choose a dead car over a dead or injured self? 

There was THIS time when my son got the flu and threw up every half hour all night long.  I was ecstatic he got sick at home and not on the risers in the gym during his music concert earlier in the evening.

See?  No matter how bad something is, you can usually twist it into something worse and you'll be oh-so-glad THAT didn't happen.

Yesterday morning I went to check my gym bag to make sure I had the necessities.  It'd been a few days since I'd gone, (though in my defense, I'd been very active, so it wasn't like I was slackin'). I couldn't remember if I had packed my bag with fresh clothes or not. 

It was NOT.

That's not the bad part, though.

I noticed this teeny tiny maggot-like wormy things all over my pants...and my t-shirt...and towel.  I don't know if there were some eggs or something that rubbed off from the bottom of my gym shoes or if they'd crawled in there from the laundry room floor or what.  I dunno, and I don't care to know. 

I'm just REALLY REALLY glad I found them and was able to wash the clothes, bag and all.  If I'd found them in the locker room at the gym I would have screeched in a very unflattering, immature kinda way. 

So, I thought it was time to share my secrets to looking at the brighter side of things. 

To exercise your inner optimist, follow these steps:
1. Acknowledge the situation is not ideal.
2. Think of something worse.  You'll know it's the "right" alternative if it makes you shudder or wrinkle your nose in disgust.
3. Concentrate on this other situation -- think about how inconvenient/painful/expensive/humiliating it would be to deal with it
4. Now think back to the mess you're currently in. 
5. Smile. (make it a big one...people should be suspicious of the cheesy grin pasted on your mug) At least you don't have to deal with THAT.

So, who here is an optimist?


Bethany Elizabeth said...

I am SUCH an optimist. It's ridiculous, really. Actually... that may not be the right word. It's not so much that I look on the bright side of things, more like I just am happy in lots of situations. Hmm..

Lindsay said...

Ewww. Wormy thing in gym bag!!!

I try to be an optimist. I figure there is always a bright side somewhere. Although I do like the occasional wallow in gloom. I figure those are the cookie moments ;-)

aspiring_x said...

tea out of sweaty socks= SHEER AWESOMENESS!!!!

i'm moody. somedays i'm opeimistic- others pessimisstic. it's like flipping a coin. :)

Emily White said...

I'm with Vic on this one (both the awesomeness of tea out of sweaty socks and the moody part). Sometimes I can find the positive in EVERYTHING. Other times, it's all doom and gloom.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I often humor in crappy situations and yes, I always imagine how it could be worse.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That entire gym bag would've hit the garbage! Outside garbage, too.

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I often get odd looks from others for my optimism, but I think it works. I tend to use the motto "Smile when life goes great, and laugh when it doesn't". It seems to work :P

ed pilolla said...

i love it. a recipe for optimism. and it's not bad at all. the times i have been optimistic i have followed something close to this. thanks for a important reminder.

Carolyn V said...

My sister-in-law complained once that my glasses were too rosy colored. lol!

Glad you got those gym clothes cleaned. ew. =)

Susanne Drazic said...

I try to always be an optimist. Might not always happen, but I do try.

GigglesandGuns said...

I'm optimistic even though some who read my blog think not. I love making fun of the less than perfect situation. Isn't that why I have them -- so I can write about them?

Janet Johnson said...

I so am!

Jolene Perry said...


And yes, one of my favorite sayings is - it can always be worse...