Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Proud to be a Pessimist

I used to be an idealist. Then I grew up.

One of my favorite posts of mine (if I do say so myself...and clearly I do) was The Power of Negative Thinking. And many of you have been graced with this link. And many of you have come back with three of my most favorite words: "you were right."

Yes, negative thinking has gotten a bad rep. And being the blogger who's not for everyone, I am here to stand up for it.

I still live my life according to the glass being empty kind of philosophy. And most days, I wake up loving my life a lot more than I did when I "hoped for the best."

Now, to be clear, this is not to say that I don't have nightmare scenarios.  Nearly every day, I wake up afraid that I'll get laid off or fired. So every day (so far), I'm grateful that the gate still opens with my parking pass. Every day (so far), I'm grateful for the girls' health because there is simply no way I could handle anything ever happening to them. Every day, I'm afraid that my X has discovered how to get into my checking account, so every day, I'm relieved that my banking balances is where I expect them to be. (Just checked again...phew!!)

Posting that paragraph? Is going to be the cause of tonight's insomnia. Because dammit, just like you should never say on an L.A. freeway, "hey, there's no traffic," my life is going to come to a screeching halt for just saying that I have anything good in my life. I mean, come on! When I tried to say, hey, I'll accept that the other shoe isn't dropping, it did.

But here's the difference between then and now that I'm hoping will keep me from losing my job, my home, and the three of us moving back in with my parents: I expect that things will change. I expect that some of those changes will be really, really hard. I expect that any day now, Sylvia will stop talking to me. I expect that I am about to lose some cherished friendships.

So what the hell, I'm going to revel in every boring moment now! I am going to let my friends know that I love them. I am going to hug Sylvia for as long as she'll let me.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I whine about work (especially since our move), I get annoyed with the girls, and I push my cat off my lap when I need to reach the keyboard. But then I'll have those flashes of what I can lose and I answer that work email at 8 pm, I'll smile when I check in on the girls before I go to bed, and I'll give my cat extra pets because I know she's going to die soon. (She's 18 years old; it's going to happen.)

And while I tried to read The Power of Now, The Secret, and all of those, none of them worked for me. It was dreading the next staff meeting, ranting about my X, and being able to visualize exactly how much worse it can get that makes me say, "this isn't so bad after all."

This post is inspired by The Daily Post's topic: Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist? Go ahead and guess.


Pippi said...

I hope you survive whatever comes, without losing anything that really matters deep down. :)

jenn said...

I'm a pessimist also. I don't think it's so bad either. I'm the one that always looks at what could go wrong when someone is planning something. But because I look at the negative, sometimes I can find a solution before there is a problem.

And I agree with you, I appreciate things in my life more sometimes because I know how easy it would be to lose them. Shiloh's only four and I already worry about her being a moody teenager. So I hug her as much as I can now.

Florinda said...

Funny - I wrote about this yesterday, as I'm slowly discovering the growth of an optimistic streak. It's not as bad I thought it might be.

BigLittleWolf said...

This is why I like pragmatism, or - what I call "moderated optimism" - if I have to choose a label at all.

We all need our public face(s), but to pretend perky all the time is a tremendous amount of energy. Especially when you're dealing with very real issues, or you're just plain beat!

That perspective of "things could always be worse" - and then knowing exactly what that means (because you've been there) - it's a helpful tool to keep things in check. Not jumping for joy artificially, but recognizing where relatively - you're doing okay.

And sometimes, okay is pretty damn good!

Danielle said...

Really really awesome points. The more we except that life happens, the more we will be able to deal with a smile when it does!