Monday, February 11, 2008

Optimism

I've gotten a forward several times. I don't know who wrote it, and I'm not sure if the people who forwarded it along to me know who really wrote it, but it's about a guy who, no matter what happens to him, states, "If I were any better, I would be twins." We can't change whatever has happened to us. We only get to decide on our attitude about it. Julie Pippert wrote a post about her little girl who went to a birthday party, and while she was there, she had a whole bunch of fun. On the way home, her daughter's balloon popped. The little girl was devistated and instantly began to hate the party. However, the mom had a wonderful, attached parent answer. Please remember the good things too.

Really, that's the difference between the pessimists and the optimists in this world. There are people who have a whole lot more happen to them, simply because life dealt them a garbage hand, than I have happen to me, but many of them are some of the most optimistic people I know. It's the optimism and hope that makes overcoming obstacles possible. If we don't believe that things can ever be good, no matter how good they get, we won't see it. We'll only see the good if we're looking for good. I know this sounds trite, and it may seem like the same thing we've heard a thousand times. However, the difference really is in whether or not we WANT to be happy. I can't make Rob happy. He gets to choose whether or not he's happy.

Abusive parents blame their kids or spouse or whomever is around for the person's bad mood. They get mad at their kids for the smallest things and then they blame their anger on their kids. Some famous words are, "You make me so mad!" However, those words are never true. Sometimes, our kids do things, and we feel anger, but our reactions are our own. I can choose to look at the situation and act out my anger, or I can choose to look at the situation and ponder about how to make it a good situation.

The catch to this is that we only get to be in control of our own lives. It is my job to try to help Jackie see the world with optimism and joy, but she is also in charge of choosing for herself. My father is and always has been an example of great optimism. I can only remember three times that my father acted angry. He ended up retiring from his job my freshman year of high school because he was sick with Parkinson's disease. However, even when he wasn't feeling well, he reacted to life with optimism. Optimism still runs strong with him although he's 78 and getting extremely tired. Someday, I want to grow up and be as optimistic as my daddy.

4 comments:

Robert said...

Your Dad is definitely one of my heroes. He has the most positive, loving outlook on life of anyone I know. He is patient and kind, and I love to hear his stories. He's never one to say "I'm too old to learn this" or "I'm too old to do that." He just learns it or does it. I want to grow up to be like him some day, too.

Kimberley said...

Ellie
My mom always told me that I can get happy in the same pants I get mad in. I like what you said we can choose to be an optimist, although that choice is hard, for me. I look at something even a rainbow and see all of the mud my child can get it to. I think that is why I love hanging out with you and being your friend, it is because you are so happy all of the time, I feel you teach me how to be a better Mom to my little Girl. Thanks So much for being such a Great Friend! Kim

le35 said...

Thanks, Kim. I feel like sometimes things are hard, and I'm not happy all of the time. However, one of my goals this year is to try to be happy and to look on the bright side. I think that there are good things about not being messy. I'm not good at it. Therefore, look at my house! UGH! Oh well, I'm working on it, and if I try hard enough, it will get better. Hey! There is some more optimism! I'm getting better at it!

Katie said...

I love this post! What a great reminder to me, as I seem to have had a struggle with that recently. It's not that my life has been any harder than usual, I just seem to have lost my spunk:) Anyway, after reading your post I have vowed to bring back the optimism! Thanks!