Monday, April 18, 2011


I am not optimistic by nature. From the time I've been a little girl, I've tended toward the serious, gloom and doom side. I do focus on the negatives of life. Just the other day, I got the boys and I Qdoba for dinner - we had free coupons that expired that night and it was after a volleyball game, so it was late - 8:00 p.m. Of course, I ordered the small Nachos and didn't get any chips to go with them! Then for some strange reason, they've stopped sending me the Values advertising supplement that used to come every Wednesday in the mail. It is full of the store ads and coupons for fast food places which come in handy with the boys. I didn't request they stop my delivery. I talked with the postman and he told me to call the company putting out the ads. I did so but only got voice mail - left a message asking for the ads to be sent again, but after two weeks haven't gotten it yet.

Anyway, my youngest told me last week that I am the most negative person he knows. I wasn't upset, although this was while I was driving him to Build-A-Bear, a 20-mile round trip and felt he could have saved the comment for another time. I've been thinking about his statement. His interactions have been with me as an only parent, first grieving the loss of his father, then grieving my divorce and then the loss of my home. A lot of years with a lot of sadness and strain.

For a while now, I've been toying with the idea of really trying to be more positive in my life. To try and turn the negatives into positives and all that. I was going to even make this a new year resolution and give it a go for a month. But I've changed my mind. Pain, sorrow and hardship are part of the human condition. By pretending to make negatives into positives, I'm not honoring who I am or how I'm feeling. And I want to be as authentic as possible.

Here's the deal. We live in this society that doesn't want to feel any pain. We try to avoid it at all cost and put down people who can't seem to be more positive despite their problems. Well, right not life is hard in certain ways and I'm not going to gloss over that. My life is getting better but it is a slow climb from all the loss. This period of my life is just what it is. Some challenging years as an only parent following the death of my husband, loss of home and financial instability. And you know, that is okay. It can be kind of crummy right now. I don't have to make excuses for how I feel about my life or feel bad on top of all else because I can't muster up the strength to always be optimistic and cheerful 24/7.

I try not to wallow. I do my best to look for the good in everyday. But it is still okay to say that this is a tough time for me right now. That things could be better and that I wish they were. Sometimes to just be coping with the situation at hand is optimism in and of itself. And in closing, it isn't funny to come home with a bowl of uneatable Nachos and it not being worth it to drive back to the Qdoba the next town over.


  1. I also tend to see things from the negative things, and this makes me insane sometimes. This ain't good. So to get my path on the positive side, I see things (everything!) as blessings. I know there is a reason behind everything happens. It makes me relieved :)
    Nice post by the way. Love your writing!
    xo, Mezo from Jakarta, Indonesia

  2. I can be rather negative at times too, but I try to look for the positive as well. It's normal to feel pain and sadness, but there are also good things in life too! =)

    Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!

  3. This is such a brave post. And I think you have a point - there's a lot of pressure that's put on us to feel "the right way," especially when it involves grief.

    It's not the same thing, and I don't intend to suggest otherwise, but my wife and I have had to find ways of coping with our childless condition. We've found that the support of some of our friends had a shelf-life: we're expected to "get over it" and stop "depressing" them. It's really not fair that, as a society, we don't do enough to allow people to come to terms with their circumstances their own way. The truth is, we really don't know what anybody else is going through, and none of us have a right to say what they should or shouldn't do about it.

    I believe things get better, but optimism comes more naturally to me, maybe; I've been lucky, and I know that. Until they improve for you, hang in there. You're doing fine as far as I can see.

  4. Mezo - Cool to receive a comment from someone so far away. And nice to know that all around the world we end up feeling and experiencing the same things. I'm not sure I can ever view everything that happens to me as a blessing, I'm way too negative for that but I admire your efforts to gain a different perspective.

    Sarah - I agree with you about life being a mix of good and bad. But I think that our society wants to wipe out all the bad and that is what I am protesting in this post.

    Mojo - I am truly sympathetic to your situation and do understand the "shelf-life" you speak of. I greatly grieved the loss of my home which is no where near the value of a person or baby. So I know that grief isn't just about someone dying. Take care and all the best to you and your wife.

  5. I tend to think I am a realist. As we KNOW, life is not full of all wonderful happenings. There is loss, sorrow, difficulties, etc. I try hard to be upbeat, but I am not going to hide and pretend that all is well all the time, because it is not. Thankfully, I have a few friends that allow me to be me, with no condemnation.

    Continue to be who you are because your realness is helping others.

    Much love!