The Downside of Optimism
It was the 4th, or was it the 5th day of rain? Either way I was awoken at 5AM with the sound of rain drops that seemed the size of rocks hitting the roof gutter. I pulled the pill over my head and snuggled deeper down under my cozy comforter. A few hours later as I prepared to walk Metta the sun was miraculously shinning. Joy filed me as I thought about walking in the warm sun rays, and knowing that the rain storm had final passed. I slid into my thin puffy coat and Ugg boats, no need to wear the rain coat and Hunter boots I had been living in. I petted Metta and attached him to his leash. We are about to walk out the front door when my sunglasses shout out to me, “Don’t forget me. You will need me, it’s sunny out”. I gleefully grabbed them and slid them on my smiling face. Off we went.
As promised the sun shined, the air was cool and crisp and there was a pep in mine and Metta’s step as we walked down the block. We were halfway down the street when I felt shockingly cold rain drops fall from the tree tops above. I shot an annoyed look up at the branches, but surprisingly there were no branches. There was no tree I realize right as a big drop plops square in the middle of my forehead! Noooooo! The sky opens and swallows my friend the sun, simultaneously letting lose a raindrop stamped upon us. If Metta could speak he would tell you he is allergic to the rain. This allergic reaction was never more evident as he tucked his ears down and glares up at me, similarly to how I did moments before to the nonexistent tree. I slid the sunglasses off my face laughing at my earlier optimism as Metta and I ran home. I longed for my raincoat and Hunter boots the whole way.
By the time, we arrived back my puffy and Metta’s fur were soaked. Being drenched and cold was an obvious downside of my optimism. I dried Metta off, changed my clothing, dried and restyled my hair. I became aware as I scurried around getting ready for my day for the second time, that I still had pep in my step. On further self-reflection, it was obvious to me I still was full of joy, and even optimism. How could that be? Just a few years earlier something like being caught in a rainstorm without an umbrella would have ruined my day. I would have allowed the sogginess to seep into the other parts of my day. Coming home later defeated, frustrated and angry at the world. I don’t know when it changed, better yet when I changed. It was not a lightning bolt moment. It was most likely all the moments between losing my first business in 2009, and losing my mom in 2018. In that almost 9-year period, I became the person that choices how to live instead of being responsive to what life throws me. Simon calls this one of my super powers. In some ways he is right, I have the power to not fall victim to my circumstances. Guess what so do you. The next time the rain ruins your plans choose to be the sunshine. The next time someone cuts your off, blow them a kiss. The next time someone disrespects you, respect humanity and speak back to them with compassion. The next time you forget the answer, forgive yourself and move on. The next time you think you’re having a bad day, thank “it” because you know tomorrow will feel sweeter in comparison to today.