Well, I was at the very end of a fairly long post to add to my Happiness category, when Microsoft Word decided to die on me. And no, I had not saved a draft along the way as I should have…of course not, Silly! Ugh. Not happy. But it’s okay, because it is the universe asking me to put my money where my mouth is and live what I happened to have been writing about.
I had started the aborted post by saying I had spent the last several days painting my bedroom and bathroom
and in the process had made two exciting discoveries. One, I determined that painting two rooms in a house with ten foot ceilings is the equivalent of doing 1,000,000 squats, give or take a 1,000. Ay carumba!
Two, I determined that I was damn lucky to have been given a body in full working order, and damn smart to have taken care of it so I could do such hard work.
I was then reminded of a woman who had been in a fitness support group with me. (I would credit her by name if I could only remember it.) She had said that whenever you find yourself saying, “I have to…” you should switch it to “I get to..” and see how your attitude falls in line. So instead of “I have to paint and I’m tired, and my legs and my hand hurt and wah, wah, wah…” I changed it to, “I get to paint my house, that I’m fortunate to have when there are so many in the world who don’t.” This one little change, in one little word, in a phrase we throw out many times a week, can really shake up your perspective. So when my computer crashed, at first I cursed and said, “Now I have to redo it,” then I whined, then I realized the irony of what I was doing and I put on my big girl pants and said, “Okay, so now I get to try and remember what I had said and rewrite it. Lucky that I have a cool lap top to do it on, (that hopefully won’t crash again.)” I’ll know I’m really rockin’ a good attitude when I can come to it without the preliminary bitching and moaning.
Perspective is, indeed, everything. Here are some quotes for your consideration, from people much wiser than myself, and they confirm it!
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
― Abraham Lincoln
“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
― John Lubbock
“The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.”
― Oscar Wilde
“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
― Wayne W. Dyer
And, to close, one of my father’s favorite jokes..
The joke concerns twin boys of five or six. *Worried that the boys had developed extreme personalities — one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist — their parents took them to a psychiatrist.
First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. ”What’s the matter?” the psychiatrist asked, baffled. “Don’t you want to play with any of the toys?” “Yes,” the little boy bawled, “but if I did I’d only break them.”
Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. ”What do you think you’re doing?” the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. “With all this manure,” the little boy replied, beaming, “there must be a pony in here somewhere!”
Sometimes people mock the optimists of the world, calling them Pollyannas. Dictionary.com defines Pollyanna as “an excessively or blindly optimistic person” and Pollyannaish as “unreasonably or illogically optimistic.” But I find myself wondering, can you really be too optimistic? Illogically so? Isn’t it almost always better to assume the best, of situations, of people, of yourself? I’m not sure if my natural inclinations are toward being a cock-eyed optimist or not. It doesn’t really matter. Screw nature. I choose it. I want to be blindly optimistic. I want to see the roses and disregard the thorns, see the donut, not the hole. And most of all, I really want to find that damn pony!
And now, for your entertainment, I give you Shirley Temple!!!
* The pony joke is pulled from an excerpt from “How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life” by Peter Robinson. Apparently this was President Reagan’s favorite joke too.