Optimist, Pessimist or Something Else? (Post a Week – Topic #32)

I usually describe myself as a “glass half empty” person trying to become a “glass half full” person.  That is until a friend of mine said something that changed my outlook on the optimist vs. pessimist perspective.  He said “An optimist may see the glass as half full, and a pessimist may see the glass as half empty, but a realist sees the glass as much too big for his needs.”

He went on to say that, although I may consider myself a pessimist, I recognize that being a pessimist keeps me from enjoying life to the fullest.  The fact that I not only recognize this, but I continue to try to change my thought patterns by consciously being aware of my thoughts, means that I’m more of a realist.

Being a realist means seeing things as they really are, not how we want or expect them to be.  I think in most cases, a pessimist expects too often.  They expect your news to be bad, they expect that in any given situation, they will be burdened in some way or taken advantage of.  Whereas an optimist is more likely to see things the way they want them to be.  This is a generalization, of course.  By no means am I saying that all pessimists and optimists are the same.

I consider myself a realist, now.  By rejecting the label of “pessimist”, I am doing myself a favor, as well.  Thinking myself a pessimist, only makes me more pessimistic.  After all it’s a negative label, and implies there is something wrong with me.

I am who I am.  I may not always see the glass as half full, but I try to look at the good and the bad in every situation.  Seeing things the way they are helps me keep things in perspective.  That may not work for everyone, but it works for me.  What else can I ask for?

Are you an optimist, a pessimist or a realist?

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My Bucket List

Things I’d like to do before I kick the bucket (in no particular order).

I’d like to see the world.  I really mean that… THE WORLD.  I can’t think of any place I don’t want to go.  At the top of my list is Europe, Egypt, Russia, Israel, India, China, Japan, Australia and of course all 50 of our beautiful states.

I’d like to see my boys grow up and have families of their own.  To hold my grandchildren and spoil them rotten.  My mother-in-law always says “I only had children so I could have grandchildren.”  She gets all the fun of the kids and can send them home to us.  The best of both worlds!

I want to see a real, live Komodo Dragon… from afar.  I don’t want to get too close to those bad boys, but I just love them!  The way they walk reminds me of a bulldog and I giggle every time.  Along those same lines, I also want to jump on a gator.  On ‘Dirty Jobs’ they went to this place that teaches you how to do it.  You start with a little guy and work your way up to a 6 or 7 footer.  That would be awesome!

I want to learn another language.  I’m not sure which though.  Narrowing it down would be the hardest part for me.  Japanese, Russian and German are just a few I’m interested in.  I’ve thought about buying RosettaStone or even Muzzy.

And lastly, for once in my life, I’d like to finish something.  It doesn’t even matter what it is.  I have a bad habit of starting things and never finishing them.  Like the blanket I was crocheting when I was pregnant with my first son, the cross-stitch pattern I’m halfway through with, and the glass painting I’m too chicken to even try.  I’d just like to see one thing through to completion.

What’s on your bucket list?

My Window

I stare out the window at the damp, grey sky and I feel the heaviness of this day down to my very core.  I notice the cars as they drive by, but I don’t really see them.  I don’t wonder where they’re going or care what they’re thinking.  I am only annoyed for the inconsiderate interruption.

I notice the light beginning to fade and the shadows shifting.  It will be dark soon, and I will see nothing but my own reflection in the window I look through now… but I don’t budge.  I want only to sit and wallow in my misery.  Staring at the rain helps me wallow and this is why I do it.

Thoughts rush through my head at speeds that would put Earnhardt to shame.  I can’t keep up with these thoughts, they make me dizzy and push me further down the hole I find myself in.

My thoughts are suddenly broken by the sound of the wind whistling, and I again notice the window.  I can still see through it, but I am starting to see my opaque reflection.  And at the moment, my life makes perfect sense.

In the light, I can look through my window and the view is clear.  I see the world and its inhabitants as they pass by.  I live my life based on what I see through that window.

But in the darkness, I see only myself when I look through my window.  In the darkness, I live my life based only on my own selfish motives.

It’s easy to see in the light.  I can get through whatever life throws at me because I can see clearly.  But in times of struggle, it becomes difficult to see past my own reflection.  I cannot see so clearly what life throws at me.  It requires an effort to look past myself.

My thoughts are broken again.  This time by the sound of my children playing.  I turn away from my window to see their happy faces, and my mind stops racing as I watch them play.

My window has reminded me of the importance of what lies beyond myself.  The answer to the question I didn’t realize I was looking for, was in my window all along.