C’est la vie or: Why I may have been too optimistic about optimism.



Groucho Marx once said “I had a lovely evening, unfortunately this wasn’t it.” Well, I had a lovely week, unfortunately this wasn’t it.

 I don’t know about you, but this year as been one test of my sanity after another.I could sit and rattle off the list of the crappy things I have endured during 2009, but I won’t for two reasons. 1) It would probably either bore you or annoy you. 2) I don’t like to dwell on the past. I read somewhere that when we remember painful events from our past, our brain actually can’t decipher between the memory and the event and our bodies react to the memory they same way we react to the event. I have no idea, whether this fact or not, but it certainly makes sense.

I use to talk about work all the time; I’d get home and regale the tales of my day at the “WFCCF”. But I stopped doing it because what I started to find out is that as I spoke of my grievances I began to feel the grief and aggravation of the day.  I’d end up feeling worse then when I didn’t say a word. Sometimes I catch myself talking about work and it kills me inside because, while I get paid a decent amount to put up with my job, Monday through Friday from 7:30-4:00pm, I do not get paid to put up with it when I leave. They may keep my happiness prisoner 40 hours a week, but I refuse to let them have it for the remaining 128 hours that I am not trapped in this cubicle from hell. (Actually I’m quite fond of my cubicle. I’ve decorated it in order to remind me of the world outside.)

I’ve been watching this video horoscope, called Soul Garden. I’m a sucker when it comes to astrology and the power of the sun moon and stars.

 Side note: I do not see it as a written in stone kind of thing, but more like a flexible guide to help you deal with the circumstances of your life. A road map, if you will, that helps you know what areas you should focus on, but necessarily how to focus on them.

 So, I have been tuning into this video horoscope daily for about a month. The host started talking about how now is the time to envision “the you that you wish to be” and to examine the weeds in your “soul garden” and make adjustments.

Recently I started to notice that the anguish I felt at work was spilling over into my outside life. So I made a declaration, a bold declaration, that I would stay positive and not let 2009 get the better of me.

It would seem that the moment I made the declaration, the universe did everything in its power to prove how difficult this task would be. At first I was devastated. Not just by the crummy luck I seemed to be having, but because I started to think that I was defective. Was I incapable of staying positive? Was I doomed to live my life a gloomy Gus?

Then last evening, I came home from work, exhausted because the night before I had only managed to get four hours of sleep. Earlier that day, I had made the decision that I would get home and go straight to bed. Hide from the world until the next day. I got home, put on my PJs and as I hopped into bed, my husband decided he would join me.  Apparently this could not be done without sports, or more specifically sports talk being on the television in our bedroom.

 Side note: My husband is beyond obsessed with sports and I think he has to have it on at all times or he will parish.

 As I lay there in bed, somewhere between sleep and awake, I heard one of the guests from “Around The Horn” quote Dolly Parton. Something about rainbows and rain. It was the mention of Dolly Parton on a sports show that jolted me out of my sleepy state just long enough to ask my husband what it is the guest actually said. “If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.” I went to sleep.

Side note:  (I promise that I’m going somewhere with this. Just hold on a moment longer) I’ve never been a journal writer. I find it to be pointless and uncomfortable. (Side note within a side note: I think I like the concept of blogging because, ideally, they are read by other people, so it is more of an exchange of ideas) Journals are almost never shared with other people. So I find the writing of them to be pointless. If I want to reflect on something, then I just think about it.

 I reflect on things a lot. I have a desire to not only know something exists, but to understand why exists and why it impacts me and others. They say fear is the unknown and I don’t want to live scared. So I reflect and reflect and I try to find the lessons in all of the madness. So I sat and I reflected on the philosophy of Ms. Parton and here are the conclusions I came to: It’s not realistic to believe that you can spend your whole like with a smile on your face.  Being optimistic isn’t simply staying positive 100% of the time as I once thought. It means having faith that even when things seem unbearable, that they can change. You will, eventually, move on. Things will work out for the best and there is always a lesson to be learned. If you can truly believe that, then I think you have mastered the art of optimism.

Here are some of my favorite quotes that I have come across in attempts at reflection on the role optimism plays in life.

 “To never have suffered is to never have been blessed.” E.A. Poe

“Without these tests,

whether they be events, illnesses, or relationships,

life would be like a straight smoothly paved flat road to

nowhere, safe

and comfortable,

but dull and utterly pointless.” – A section from The Pain and The Passion Judi Ford

“There’s always gonna be another mountain.

I’m always going to wanna make it move.

Always gonna be uphill battle.

Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose.

Ain’t about how fast I get there.

Ain’t what’s waiting on the otherside.

It’s the climb.” –  Chorus to “It’s the Climb”

“Baby it’s a wild world. It’s hard to get by just upon a smile.” Cat Stevens

“If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.”- Dolly Parton

Do you have any favorite quotes on this subject?  I’d love to hear them.


xoxox- Kittie Kat


2 thoughts on “C’est la vie or: Why I may have been too optimistic about optimism.

    • Ok whatever it’s called… 1)It fits with what my blog post was about. 2) YOU put it on my cd and 3) technically I quoted Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe, who both wrote the song… so :p

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