My laptop has a bug. I haven't been posting because all the stories I have to share right now require photos that are on my laptop. But a little while ago I was flipping through a chick mag and something I read in it actually brought me greater clarity and insight and requires no photographic narration. (FYI it was Redbook. Incidentally, I took a "what kind of writer are you" quiz on Facebook yesterday and the result was Jane Austen. Would she read Redbook?)
Most of you know that I was recently back home for more meetings and negotiations with attorneys and the trucking company. You may remember from a previous post that I thoroughly enjoy my attorneys. Hanging out with them for hours on end is not painful, which is good, because this go around lasted 10 hours STRAIGHT. As we sat around eating trail mix and making jokes, one of my attorneys said, with what I think may have been a tiny bit of awe and wonderment, that he's never known anyone who could say such depressing things with such a big smile on their face. (Keep up, he was referring to me.) He determined that the two conflicted and couldn't possibly coexist. Either my negative comments were a lie or the smile and laughter were.
Now, it should be said that I would never, I repeat NEVER, claim to be an optimist. But I don't think I'm truly a pessimist either.
The Redbook article that has me feeling so validated today says that ideally happiness and optimism go hand in hand, but not necessarily. A little bit of pessimism can help us prepare for setbacks and tragedies and can be an effective coping mechanism for stressful times in our lives. When we have this attitude, but combine it with perspective, it's easier to be happy while still addressing the challenges of life.
If realists actually exist, I'm one of those. I have myself convinced that I will be alone for the rest of my very long life, that I will be diagnosed with cancer in 5 years and that I will lose one of my children before adulthood, probably because one of them has whacked another over the head with something sharp and rusty. Which is ridiculous, right, because how could THAT much bad stuff happen to one person after all the stuff that I'm already dealing with? But we can't be naive. It is possible. Job's not just a story in the Bible.
In spite of it all, I can't help but laugh easily, loudly and often because I probably don't really believe the negative stuff I say.
Maybe that's how someone can say such dreary things with such a big smile on their face: I say it, but I don't really mean a word of it. But then again, it could all play out exactly as I've told myself it will...