There are two sides of a coin, we all know that. There are two sides of a story, we all know that, too. Then there are two ways to look at things. The optimistic way and the pessimistic way. I’m an eternal optimist, leaving the hand wringing, me oh my, the sky is falling worrying to someone else. Yes, I see the glass as half full, but only because I have already consumed the top half. I know the bottom half will be OK.
As I remember back to when my family moved from Reno to Ely in winter of 1967, (man I am old!), I was worried about going not only to a new school but a new town miles and miles away from where I was born. New people, new surroundings, new and scary everything. We moved into a log house on High Street. Yes, a real log house, way, way before log homes were a thing of beauty and coveted by your neighbors. This was an old house with a ball of wiring above the front door that would make an electrician go screaming into the night.
This house had a dirt floor in the cellar, a cellar that was dug out by hand and went out and under the road next to the house. Oh I could go on but why? The gist of this story is that no matter how we ended up moving from a huge wonderful five bedroom house in a big city to a shack like home in a small town I looked on the up side. Which was…
It was located only one block from both the elementary and the high school. Making it nice to sleep a few minutes later and walk to school in time for the last bell. A mere few blocks to downtown for shopping and excitement of parades and local events. But the best thing about living in that house? It was at the top of a hill. A hill many, many cars drove on. Even when it snowed. You could have sold tickets to the shows put on when cars would come slip sliding their way up and down that hill in the winter. And there are real winters in Eastern Nevada. Making it all that more important we were only a block away from school.
Optimism is an acquired state of mind. So I have a few guidelines that may help you get those good vibrations coming your way…
Some may see while looking at an overflowing hamper there’s a mountain of dirty clothes that need to be washed. Or you could see, I like to be able to go to the dresser and get out a clean pair of socks so I need to do the wash to be able to do that.
Maybe the sink is full, again, of dirty dishes. Or. It’s great to go to the cupboard grab a clean dish and throw together a snack, even though my pants say, “Step away from the snack, Trina,” Optimism pushes me to do the dishes so that a clean one is there waiting for me.
Not to leave the man of the house out of the loop. The lawn needs mowed and weeds need sprayed. Or. After the lawn is mowed and weeds are under control the yard looks great there is that new mowed grass smell in the air and we can go fishing so he will dig right in and do the yard. (As a side note, our yard is weed free. Weed seeds, like hobos of the 1940s, have put a mark on our fence to notify passing weeds if they put a root down here they will be sprayed into oblivion. I have a husband, thankfully, who makes it his mission each year to mix and spray a concoction of weed killer stuff. He’s asked what his secret is. I’m here to tell you his super-secret — mix and spray, mix and spray mix and spray).
Being an optimist still means you have to work, do those unexciting jobs that haunt you daily — mix and spray... Lucky for us optimism is a paycheck of dead weeds. And the best weeds are dead weeds.
Yep, life can be like being told to go down to the cellar and sweep the floor. The pessimist says, “It’s dark and dank and musty and the troll lives down there.” The optimist says, “Hey it’s a dirt floor, what is there to sweep!”
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka, Nev., her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.