Optimism, Pessimism, Realism and Gratitude.

Last night, I went for a walk, as I often do after the kids have gone to bed and the house is quiet. Last night was a really still night. The sea was calm, and the lights were reflecting on the water (the picture I took on my mobile, above, doesn’t do it much justice but hopefully will set the scene at least). There was no breeze and the sky was clear so you could see a myriad of stars above. There were few other people out walking in the cool of the evening, so was as peaceful as it was beautiful. It made me peaceful, and my mind beautifully clear.

My mind can be a pretty busy, and possibly slightly scary place, at times. (https://sagiashidachi.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/be-still-my-active-mind-2/) I have a very active life, and a lot of things to think about as a result. It can get pretty crowded inside my head. I am pretty organised (in thought as in action), but it’s just that there is an awful lot of traffic in there. I don’t have trouble sleeping, so I am able to completely switch off. I do have trouble meditating though; the one exception being the short meditation at the start and end of karate classes, otherwise, it’s mostly all or nothing for me. Rarely though, I can quiet things down, and prioritise to the point where I can just think about one or two things that aren’t related to the nitty gritty. I can muse on life’s existential questions, and actually reach some kind of conclusions for myself.

Last night was one of those times. I pondered a couple of things. One of them I will talk about that later in another post because I want to explore it some more. It’s to do with theology and is quite complex and confronting for me. I haven’t yet reached a coherent enough way of expressing my thoughts on the matter. (Watch this space).

The simpler of the two main themes I was considering, related to attitude and choices. People often ask: “Are you a “glass half full” or “glass half empty” type of person? ie optimist or  pessimist.

These days, I probably come closer to the “realist” in the picture below (ie the one who considers what is in the glass). 

However lately I have been thinking that actually rather than my glass being half full or half empty, my glass is full and often overflowing. It may not be full of water (or anything less useful) but it is full.

When my glass is full or overflowing, I have a choice:

(1) I can be thankful for the bounty and use it to my best advantage and consequently move forward or

(2) I can be overwhelmed and become bogged down about what is in the glass, what the glass is made of, whether, or for how long it will hold what is in it etc…. and consequently become stuck.

I choose the first option, which is, in its essence: gratitude.

This is basically taking a situation that I could choose to go “grrrrr” about and changing my attitude 😉 a word morph (from the word nerd) that hopefully makes sense, both literally and figuratively speaking.

I have made the over-riding decision that life is too short for option 2.

I feel very fortunate that I have everything I need, and so much more, but even when life throws me proverbial lemons (actually it threw me some real ones today – FTW), I know that I will have the capacity to make good use of them, or pass them on to someone else who can……or invent some more recipes to use them all without wasting anything!

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3 thoughts on “Optimism, Pessimism, Realism and Gratitude.

  1. Pingback: When life gives you lemons you no longer have to make lemonade! | A work in progress

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