When the sky is a bright canary yellow
I forget ev’ry cloud I’ve ever seen,
So they called me a cockeyed optimist
Immature and incurably green.
I have heard people rant and rave and bellow
That we’re done and we might as well be dead,
But I’m only a cockeyed optimist
And I can’t get it into my head.
I had a good day today. I forget that yesterday was not particularly good, I was extremely tired and could’t wait for the day to call it a night. Today I paid attention more than usual and found that I could listen better, understand more clearly, and actually be more effective in my interactions with everyone. I stood patiently in front of a somewhat frazzled secretary and took a picture of the flowers on her desk. She apologized that they were wilting. I remarked that they were lovely in their current form enough to make me want to remember them in a picture. It seemed as though I could only see the sunshine and the good moments. I also knew it was the end of the work week.
Optimism is not always a popular path. You would think that it would be, especially when we consider the counterpoint. I am very excited to change the clocks this weekend. I will not be up at 2 a.m. to actually go around and change the physical clocks until the morning. I mentioned my excitement to those around me at work and was met with comments about needing that hour and struggling for the week ahead because they felt shortchanged. Reminding them that they will absolutely get it back in the fall fell on deaf ears. It was like being surrounded by existentialists, who are often a rather dreary group.
I’ve taken a new tack with regard to unneccessary apologies. When someone apologizes sincerely for something that they have no control over or limited control, such as the woman who had 12 items and cut in front of me in the 10 or less line, I let it be. In fact, I find that I am saying things like “If this is the worst thing you have done in a while, I’m going to give you a pass”. It seems to make them feel so much better, and I feel like Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz. We all have days when our makeup looks green and we are pissed because a house fell on our sister and it was someone else’s fault. Benevolence is good for the soul and can’t hurt.
This by no means suggests that when a right is wronged that I am going to go quietly. I am going to open up my yapper and yap. Keeping quiet is painful these days but being prudent with opinions is necessary to make the big moments meaningful. I was a very quiet and reserved child, teenager and young adult. I am still more of an observer than someone who speaks first. I make sure that if I do have something to say, that I am willing to say it and be heard. This evening my FHB and I listened to a program that highlighted Malala Yousafzai, the young woman who was shot by the Taliban. She also won the Nobel Prize. She is as strong a person as I have ever heard. She has taken her encounter with violence and has become the voice of reason and hope for educating young women. She is hope and promise. She is one of my heros and she helps me to be optimistic. She has known a bad day and has chosen to have good ones. She is the definition of optimism and she knows forgiveness is in keeping her goal front and center. We are a lucky species to have her in our world.