Stuck

One of the things I have done since I became a (temporary, I hope) lady of leisure, is committing to myself to write and post to this blog at least once a week. It has become another accomplishment I can control, like working out, in this uncontrollable life. And I have kept to my commitment since I made it, posting every Tuesday or Wednesday for the last 8 weeks.

My “method” of writing, if I have one, is not complicated. I basically think about what I want to write about, and then sit down and write it out. I will give it a check for grammar and spelling, but I don’t rewrite or self-edit. I’m really doing this for myself, and if anyone else likes it, or it resonates, that’s an awesome cherry on the sundae.

For the last week, I have had it in my mind that I was going to write this week about optimism vs. pessimism. I had it titled, Half Full, and had even written a couple of paragraphs in my head. One of the thoughts I wanted to put to paper was about how Kerry and I have such hugely different orientations on this. Best friends for decades, we inevitably see the glass differently, she being of the eternal half empty viewpoint, while I remain hopefully and hopelessly optimistic.

This topic even became a current event this week. I have been wrangling with the state of Utah over some tax issues related to my mom’s condo sale. It’s been messy, complicated and expensive, but I am convinced that it will eventually settle out in my favor (see, optimistic!). So when I received an envelope from the Utah tax board this week, I half expected to see a check fall out, returning the money to me that I believe I have paid in error. Instead, it was a notice that I owed an additional $5,761, and that it was due in two weeks!

This is a mistake, and it will get resolved. But when I told Kerry about it, still in the freak out stage, and explained how I was looking for that check, she told me I needed to lower my expectations. And I laughed, because I never will! I am always going to be looking for that kitten in the foxhole, or expecting that check in the mail. And if I get disappointed, I’ll deal. And Kerry will comfort me, just as I will celebrate with her when things go right.

So why is this post titled “Stuck”? Because I had a lot more to say on this subject, about how our upbringing affects how we see the world. About how I have to resist what I see as a dangerous trait of being an unrealistic dreamer, which is very different from being an optimist, and which can lead to a life of disappointment. About how this affected my mother, and left her with an unhappy and unfulfilled life.

But when I sat down to write this all out, I couldn’t. I felt, well, stuck. It’s been a difficult week, and I’m struggling. I haven’t lost my optimism, but I think it is safe to say I could use a win. So, I’ll call Kerry, and she will comfort me, as always. She may not believe in the inevitable happy ending, but she believes in me. And that, my friends, is something I can take to the bank…along with that large check I’m sure is coming from Utah.

The end, for now

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One response

  1. Kathi, I am too an optimist and believe that the key to a happy life is having gratitude. I know there is a Jewish law about “the missing tile”….it says something to the effect of if all you see is the missing tile, you are also missing the beautiful mosaic around it. (something like that..you get the jist!)
    Anyway, I am not Jewish, but that has always resonated in me. So, I choose to see the beautiful mosaic……and I am sure the check will come….just probably later and with a lot more effort than expected!!! (and btw, I don’t kid myself that some days and in some situations having gratitude can be a challenge!!!!)
    Love you Kathi Sue!
    L

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