The Sadness of Optimism

I consider myself to be an optimist. Even though I can get a bit depressed from time to time, ultimately I usually believe that everything is going to turn out for the best.

Apparently, this can actually be a negative trait for people to possess. If you’re optimistic, it means that you run a much higher risk of being saddened and disappointed when things don’t turn out the way you hoped. On the other hand, pessimistic people are often pleasantly surprised by events. Supposedly, being too optimistic and positive can actually shorten a person’s lifespan.

If this is true, Annie is unlikely to live past 60

If this is true, Annie is unlikely to live past 60

So every day when I wake up thinking “Maybe today is the day when the Cutlet is cooperative and gets ready for day care without much fuss,” I’m essentially chopping a day off my life expectancy. Every time I walk outside expecting it to be a bright, sunny day, and encounter rain? Well, that’s one less day I’ll get to experience in my 90’s. Good thing I don’t live in Seattle. I wouldn’t make it past 50.

For example, our condo was on the market for eight months. That is a long time for a property to be on the market, and yet whenever someone came by to look at it, I would think, “This is going to be the person who loves it and makes an offer!” And each time, when no offer came, a small piece of my soul would die.

Actually, by the end of the process, my optimism had pretty much vanished. I became convinced that we were going to own the condo forever. Even I have my limits.

My optimism has most visibly manifested itself in my support of my sports teams. My favorite sports teams have not exactly had a great history. I have had the joy of celebrating one championship against many crushing defeats. That isn’t a very good ratio of success.

And yet, no matter how poor my team’s chances, I still go into each game thinking that they’re going to play their best and come away with a victory. It doesn’t matter how much I tell myself not to get my hopes up. It doesn’t even matter if I vow to stop caring so much. Every game, I still have faith that this is going to be one of those games that truly makes it great to be a fan.

Unfortunately, I’ve experienced far too few of those big payoff moments that reward the optimism.

Recent events have really tested my optimistic nature. Most prominently, the process of selling our condo and buying a new house was not a particularly smooth one. Every time it seemed like we moved past a major hurdle, we got another obstacle thrown into our way. It was quite frustrating at times, and there were occasions when we felt like we were not going to make it through without ending up homeless.

But despite those difficulties, I’m still optimistic that soon everything will indeed turn out fine. We’re now living in our new house, and hopefully all of the trying times will be left in the past.

And hey, I guess it also helps to remember that things could always be worse.

I was going to close with a clip of Annie singing the song “Tomorrow.” But then I remembered that I hate that song. So instead, here’s an “Annie” song that’s much better:

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About The Cutter

I am the Cutter. I write some stuff. You might like it, you might not. Please decide for yourself.
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