Out of the Closet

2 10 2006

I’ve been doing some deep thinking lately and I think it’s time I admit to myself and to the world that I… am… a pessimist.

*sigh*

There are all sorts of negative connotations that go along with this, but I really don’t consider myself a negative person. I once referred to myself as an optimist who chooses to see the glass as half-empty, and maybe that’s a better label for myself. Or maybe pessimism isn’t all bad.

I use it as protection. If I were to get my hopes up for something, only to be let down, I’d be crushed. Yet, if I remind myself that it (whatever “it” happens to be at the moment) might not happen, and it doesn’t, well then I’m not crushed or I get a nice treat when it does! Being a pessimist does not mean I kick it Eeyore-style, moping around all day, and occasionally having Christopher Robin nail my tail back on (because THAT would just be inappropriate behavior with a child and probably I’d be arrested). I still count my blessings daily and I do my best to see the world’s beauty at every opportunity.

The other day, my husband and I were having a discussion on how to handle talking about things in front of M. I was explaining that at only four years old, she automatically assumes any “maybe” is a “yes” – in this case it was, “Maybe someday you’ll get to play with Auntie Anne’s doll house,” – M misunderstood us and thought we were driving right over to Auntie’s house to play. After I explained my point of view on making promises to a four-year-old, I was accused of raising her to be a pessimist. And it bothered me on a number of levels. For one thing, I simply disagree. I don’t think refusing to promise something I cannot possibly know will ever happen is pessimistic – I consider it reality. For another thing – what’s so wrong with pessimism?

And now I am asking your opinions. Am I a pessimist? Is being pessimistic equivalent to living depressed and mopey every day? Let me know what you think as I look deep within myself to uncover my true “ist”.

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2 responses

3 10 2006
Mia

I don’t know, but I’m definitely a pessimist. It drives R slightly crazy – we were sitting in the hospital waiting room last night and he was all chirpy and cheerful and I was like, “WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP BEING ENCOURAGING?!?”

It is definitely self-preservation. Ever since I was a kid I really have believed that announcing to the universe (via optimism) that you expect nothing but the best for yourself is just an invitation to have fate/God/chaos theory kick you square in the bollocks. I mean, the figurative bollocks, I guess, or the literal labia? I don’t know. Plus I have always just found it embarrassing when I plan for something good and get something bad. Like I was stupid for assuming things would ever just go smoothly, when it is sooo obviously not how things work.

Take my recent declaration to R: “Just as long as I keep taking my birth control pills (DOT DOT DOT)”

And my uterus snickered and rolled her metaphorical eyes toward my figurative bollocks….

3 10 2006
The Shape of a Mother

You crack me up, Mia! This is why I ALWAYS knock wood. Actually I should find a piece of wood to carry with me in case I ever need to knock it.

Pessimists unite!!!

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