The Spawn & Johnny Pocket playing with Roo-Bee (old, grouchy cat–A.K.A. Dust-Ruffle Troll) under the door.
My father loved to spin yarns and tell jokes, and one of my favorite jokes of his was the one about the twins. One was a pessimist and the other was an optimist. As my father told it…
Scientists were conducting an experiment to study the difference between pessimists and optimists. So, they searched far and wide for parents with twins—-one an optimist and one a pessimist. Finally, they found a pair of boys, and, after all the waivers were signed, the experiment could begin. There were two rooms, both were waist-deep in horse manure. The scientists watched from behind the two-way mirror to see what would happen.
One boy (the pessimist) cried and moaned, “I just knew it. This stuff always happens to me. I should have known that something bad was going to happen. Why can’t I ever get a break?”
The other boy, though, was slogging happily around the room and laughing as he flung horse manure into the air, each time with a healthy giggle. Baffled, the scientists had to enter the room of the optimistic twin and ask, “What on earth are you so happy about? Don’t you realize you’re waist-deep in animal feces?”
The boy replied, “Are you kidding me? Why wouldn’t I be happy? With all this horse sh&$ there has GOT to be a pony in here somewhere!”
The last couple of months have been crazy. In October, as many of you know, my great aunt fell into a coma and passed away. Then, I have had more computer problems in the last two months than in the past ten years. I was just about getting caught up when I started suffering horrible pain in my elbows–apparently I have tennis elbow from writing. Then, I had the nice little dirt bike wreck and this past week? We were gone over the weekend and had a water leak.
Water seeped from the laundry room into my master closet soaking the carpet and ruining much of what was on the floor. I had to work in stinking mildewed carpet for almost all of Tuesday. While I was in cleaning up the water damage, the Spawn (my kiddo) infiltrated my office, hit a bunch of buttons on my computer and now my main work computer is currently crippled with a virus. But that’s not all. I awoke on Wednesday sick from working in the mildewed conditions and yesterday…no Internet. AT&T “forgot” that we had signed up for auto-debit. Yay.
But you know what?
I don’t believe it is any great test of character to be happy when everything is going our way. Anyone can do that. The real mark of a person is how he or she behaves when the world seems to be caving in. Can we be peaceful, calm, happy, and look for the good….no matter what?
We train our minds much like we train our bodies. We need to exercise them and discipline our habits. We have a choice how we react and a lot of this is influenced by our expectations. What are we expecting to happen? Are we looking for the good? Or looking for how we will be somehow wronged?
I know that I was born an optimist. I think that is why my father used to rib me with that joke. But, there was a span of about 15 years that I allowed other negative people to convince me that I was a fool, an idiot, an unrealistic Pollyanna. I started expecting the worst, and I wouldn’t allow myself to hope for anything, because if I didn’t expect good things then I couldn’t be disappointed. I became a grouch, a complainer and a seed of discontent…and no one wanted to be around me. My life was full of junk, and why wouldn’t it have been? I didn’t expect good things, so I couldn’t even see them when they sat right in front of my face.
Eventually, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired, so I started being very careful about my thought life. Our mind doesn’t have to be a garbage dump. We are in control of our thoughts, and we don’t need to dwell on every thought that drifts into our brains. Focus on good things, and it is amazing how quickly the tough times will fly by.
Yes, the view from the mountain’s summit is breathtaking, but nothing grows there. The most growth happens in the valleys. Film is developed in the dark and so is character. When hurt, pain, loss, disappointment, frustration come our way we have a choice in how we view the situation. All of us have rough spots, and those setbacks, hurts and trials are the spiritual sandpaper that will shape us into a more excellent version of ourselves.
I know that life is about seasons. There are seasons of joy and abundance and it seems that everything is going my way. In turn, that isn’t all of life. Gotta have the bitter, or the sweet isn’t as sweet. And, if I have to endure the bitter, I choose to do it with a smile, with great expectation of the better Kristen those trials will make me.
With all this horse sh*& there has GOT to be a pony in here somewhere :D!
What do you guys think? What are your opinions? Thoughts? Ideas? I love hearing from you guys!
And to prove it and show my love, for the month of December, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of December I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!
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