POSITIVE NEGATIVITY

Last week, I was clipping along, happily working in my garden, sun shining, birds chirping, butterflies flitting, fox eating cat food on the back veranda. My life looked and felt like a Disney movie. Then, out of nowhere something goes sideways on me. It wasn’t a train wreck but it was a something, which needed fixing because someone did not handle their customer service to me so well. So, I spent just about 4 hours on Friday trying to resolve this issue instead of being in said garden with said chirping birds (the fox had disappeared by then) and it still wasn’t resolved. By this time I was feeling pretty frustrated leaving me feeling pretty negative about, not just this particular situation, but about the entire world at large. The upshot of this entire exercise is the people who were the creators of the situation were beginning to act like I was a negative minded lunatic sent to make their Friday miserable. Really!?!

After spending another hour on this mess on Saturday, I started thinking about an article I’d recently read about longevity. Can’t remember where I read it but I do remember the author stating how people with a positive attitude outlive the pessimists. No, I can’t remember if a study was involved or how they arrived at this conclusion. But it led me to think about the glass. You know the one I’m talking about. The glass that’s either half full or half empty. There’s no middle road on this one because it’s half and half already. But, you can see where I’m going with this. The positive people see the glass as half full; the negative people see the glass as half empty. In other words, the half full person aka Little Mary Sunshine sees cause for optimism and the half empty person sees nothing redeeming about it. How do the positive people handle the negatives served up by just living? What do they do when, through no fault of their own, somebody picks up their full glass and throws cold water on their day leaving their glass half empty?

Perhaps, it’s my natural cynicism, but I have failed over the weekend to see how this situation has anything redeeming about it. It’s Monday morning. I’ve now spent 5 hours on it and it’s still not resolved. I’m betting the party on the other end does not want to start their Monday out reading the email I sent this morning updating my Saturday endeavors on their website so it’ll just get passed over until I call with the screaming me-me’s. Oh, sorry, that sounds really cynical.

Anyway, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not entirely feasible to have a positive outlook 100% of the time. I’ve had an incredible amount of good fortune, blessings, luck, whatever you want to call it, in my life. I’m normally quite smiley, especially when surrounded by chirping birds and flowers. But, stuff happens. Bad stuff. Annoying stuff. Frustrating stuff. Negativity. It just happens. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” With that in mind, I realized despite the half empty aspect of this situation, I’m still happy with my life in general. Most of my happiness these days comes from the full knowledge that, as a PIM, I have choices I didn’t have in my work life. One of the most valuable choices is the choice to walk away from negative situations. If one company isn’t inclined to give me great customer service, I have the time to find a company that is so inclined. Holy moly, I just found the optimist’s, glass is half full side of this equation! In fact, I think I hear birds chirping.

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