The Optimistic Pessimist

So, I’ve been dealing with a few things this month. September has been a real roller coaster. A roller coaster that only seems to go down really, really, fast. I’m taking a course in pharmacology for nurses, and on the first day of class, my housemate’s girlfriend text messaged me that my toilet inexplicably started overflowing. It flooded my room, encroaching upon the living room and kitchen as well. I left class early, and when I entered my room I found myself standing in an inch and a half of water. We spent the day removing all of my earthly possessions, as well as pulling up the carpeting and padding. Long story short, it flooded again the next day, and with no carpeting to slow it down, it trashed the flooring in the next bedroom, and finished off the hardwood in the living room as well.

The Dry Spot

Oh, look. A dry spot.

Insurance was contacted, contractors were sent out – yada, yada, yada. I had to relocate to the garage. It has finished walls and a texture painted floor. It also has smelly reptile cages and crappy WiFi reception. I am living the life.

On the third day of this adventure, my housemate was hospitalized for a severe infection. So for four days, I was alone here – with reptiles and cats – playing my favorite game of, “What was that noise?” It was great.

The following week I learned the husband of a dear friend of mine had died of cancer. Her sister called me, because she was far too hurt and upset to call me herself. The day after that, I received a call from another friend telling me that his mom, another good friend had died. That one came with a great deal of family drama that could comprise its own blog post.

So at this point I’m starting to curl up into a fetal position, both mentally and physically. I learned years ago to never ask, “What’s next?”, though. But next comes, whether I ask or not.

A friend of mine was going through a few things herself (three of her former students died – separately and of different causes – within one week), and was having trouble seeing the brighter side of things. She ran across this bit of brilliance and shared it on Facebook.

Wow. Crap or cone. Can it really be that simple? John Styn’s Grandpa was brilliant. There will always be ugly, but there will also always be beauty. Gratitude is about focusing on the beauty in spite of the crap. 

I’m going to have to take baby steps here. I’ve been so accustomed to focusing on the crap, I can’t feel the cone in my hand. So now, when I step in the crap, I’m going to actively look for the cone.

Crap. I’m still in the garage a month later.

Cone. I have my own bed and a really powerful fan. 

I will have to do this on a moment by moment basis, but I think I can do it. It’s just going to take a little practice.

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3 responses to “The Optimistic Pessimist

  1. Thank you for this. Needed it. You hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Also saw this Ted Talk and shared it on FB last year – so brilliantly simple! Emmy and I now use this terminology on a regular basis – crap or cone? Very helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

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