The Good Things



I am a pessimist, I admit. I see the benefits in it. If I am always prepared for the “worst case scenario,” I will avoid disappointment. Often, when things work out better than expected, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. I have read studies that suggest that, for those reasons exactly, pessimists are generally happier than optimists.

I am a realist, I tell myself. No sense in wearing blinders; no reason for flawed vision.

I have no trouble seeing what’s wrong, no matter what the topic. My face or my figure, my personality, habits or disposition. My homestead, outside and inside. My job: any one of them. The government: local, regional and national. The world, whether the discussion goes to economy, education, health or the environment. Give me a subject; I’ll make a list of the flaws.

I have a more difficult time, often, seeing what’s right. I’m working on it.

I feel like I’ve spent a great deal of time grumbling, worrying and complaining lately. An unseasonably warm day in the middle of February causes me to stress over the condition of the polar ice cap. An easy winter, and I spend it mulling over everything I know about global warming. Too much rain, or not enough, or any extremes in weather conditions…and I am bracing for the end of the world. There is reason to be afraid, and certainly reason to be aware. There is work to be done. Still, I think I’d like – now and then – to just enjoy a bit of spring-like weather in February…without the angst.

There’s a lot going on in this country that scares me to death. There are good reasons for sensible people to be angry, worried and watchful. I am going to continue writing letters and making phone calls. I will continue to direct my spending to where it will best support my ethics and beliefs. I will not be silenced! I am, however, going to work on being a little more generally quiet about it all. Those who disagree with me are weary of hearing it, and unconvinced. Those who share my opinions don’t need to be convinced. I’d might as well save my breath…and my energy…for where it can do the most good.

On the home front, and on a personal level, I am trying to stop looking at all the things that are wrong, or that need repair. I am trying to concentrate on the things that are right, and appreciate the improvements I’ve made. I still have long lists of Things To Be Done. Those show a slightly improved attitude adjustment, though, over the lists of What Is Wrong. I’m working my way…slowly…into the habit of, instead, listing What Is Good. When it comes right down to it, there’s a lot of that in my world, too.



About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

2 responses »

  1. I get what you’re saying. The gratitude practice helps a little – write down three things that make you happy or grateful every day, and keep a running list. Sometimes reviewing all those things will put a more positive spin on things, at least in your own little universe.

    • Oh, my Mom was always big on gratitude. She rarely gave advice, but she had a lot of good advice about being thankful, seeing the good things, etc. I have a “one good thing” page in my journal where I jot down something that has brought me joy each day. It’s a beginning, and does help to see the good. Thanks, Sara!

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