I started this post under the title “let’s just stop this month already.” Yes, there’s only a couple of days left in it, but September has been rough. The original post lamented back peddling on some promises to myself including indulging in two cups of coffee a day quite often, having double cheeseburgers despite trying to eat with health in mind and learning that I do not mutter curses as quietly as I thought (learned when my four year old shouted ‘f* it’ at daycare). Now of course these gripes are in this post too, but for a different purpose.
I was spending some time on the Internet (read: lots of time) and came across a Louis CK quote (well, a quote attributed to Louis CK at any rate). The quote said optimism was stupid. Why would anything good eve happen to you? I enjoy cynical humor and Louis is a comedy god, but the line bothered me. There’s nothing dumb about optimism. There’s hope in optimism, and that matters.
I had a full article written up of bad jokes and self deprecating punchlines. I mean, September sucked pretty bad. The last few days have been little more than yelling at the four year old and tightening up the budget. Work was difficult for me and my wife and I did not write nearly as much as I wanted. Regular life stuff that just mounted this month. In reading the draft I saw pessimism. There was no talk of fixes or hope that things would get better. It was lazy and easy to write an “awe shucks, c’eat la vie” post.
Optimism takes work. The premise is that good things happen. They do, good things happen all the time. Mechanics win multimillion dollar lotteries, kids create new devices that will change the world, someone’s YouTube video hits it big. All of these things take work to happen in the first place. It is easy to not have a viral video if you don’t shoot one in the first place. It is easy to never win a science fair if you don’t enter one. To make the effort and hope it is enough, that takes work.
It would be easy to just sit and wait. Maybe something would happen, but I don’t think that’s how it works. We make our own fate and unless you’re in the moss game, idling does no one a great service. Pessimism is easy. It is much more amusing and makes for a better read, but if pessimism rules the mind then one cannot complain of nothing good ever happening.
Optimism is all I have most days. I am optimistic my kids will listen to me. I am optimistic work will be challenging and not entirely routine. I am optimistic I might sell a book or two (check my “books” link up top there for awesomeness). I am optimistic my wife will come home and we will watch Doctor Who together until it is far beyond our bedtime and morning is coming soon.
So while I am glad September is ending, and it’s wretchedness will soon be nothing more than a memory, I am hopeful for October. Halloween, costumes, Boo at the Zoo, watching Hocus Pocus! Good things are coming. I’m rather optimistic about that.
Thanks for reading. Goofy stuff coming back soon.