I have been thinking about optimism for a solid week. Optimistic isn't a word I would normally use to describe myself, but neither is pessimistic. I don't usually see things as "glass half-full" or "glass half-empty"...I'm more of a "there's juice in that glass" kind of girl. Accepting the amount that's in the glass...I am truly grateful if it has the amount I need or want. And I look for ways to add to what's in the glass, if there isn't enough. For the most part, I see things for what they are. Realistic is the word I would normally use to describe myself. (I know some of you think when I write about politics, I am pessimistic. Of course, I disagree. I just put it all out there, and hope we can make things better.)
But, throughout the past week, I realized that when it comes to children (mine and other people's), I am a complete optimist. For me to make it in this world as a mother and teacher, I have to be optimistic. If not, I would probably throw in the towel. And that's just not an option. Because if I give up, there are children who will feel the consequences. There are examples upon examples of this in all of our lives.
I teach at a preschool that draws in a large Korean community. Last year, a three year old girl entered my classroom knowing only two words of English. I had no idea what I was going to do. But, I knew that I had to remain optimistic,
When I see my sick little boyfriend (for those of you who don't know who he is, read this), I see complete healing. I choose to feel optimistic. When I think of my new found "baby lost mama" friends, I know they will have opportunities to be mothers again. Notice that word again? They are already mothers. When I look at my own children, I believe they will find success and happiness. When I think of my Victoria, I know I will see her again. Do you understand? Throwing in the towel is not an option here. It would serve no good purpose. I have learned it's possible to be a realist about mostly everything, while being a complete optimist when it comes to something else. My "something else" is children, all of them.
Pepperidge Farms, the maker of our tasty little goldfish friends, has partnered with Dr. Reivich, co-author of "The Optimistic Child" and head of a research program (studying the benefits of positive thinking) at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a mother, which of course adds to her credibility in this arena. They have begun a movement called "Fishful Thinking". It's an initiative dedicated to raising Optimistic, Resilient, and Empowered children. I am definitely on board with this project! It's all so Sunny Side Up, just like The Captain!
And, to add to the excitement, Tiffany is sponsoring an Optimism Pays contest. Check it out, and if you are feeling the love, leave her a comment with a vote for me! If I win, I'll share my goldfish crackers with you. Because, that's just the kind of girl I am!
p.s. Coming Soon: A tribute to some lovely ladies....