Wednesday, June 30, 2010


This caught my eye while throwing the carton away.  It's a great concept to teach children optimism.  But the more I think about do you teach a child optimism?  Other than modeling it with your own actions and words... yourself.  Which I guess is a win/win.

I have always been a glass right in the middle girl.....not half full but certainly not half empty.  More like right down the middle bracing myself for the worst then maybe the best will happen.  Or like tell me the bad news first, then the good.  Or if things are going exceptionally well, the thought always goes through my mind....Get*t is fixing to hit the fan. Okay maybe I am more towards the half empty side of the mid line.  Does that mean I'm not an optimistic person?  Hmmmm.  I don't know.

I hope.  I wish.  I pray. I'm certainly thankful.  I stay in the much as humanly possible.  I definitely try to focus on all the good in my life. But dang it, there's a whole lot of sad and bad out there.  Back to the moment at hand.  Almost with blinders on...almost. That usually works.  But optimistic?

I think optimism certainly gets stronger with wisdom which comes with age.......but age comes with more and more exposure to sad and bad.  And unanswered prayers.  And dreams not accomplished. Or being a innocent victim to a crime or a toxic person.  But age also comes with seeing life come full circle. A step back to see your life as a whole....and how it always works way or another.  Like God sees your a whole.

 Am I making any sense here?  Let me see if I can explain it better.

I was up in my craft room last night, organizing and cleaning and walking in circles.  Will came home and ended up coming in to give me one of his famous bear hugs.  He hung around and we started talking.  That's what Will does when he wants to talk.  He hovers.

We talked about his day, his job (he loves it!) and then the conversation turned to a camera he wants.

He has had at least 2 cameras purchased by us for his photography class......both stolen.  Not his fault, but not entirely is he blameless.  They were left in his car.  I should mention he's on his 3rd IPod, and 2nd navigator.......all stolen or lost.  So as the parent...and teacher of life's lessons....we are not buying him another camera.  Nope. 

He loves photography.  He has been given a gift for it.....a God given gift.  He misses it and with his sad brown eyes he looked at me and asked how was he ever going to get this camera he wanted.  ($1000)

I walked him through it......some money you save from this summer job, plus your birthday money and then by Christmas...with Christmas money and should be close to being able to buy it.  He sadly nodded his head. (Because he has one half of my genes, he wants it yesterday....and oh, do I get that.)

But I went on to tell him, we just couldn't buy him another one because the 2...that we had bought... had been stolen and he agreed......and said he would never let the next camera out of his sight and never leave it in his car.  And I believe him....because it will be his money giving the camera way more value to him.

Will is going to get that camera.  And it will be his money this time.  And it will be more valuable to him.  So valuable that he will take it in with him and keep it safe. 

If you reread the quote on the Goldfish says optimism is a skill children can learn leading to greater happiness and RESILIENCE.  That's it.  Resilience.  Knowing that when things are bad or sad....and they will be bad or sad at times.......that if you hang on, they will get better. 

So optimism isn't about always seeing the world through rose colored glasses.  Or a naive take on life.  It's about resilience........which will lead to greater happiness. 

I had my heart broken at an early age, I have lost loved ones, I have had conflict with people I thought were friends, and I have certainly felt like a victim a time or two...but I had optimism....I guess......because I always knew to hang on. And hanging on is resilience. 

Hang on Will.  Be optimistic.  You will get that camera. 

And one day you will have a child.  And then you will know how much I loved you.  And how making you buy your own camera was the only way to teach you value and resilience. 

But you will also know how badly I wanted to just go out and get that camera you want.

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” –Winston Churchill


  1. This should be interesting to see if this turns out as planned....

    and I hope that "throwing the carton away" doesn't mean all the goldfish are gone..because I'm definitely about to come home to eat them and I've been looking forward to this allll day long.

  2. LOL about Cameron's comment!

    I hope it turns out as planned, too...and I'm quite optimistic it will!

  3. Julia, my daughter just called me from Chicago to tell me how much this post reminded her of how I parented. She also told me that she thinks that I did a wonderful job so...I know that Will, will (sorry) get it sooner than you think. But you are very right in what you are doing.


    he needs to learn this lesson once and for all... he's gotten one too many chances...