The exploding optimist…

It is often said that optimism is a failure or refusal to recognise what is. This is untrue. Optimism is the ability to look reality squarely in the eye and decide you want a second opinion.

Take this week, for example. In fact, not even the whole of this week…

It started when the flies came back. Last year, newly ensconced in my little flat, I had a plague of flies. I blamed the herd of cows at the bottom of the garden… well, you would, wouldn’t you?

I was wrong.

They appear to have hatched in the vents designed to channel fresh air into my kitchen. Through an utter lack of decency and common sense, instead of seeking the great outdoors by flying upwards, they all flew down into the kitchen instead. They will find meagre pickings, I have to say… but that is their problem. Mine is keeping the persistently friendly little blighters off my skin and my dinner. They also appear to have a penchant for coffee and see my cup as a kind of en suite swimming pool…

They are resistant to open windows, brandished weapons and lethal chemical concoctions squirted at close range.

Coffee seems to work though.

That was bad enough, but the ingress of the flies was immediately followed by the loss of the ball.  This humble tennis ball is the special ball of the small dog. We saw it fall, quite gently, into the bush… just beyond the fence. There should have been no problem finding it… yet, in spite of rummaging through the thorns, no sign of it can be found. The small dog is distraught. Four days later, she still will not adopt another ball and refuses to play. She looks at me, waiting in her play stance, expecting me to magically reinstate the ball. The one she has cherished, groomed and cosseted for well over a year. When I fail to make it reappear, she sighs and walks away, the very image of misery and accusation.

Meanwhile, the doctor who has been assiduously collating test results and ordering yet more, has given me not one, but three possible diagnoses. A bit like buses… there is never one when you need one, then three come along at once. Unlike buses though, I seem to have little choice in which one I go with, especially as all three may yet be correct. And I don’t like the sound of any of them, thank you very much! A simple, ‘you’re allergic to Mondays’ would have been nice, but no, he had to get technical…

Then this morning, as if the week wasn’t already bad enough, the PC blew up. Bang, flash, smoke…the whole kit and caboodle. In spite of my best efforts with a screwdriver, a pair of rubber soled shoes and a pack of fuses, it remains stubbornly defunct, holding my files, programmes, research, manuscripts and photographs to ransom. And that was before I…or the flies…had managed my coffee!

As a bonus, my son’s cat has been leaving dismembered wildlife around the house for me to clean up all week and one of my fish seems to have become a cannibal.

There is no questioning my acceptance of reality this week.

But, I am an optimist. Even if I may have to grit my teeth sometimes as I remind myself of the fact.

If there are too many flies in my kitchen to make cooking comfortable, then not only do I not have to cook, but I have no dishes to do either…I save water and can thus feel suitably and ecologically proud of myself… and my waistline cannot help but benefit. As to the coffee… maybe I drink too much anyway.

As the small dog’s ball cannot be found then on the one hand, I do not have to  throw it every two minutes and on the other, her fixated identification with that ball will inevitably be broken. Perhaps she will adopt another ball or perhaps she will accept the many instead of the one. She may learn valuable lessons, including the joys of forgiveness. And it really is too hot to be chasing balls anyway.

The doctor at least has something to work with now and any answer is better than the ruddy limbo I’ve been in for months. He may even be able to start making me feel better and frankly, that will do nicely.

As for the PC… well, I do have some of my work backed up, thank goodness… or have ways to do so. And I had not, thankfully, erased all the photos from my camera after uploading for once. Normally, I do so…and all the fabulous things we’ve still to share would have been lost.

And let’s face it, the PC has been a pain for years, crashing innumerable times a day and losing goodness-only-knows what. I’ve needed a new one for a long time and only economics have prevented its replacement. Although it will be a time-consuming and expensive problem to reinstate everything I need, the benefits of a non-crashing computer will be wonderful.

In the meantime, I have the laptop even if it is so uncomfortably hard to use that I have to keep breaking off to curl up with a book. This is a terrible hardship, of course, and means I actually have to rest. Still, at least it keeps me working.

The cat is just being a cat…but thankfully, she does not live with me. The fish is probably just cleaning up after the demise of a tank-mate, which means I won’t have half a fish to fish out.

So all in all, it has been a week of silver linings… gifts I would not have seen had things not gone wrong.  So I can even be grateful that they did.

That’s how optimism works and it even comes with a number of benefits for health and wellbeing, so to an optimist, even bad days can be good for you 🙂

 

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
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63 Responses to The exploding optimist…

  1. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for doctorly solutions.
    I’m sure Small Dog will get used to another or many balls. I know that look they give. Pisch was a past master at it. Eventually, he came to adore several balls and the sulking was temporary!
    As for the flies, we couldn’t help but laugh behind their backs at another ex-pat couple who discovered they’d bought a piece of land and built a house within sniffing and fly-infesting distance of the local tip. It pays to do your research. I didn’t feel sorry for them as they were a poisonous couple! Accentuate the positive. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      They know just how to make you feel like the greatest beast in nature, don’t they?

      The flies are a pain, but will eventually depart…and I will get out the bleach and disinfectant again… Just bad luck, I suppose, that they nest in the air vent… x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jenanita01 says:

    Reblogged this on .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jenanita01 says:

    The only high spot of the week has to be the positive medical breakthrough…

    Like

  4. Chuck says:

    Ahhh Sue. Doesn’t always seem that when it rains, it pours (sorry). We all have days like this and you definitely had your share. Keep the chin up and thing will improve. Look at the positive, you now can justify buying a new computer. HUGS.

    Like

  5. quiall says:

    I love the optimism! I too am an unrepentant optimist!

    Like

  6. barbtaub says:

    What a painful, wonderful, awful, hopeful post! I’m sure your optimism is completely well-founded and that things will look up soon. Only… I’m totally worried about The Ball. I know that look…

    Peri doesn’t bond so dramatically with particular balls (although she will, of course, only deign to chase HER balls—if another dog grabs or licks one, it must be abandoned forever). But I’m a klutz. No matter how much I try, there is one particularly vicious swath of ivy that sucks in my ball throws and refuses to release them. It’s about 25-feet above ground, so my attempts to coax the balls back out usually result in the loss of whatever I’m throwing at the ivy. Once a summer, the expensive-as-hell real gardeners come and cut back the ivy, with a resultant ball harvest that could keep an entire tennis club going for months. Not to mention the various garden implements, umbrellas, barbeque tools, shoes, etc. that I’ve thrown at the ivy in completely failed ball retrieval missions. Peri, of course, refuses to have anything to do with the retrieved balls, as they are obviously inferior ball-deserters and deserving of nothing but her complete scorn.

    But… I’m trying to channel my inner-Sue here. So the wannabe-optimist is saying that we’ve now moved to a house without ivy! Now her balls disappear into the waves on a daily basis down at “her” beach. Seems that tennis balls which are repeatedly and delightedly retrieved and chewed over tend to sink. Leaving a dog to give me The Look that says someone who really loved her would be diving into those waves to retrieve her sunken treasures.

    So yes. I’m sure you’ll sort the rest of it, and I’m so sorry for all you’re going through right now. But mostly, I’m worried about The Ball.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I have to say, Barb, that The Ball worries me most of all. To the exclusion of all others she has lavished her attention on this one for so long that she is not at all herself. I would like to blame the heat… but she loves that. She is obviously well, as her attacks on the hot air balloon/postman/pigeons demonstrated today. Just deeply, obsessively, bereft…

      And I feel like a murderess. And it wasn’t even me that lost it…. but I am the one who is here and on the end of The Look….

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Mary Smith says:

    You don’t think Ani blew up the computer in revenge for the lost Ball do you?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Jennie says:

    Am I the only one smiling at humor in the face of adversity? Great post, despite the reality. Thank goodness for rose colored glasses. You wear them well.

    Like

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    Your optimism is admirable, Sue. Hope things change for the better soon.

    Like

  10. You are *the* GOLD MEDAL optimistic reframer, Sue – especially about the news from your doctor. I’m sending positive vibes your way on that one – and thoughts of an early transition for every single one of those dreadful flies.

    I’m glad you have a laptop – but I feel your pain. Could a cheaper immediate solution be connecting a decent-sized monitor, a full-sized keyboard and a cheap back-up drive until you collect some coin while you are looking for a bargain on a computer, switching the peripherals when the time comes? Just a thought.

    Tink regularly loses his well-chewed tiny-mouth balls, but – thank the lord – he’ll readily accept another until I get it together to move the furniture and find all the ones that are undoubtedly hiding just beyond my flashlight beam. His “looks” are mostly when he wants to go to bed when I’m still working, when he wants to go outside when I’m still working, when he wants to go on his porch when I’m still working – and well, whenever I’m intently focused on the computer instead of on him. Like now.

    I guess that means it’s time to put us both to bed before the sun comes up. G’nite. Onward and upward.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Like

  11. memadtwo says:

    I had a day like your week yesterday…I always feel like things can only get better (once I’m done complaining, of course). Hopefully they can get your health in order, then the rest should be easier to get through. As to Ani, I’ve lost beloved things myself. Time is the only healer. But those eyes are hard to ignore. (K)

    Like

  12. I wish I was as successful as you at being optimistic. I’m trying, but not managing it as well as you are.

    Like

  13. Pingback: Overcoming the bad to get to the GOOD | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  14. Just included a link to this article in today’s post, Overcoming the bad to get to the GOOD – with a bit of text to encourage folks to jump over to read it.

    The week is a-l-m-o-s-t over – you made it to Friday, and you came through with flying colors.
    xx,
    mgh

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Madelyn. Just had to rescue your comments from spam! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting. The WordPress Gremlins must have changed something again. I just found several from three different “regular” commenters earlier today, during one of my RARE digs through the spam-trash.

        Hopefully, now that I have “unspammed” their comments, Akismet will learn that they are legitimate members of my community for the future (and yours will let me through their gates as well.) Thanks for letting me know.

        I get soooooo much link-spam (well over a million caught by Akismet alone, according to the spam counter on my sidebar) that it is *extremely* rare I have the time to dig through the trash – especially since it is also rare to find anything but legitimate link-spam, which prompted my first suspicion.

        I especially love the *many* comments they try to leave on my more humorous “About” – like how much the article has helped them and how long they have been looking for “quality information” on the condition. Great to know that being me has been upgraded to a “condition.” 🙂
        xx,
        mgh

        Like

        • Sue Vincent says:

          Tell me about it. Whatever WP are up to, they seem to have been messing with my subscriptions behind my back and I dropped 300 followers in a split second.

          I dread to think what they are up to now…

          Spam is fun though… there are some hilarious ones 🙂 xx

          Liked by 1 person

          • Not ENOUGH fun, in my humble opinion – one smile per hundred or so.

            I LOVE the many that somehow believe that anybody is likely to approve & respond to their make-wrong about “cleaning up numerous spelling errors,” especially when I find them about my LinkLists — nothing but links to articles by topic.

            Do these folks have a secret LinkSpammer “comment share” club or WHAT? I wish I had their apparently copious amount of free time – tho’ I’d use it in another way entirely!
            xx,
            mgh

            Like

            • Sue Vincent says:

              The comments are so often the same, give or take a word or product. The real problem lies with the plausible ones… a novice blogger can easily get caught out with some of them. x

              Liked by 1 person

              • I know I approved a few of the more “clever” ones at first – probably why I get so much link-spam now. Hope springs eternal – or maybe they’ve sold my name to some sucker list that gets passed along. I’ve had to set increasingly stringent spam controls (and I KNOW few folks read the warning in my sidebar).

                I’m fine with helping out regular followers with something they are marketing (i.e., authors promoting books with links to same etc.), and actually encourage folks to leave links to relevant content. But sometimes newbie bloggers try to promote everything they’ve ever written in a single comment.

                They get spammed, of course, and regular combing through the spam trash is far beyond all reasonable expectations of the amount of time I can spend engaging with comments.

                There have been a few days when I’ve gotten 200 or more link-spammers in a single day. I have to batch delete if I want to have a life beyond blogging at. all.
                xx, mgh

                Like

              • Sue Vincent says:

                I can generally recognise a page of spam without deleting real comments these days… I get an awful lot too.

                I don’t mind helping others out either…and actively see guest posts. Links to relevant articles are welcome… but it irks me when you get the solitary visit/comment that just says ‘great post…check out my blog/article at…’

                Those and multiple links get trashed, edited out or spammed. xx

                Liked by 1 person

              • I’m with you about those folks who are commenting simply to promote themselves to win some sort of Followers per Day award – or maybe to be able to attract a bunch of advertisers so that they can become one of those tedious YouTubers who brag about quitting their day job to make a fortune as a blogger ::side-splitting snorting here::

                I don’t like to see those “please follow my blog” comments on ANYBODY’s blog – and never click to visit. Why encourage that behavior?

                Nobody wants to blog if nobody’s reading, of course, so we all have readership at the back of our minds, but those “statistics” bloggers who comment are simply not my cup of tea (coffee, actually :))
                xx,
                mgh

                Like

              • Sue Vincent says:

                Of course we want readers… but I’d rather have one reader who reads than fifty alleged followers who never come by. I can’t visit all the blogs I follow every day, but I do get emails from all those I always try and read…the rest I check via the Reader. If I don’t comment, I’ll leave a like to say I’ve read… but never a ‘check out my blog’,,,,

                Yes, coffee for me too. 🙂 xxx

                Liked by 1 person

              • I’m the same – except that I only follow by email if there is NO other way. The e-glut is worse than my spam folder!

                I try to leave some sort of comment to indicate I’ve been and read, but I simply can’t keep up with everyone every day – especially when some bloggers post two or three (or more) articles at once (that’s where the few mostly-rebloggers I follow are golden!)

                I can’t even get to every post by single-post per day bloggers for every blog I follow – sometimes they fly by without even the stats-help of a like from the Reader – but I do my best to drop by for a read and a chat as often as possible (esp. for favs like yours) – that’s what makes blogging fun for me.

                I think most people who have been around for more than a year end up making friends with same and few of us personalize lack of attention for lack of time.
                xx,
                mgh

                Like

              • Sue Vincent says:

                I tried using just the Reader for a while, but found I miss too many things I want to read…so I stick with email and work through what I can every day. It takes time, but it is me who is benefiting by reading, learning and being entertained. 🙂 xx

                Liked by 1 person

              • I’d NEVER see as many by email – my mind boggles and my ADD eyes cross at the amount of marketing spam that comes in every day. I used to take time to attempt to get off those lists I never signed up for to begin with, but it didn’t help a bit.

                I traced the source to LinkedIn, btw – so now I avoid that as well. I’m sure I would enjoy at least SOME of their “important info” – but I can only do what I can do. I simply trust that my attention will be drawn to most of what’s important for my growth and education.
                xx,
                mgh

                Like

              • Sue Vincent says:

                Ah… I wondered about LinkedIn… the spam does seem to go up after being on there…
                xx

                Liked by 1 person

              • It seems they have a spam loophole of some type – and one’s email is visible on that platform to “friends” of “friends.” Plus, LI itself sends a ton of email trying to get you to click back to the site.

                There were a few “tappers” I approved as contacts who emailed a great deal – then before I knew it I was inundated with tapping emails – and that is not a format I’m eager to explore in quite that much depth – lol.

                Similar experience with the coaching community — and I am certainly not interested in signing up for coach training or mentoring from a bunch of coaches trained by someone I trained years ago! ::sigh::
                xx,
                mgh

                Like

          • PS – Did you find out what’s going on with your subscriptions? 300 lost is MAJOR!!! They need to FIX that post haste!

            I just took a screen shot of mine so I can pay attention as well.
            xx,
            mgh

            Like

  15. dgkaye says:

    Holy crap Sue, when it rains, it pours. Almost unbelievable, but wow, I do love your optimism! Thank goodness your work is backed up. I love the cloud! 🙂 ❤

    Like

  16. Adele Marie says:

    I love how you have stated the positives about a week from hell. I hope the flies move on, I really hope Ani finds a new ball and I pray and send healing to you for your ailments. coffee is as coffee does a wonderful job. xxx

    Like

  17. I got behind on emails so I hope by this time the doctor found something to make you feel better. I have a new laptop and have yet to discover how to back things up on it. I keep discovering new things about it so hopefully, I’ll discover that too. I hope things right themselves for you, All the best, Sue. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

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