Once in a while I find myself in a remarkably black funk and retreat to my special place…the “cellar of gloom.”
Don’t go there too often, but I make sure there’s always coffee and cookies on hand just in case…
What got me going on this was a friend the other day asking me why I was always so blastedly upbeat. I immediately wandered off on a streak about the fact (known to me but apparently not to others) that I have this little critter sitting on my left shoulder constantly reminding me of my shortcomings.
I’m able to shoo it away by focusing on the indisputable fact that, as Papa Hemingway said for the title of his awesome book, “The Sun Also Rises.” To which I add… “always.”
I’m sure there are folks out there in this ginormous world for whom everything has always been bright and cheerful. Can’t say that I’ve ever run into anyone like that, though. Everyone over the years with whom I’ve had contact has had something go kerfluey.
It’s called “life,” and life is all about encountering and coping with challenges, opportunities, promises made, and promises broken.
I keep in touch with a lot of students, both past and current, from my days at various colleges where I’ve taught…Emerson, Bridgewater State, Stonehill…and now Curry College, where I oversee the undergraduate Public Relations Concentration and teach most of the PR courses, and Regis College, where I teach in the graduate Organizational and Professional Communication area.
They tell me the good things…the positive things…that are happening in their lives; and they share the not-so-good. Sometimes they’re looking for advice and guidance; sometimes they just need reassurance that the world as they’ve come to know it isn’t coming to a cataclysmic end.
I force myself when talking with them to focus my own thoughts on the positives…with just a dash of solid reality. Doesn’t do any good to dwell on the negatives. They’re there, and you have to face them and do your best to get around, through, or over them. But don’t let them become the 2,000-pound elephant in the bathtub with you.
Life truly is filled with wonderful possibilities, and you have to believe in the depths of your heart that you are destined to share in those possibilities.
So take stock of all that you have done and bask in the remembrance of having done something really, really cool. You did it…enjoy the glow!
“‘Twixt the optimist and pessimist
The difference is droll:
The optimist sees the doughnut
But the pessimist sees the hole.”
McLandburgh Wilson, “Optimist and Pessimist”