My husband is a pessimist, or, as he likes to call it, a realist. I don't understand him. He has everything a body needs or could want -- a job he enjoys, great kids, an incredible wife, beautiful home, good health, adoring dog, money in the bank -- and yet every day he acts as if the world is going to end that afternoon. Every setback, every minor incident, is perceived as a deliberate persecution of him by the world at large.
I, on the other hand, am a full on, sunny-side-of-the-street, glass-half-full, world-is-my-oyster optimist. At some point every day I look around at all I have and heave a great big sigh of thanks, grateful for all my blessings. I, too, have setbacks and bad days, but do my best to see them as minor incidents in the grand scheme of things. I am imbued with a sense that things will be all right in the end.
We both are annoyed by the other's perspective. Will thinks my optimism is a sign that I am immature and unrealistic. He wishes I would take things more seriously, and stop making excuses for other people. I find his negativity relentless, exhausting, and self-centered, and wish he would see how minor most of his upsets really are.
I just don't understand WHY someone would choose pessimism. Less chance to be disappointed? I suppose I could be a pessimist. I could re-frame my life: grew up without a lot of money, had to work young, lost my dad early, failed out of college, crappy career, stuck as a housewife. But in my reality, I had a good childhood and learned the value of work, I had a great support network even without a father, had fun and learned lots in college, enjoyed my various jobs, and am really privileged to have the time and space to spend at home with my kids right now.
I think optimists make their own luck. For instance: I could be all sorts of grumpy right now that the dogs woke me at 5 a.m., but instead I am sitting on my deck listening to birdsong, cool enough to need a bathrobe, and drinking a cup of hot tea. I can't imagine a better way to start my day. Plus I have an excuse to take a nap. What more could a girl want?