I am an eternal optimist for the most part. I pride myself on having a glass half full kind of attitude and strongly believe that regardless of the circumstances, if you can find something in it to laugh at, you can live through it. This last one makes me a questionable invite to most funerals however, but hey, what can ya do?
Anyway, in the past six months it seems I’ve been hit with one bad thing after another between lay-offs at work, illness, stress, control freaks, the whole puppy thing, feeling like my writing had stalled out, etc. It was almost as if there was no time to come up for air when another wave came along and sucked you under again. And every time you thought, there has to be an end in sight, it was all just a ruse. I stopped even believing things would take an upswing. That’s so unlike me.
I was feeling unmotivated to do anything, include eat (which anyone who knows me knows – that is a nearly impossible feat). I kept telling myself I had to snap out of this, but I didn’t even feel motivated to do that.
But then I started seeing these little signs. That sign mainly manifested itself in the shape of Michael J. Fox’s new book popping up everywhere. Now, I’ve always been a huge Michael J. Fox fan right from the first day Alex P. Keaton showed up on the scene. I’ve followed his career, his illness, his activism and can honestly say if I had to make up a list of heroes he would land squarely in the Top Ten, probably the upper half too. After all, anyone who can get the diagnosis he did, at a time in your life when you’re just getting your life underway and still have the attitude he does…well it’s pretty impressive.
So, feeling somewhat beaten down and exhausted by life, and knowing I needed to track down my normal optimistic mojo, I decided who better to turn to then him. In keeping with that, yesterday I went out to the bookstore and picked up his book: Always Looking Up, Adventures of an Incurable Optimist. And last night I stayed up to watch the special he did on ABC.
Now I’m not going to claim that a one hour show just turned my life right around and I’m all better. But I do feel a bit better. Before yesterday I felt like life was kicking my ass and I was letting it, too tired or overcome to even bother trying to put up a fight any more. That's changed. Now I’m going to start kicking back.
I’ll manage the things I can, and just roll with the things I can’t and make the best out of them. After all, it really is all a matter of perspective. I can’t control a lot of what happens out there, but I can choose how I respond to those things. So thanks for the reminder, Mike. I needed that.