Last week there were TWO brunch options, the first seating featured Amy Lane, Cherie Noel, and Christopher Koehler, who discussed their New Years’ Resolutions. The winner for that was Trix! Thanks for commenting, Trix, I know it was a bit confusing to have two different brunches last week, and I should be back on track here for the forthcoming few weeks anyway.
The second seating of Sunday Brunch last week featured LE Franks, KA Mitchell, and James Buchanan. Their question was about favorite winter pastimes and their winner was Jeff!
This week’s question is about state of mind. I’m really hoping you comment here, I’d like to get a lively discussion going:
Is your glass half-full, half-empty, or poisoned?
Do you know people who have it good and think it’s bad? Do you know people who have it bad, but just keep on chugging like the little engine that could? Which type are you? Were you born that way? Or did circumstances make you that way? What do you think? Tell me in the comments below!
And for a change, I’m going to be one of the authors who answers my question…
My parents had tough times growing up — my dad experienced prejudice and war in Europe and my mother lived through the Great Depression. Yet I know lots of people who have gone through the same time period and emerged hopeful and confident.
I know people who suffered far greater losses, both physically and emotionally than my parents did, yet still manage to expect a favorable outcome from everyday situations. I’ve often wondered whether there is a genetic component to it, or…well… I wonder about those things because I’m adopted and the most optimistic person I know — my husband — comes from a line of optimists going back to the plague years. They’ve been through all kinds of hell, and they still have a positive outlook. My husband is the kind of guy who, if he fell out of a plane, would text me pictures all the way down with the caption, “Look, isn’t this cool?”
What triggers one person to look on the bright side and another to get lost in the shadows? I don’t know. I only know when I’m recapping the year of a bad accident, or a the year our house burned, I am usually mitigating it, saying, “Well… of course we were so lucky. We all got out okay. We had insurance. We had friends who helped us out. We had fun, even. It was an adventure.” We were lucky. I always feel lucky, I always feel blessed, even when bad things happen. I got to be there when my father died, I got to help lay my mother to rest. Those things were possible and I felt lucky.
To an optimist, this means I’m rolling with the punches right? To my mother, it just meant NOTHING REALLY BAD HAS HAPPENED YET. There will be another shoe, and when it drops, you will no longer be able to feel lucky.
Which always sounds like a curse to me. “Someday all that happy you’re storing up right now will not be enough, and then you will understand how I feel.”
I’m not charmed. I’ve been in car accidents. We lost both my parents and parents-in-law. My house burned and I lost most of my most treasured sentimental possessions. Our finances suffered severe setbacks during the recession we’ve never recovered from. I expect, in time, to lose my health and/or my beloved husband to the diseases of old age and eventually I expect to die. I don’t expect it will be easy or painless. Those things aren’t what ifs, they’re given.
And of course I fear every mother’s nightmare — the loss of my children. You can never be prepared for that. The loss of one of my kids would probably put me in the ground early, and yet, it only makes me want to love them even more right this very second. It makes me want to wake them up and ask them every question I have, to find every little thing about them so I can commit it to memory for later. It makes me want to really wallow in what I have right now, and not look ahead to how it might all be taken away.
So I’m not really sure. Am I an optimist? A pessimist? I realist? Am I fooling myself that I have a pretty good attitude and I can go with the flow, whatever happens? I really don’t know. I hope so, but I really don’t know. I guess I’ll say what I always say… Stay Tuned…
[Editor’s Note: I wanted to add here, in case anyone misunderstands: Even though my mother was a pessimist, she was fun, funny, adventurous, highly intelligent, and a blast to spend time with. She wore a button on her coat that said “Since I gave up all hope I feel much better” and that was the truth of her, at her core. Just because she expected the worst and frankly thought life was crap, didn’t mean she didn’t try new things. She was always learning, often laughing. She was an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, under a dark cloud, and I wish everyone could have met her.] — Author Z.A. Maxfield
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Half full! I want to keep adding to it, adding to the joy of living. I’ve got so much more I want to learn, to experience, to say, to share, to write. I want to fill that cup with everything I possibly can. And I want to share all those things with others, and then keep on filling up that cup again and again.
Writing (and reading) fiction is a big part of that for me. With each new story, I get to experience all that passion and suspense and love that goes into those characters’ lives, and it’s such a rush to take that journey with them. I’m also very fortunate that, as a writer, I get to share all that with others, and then do it all over again and again.
Thanks so much ZAM for including me in your Sunday Brunch blog series. – Sloan Parker