Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Optimism Lost

I used to be so motivated, so passionate, so dedicated, so involved.

FireMan was telling me the other night about someone new on water rescue who just really jumped in with both feet and took over the administrative role. I was a little jealous. When I was on water rescue I had repeatedly offered to help with administrative tasks and was turned down or ignored by the officers. So I didn't do it. But this person just jumped in and did it. And everyone's wowing at how much better things are now.

What happened to me?

I can remember time after time in my life past when I jumped in with both feet, when I took the initiative, when I started projects. Some of the best times in my life, in fact. Did they all work out as I had hoped? Well, no. But I did it. I did something.

Just this past weekend, as I was packing, I came across some sheets from my time in college, where person after person exalted my leadership abilities. I doubt anyone would say that now.

What happened to me?

I could speculate all day about different incidents in my life that might have led to this change, but the bottom line is that somewhere along the way I lost my optimism. That really is the bottom line.

Dictionary.com defines "optimism" as: a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.

And somewhere along the line I lost that. I no longer expect the best outcome. I hope for it, but I don't expect it. In fact, I kinda expect to get screwed. For things to fall apart. For projects to fail.

And if you expect things to get screwed up no matter how hard you try, then eventually you stop trying.

And so now, when I decide something is worth trying, I tend to do so tentatively.

And the fact of the matter is that life rarely responds to tentative efforts. Life responds best to enthusiastic balls-to-the-wall efforts.

Now the question is, can I change back?

My life experiences led to this change in how I view the world. So can I change it back? Or is it too late? Am I already too disillusioned?

Because I think, in this aspect anyway, I liked the old me better.


Candace said...

I know exactly how you feel. we need to talk!

Melissa said...

YOU CAN DO IT! JUST FIND YOUR VOICE AND JUMP BACK IN. I also lost my drive, I was a stay at home mom who just took care of her kids. I have learned to jump in and help and be noticed and make friends again. You just have to find where you fit in and what you want to be a part of. I am very involved in Natalie's school, dance and church and have made many more friends. Of course now I get calls to help out with a lot of things, but I feel I have more of a purpose again, and that makes me feel more involved in the world again, and not just a mom.

Marianne said...

Hope you find your way back. It's really so much easier to be the optimistic person, less stress and better for your health. If you expect the worst, I think you set yourself up for it.

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