Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 1!

To tell you the truth, I wasn't sure where to begin. How does a person realistically go from being a pessimist to an optimist? Though I told myself I wasn't officially starting until today, I attempted to be more positive this weekend. Even so, I might have found myself saying to my husband something the effect that maybe this blog was a mistake, that maybe no one was going to read it anyway. His response was to laugh and point out how negative I was being, and then always ready to jump in with a movie quote he said, "If you write it, they will come." And as Yoda said, "Do or do not. . . there is no try."

Okay, so that was when I realized that I was going to have to do this. Really, seriously have to do this -- and not just in cyber-space once a day, but in my real life. If nothing else, because if/when I slip up, I'll be forced to endure Star Wars quotes!

So I did what any good writer would do and started doing some research. Being a writer has made me a proficient Google-r and library book reserver. I did both over the weekend. The best article I read so far was one from The Christian Science Monitor that told me five steps to becoming a more positive person. So I decided to start there. Step number one is to come up with a positive response to every situation.

Which brings me to today. Today is oldest child's first day of school, a day which I have been silently worrying about and dreading all summer. Oldest child is beyond thrilled about this day -- see, he is still an optimist. But me -- I have been worrying about if the school he's going to is the right one, if he will learn anything, if he will fit in socially, if he will accidentally ingest peanut butter at lunch (He's allergic). Basically, you name it, and I've been worrying about it. And I know I'm not alone in this because I've been getting daily e-mails from my friends whose oldest children are also about to start school this week.

But, now I'm going to take a step back and have a more positive response to this situation. I am. Oldest child is healthy and happy and thrilled to be going off to school. He will get to play and learn, socialize and grow all day long. He will learn to be more independent. He will make new friends. He will begin to have a life of his own -- away from me -- but that's going to be a good thing for him. The first step towards him eventually becoming a healthy, happy, well-adjusted adult.

And then I thought back, tried to remember my first day of school, not from a parent's perspective but from a child's. What I remembered was this: on my first day of school, I met my best friend, a little girl with blonde hair who I asked to sit next to me on the bus because I thought her hair was pretty. We spent most of our childhoods giggling on the phone, writing plays for our Barbies to perform, having sleep-overs, planning out matching outfits to wear to school dances. My friendship with her was a constant, amazing thing in my life. Even today, I think of her as my best and oldest friend.

So maybe oldest child will find this today -- or something like it? And that makes me almost as thrilled about the first day as he is. Will I still cry as I drop him off this morning and then spend the day worrying? Well, maybe (and tune in tomorrow to find out), but I will also be happy for him today.

What's a situation that made you nervous that you could look at differently and have a positive response to?


  1. Congratulations on deciding to become an optimist. I am an eternal optimist and encourage all people to cross over to our side.
    The way I see it is when that moment comes that we are forced to look back and reflect on our life, I don't want to say to myself -why did I waste so much of my life thinking negatively.
    Good Luck to you,


    Optimism Baby-It makes the most sense. :)

  2. What's a situation that made you nervous that you could look at differently and have a positive response to?

    -- I think it would have to be going back to get my GED. I wasn't happy, I had been forced to go back to school and didn't care who knew how ticked I was at having to be there, because it wasn't something I wanted to do, it was what someone was FORCING me to do. Plus I'd been out of school for 6 years!!! Dear Gods this was going to be an epic humiliation trying to remember everything I'd learned.

    So with little to no sleep I went to this class, took the little test they give you to see where you're at grade wise mentally. I scored the highest out of the 5 of us that went. Two days later the teacher called me to her desk, I thought maybe she'd caught me writing part of my book when I was supposed to be working on math. But no, she wanted to ask me to take the practice test for the GED exam that was going to be given the next week. Fine, alright but I'm not studying. Here's the thing I learned when I was in regular school, if I studied I flunked if I didn't I passed. So hoping this was still the case I went back the next day took my test, same with the day after that, and waited for my results to come back in. I passed! She then told me to skip the next day so I could sign up for the actual test. Gah! What was it with everyone wanting me to do something I didn't want too!?.. I couldn't do, I wasn't as smart as everyone likes to think.

    I ended up passing the test with flying colors, and didn't have to go back when Fall classes started... we signed up for the GED classes only 2 weeks before school ended. I'm actually happy now that I was forced into this, who knew I was so smart?... other than my parents and teacher. lol.

  3. I love your take on the first day of school. My daughter starts kindergarten in a month and I was sooo not looking forward to it! But thinking about the fact that she just might meet her best friend...well...that's a really positive spin on the situation and I love it!
    Thanks for shining a new light on it for me!

  4. Thanks, Maribeth -- I hope I can do it :-) And Jessica, thanks for sharing your own situation!

    Stacy, I have to say this new optimistic take made it *so* much easier than I thought it would be to leave him at school this morning, and more to come about that tomorrow :-)

  5. When my kid throws a fit in public. While mortifying, I now choose to view them all as future book material. :)

  6. I think that's a positive way to look at most bad situations actually -- book material!

  7. lol! Maureen, that's funny. When my neice or nephew throws a fit in public, I toss myself on the ground with them and go right along with them. Sure, people look at me like I'm nuts but they stop.