Usually youngest child has no fear. He's the kid the who dives head first into literally everything, the kid who terrifies me around playground equipment, steps, and anything moving. So his moment up there on the diving board surprised me, and I have to admit, made me a little happy. I was terrified for him to jump off the board not knowing how to swim.
Today I thought about it: was my reluctance for him to jump, and his reluctance, a form of pessimism? Are fear and pessimism related?
I also realized that a lot of things I do in my life are like youngest child's reaction at the edge of that diving board. I stop and wait. I assess the situation. I'm cautious. I have fear. In younger child's case, I found his fear to be smart -- even optimists shouldn't dive right in to everything blindly, right? But in my case, I realized I've been avoiding working on something specific lately because I was worrying that I wouldn't be able to do it. Each day as I've opened up the document to get to work on my revision, I've been specifically ignoring the part that needed the most work. In short, I've been standing at the edge of that diving board for weeks now. Not today, though. Today, I took a deep breath and started with that section first. And you know what, once I started working on it, I actually started to feel better about it.
And eventually, younger child jumped too, when the teacher came up to jump along with him.
What about you? Do do you dive right in or do you stop and think?