Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Life IS Great...If You See it That Way

I consider myself a pretty optimistic person. Or at least I try to make a conscious effort to be. I credit that to being born into a family who, despite hardships or setbacks, always managed to "flip the coin" and find the "good" in something. Perhaps their credit is owed to our resilience as a people period and the countless generations before them who depended on this level of optimism for sheer survival alone. So, imagine my surprise with myself when I met a pure and simple moment with extreme pessimism, which made me question exactly where I was in my own life.

Recently, I acquired a new co-worker with whom I will be closely working. As she prepared to get up to speed in her duties, she stopped by to ask me a few questions. I greeted her and asked her how she was doing and without hesitation she replied, "Life is great and getting better every day." And I just stared. Stared almost as if she were speaking a foreign language. After I realized my reaction, I smiled, offered a simple, "That's great to hear" and moved on with our discussion.

However, long after she left, I was still replaying her reply in my head. Life is great and getting better everyday? What exactly does she mean? I was dumbfounded by the mere power of such a statement--and skeptic of it. So much so, I began to relay the story to friends and, sadly, they were even more dumbfounded and offering what I realize in hindsight was tons of pessimistic theories. "Hmm, you sure she wasn't being sarcastic?" one person asked. "Sounds like a set up. No one's that cheery. Watch your back," offered another. "Girl bye" another simply replied, which in summary meant my co-worker's reply was absolute crap and not to be believed.

As the days went on, more cheeriness was exhibited from my new co-worker in the form of a bright smile; a heartfelt (multiple) apology for a misstep. I was even treated to a "Quote of the Day" as a co-signature on their outgoing e-mail, which helped me more settle on the simple fact that this person is invested in the positive. Point blank. Period. The only person who needed to be scrutinized in this matter was ME. Yes, life can be difficult. Setbacks will come. Hurt will arise. Hearts will be broken. The world seems more out of control than ever and with the "live big" concept constantly being shoved down our throats in every way possible from music to social media, it can easily cloud how we actually see our lives.

But as I arose from my bed at the start of the next week, enjoyed the warmth of my home--with more than enough room for me--drove my reliable car to my 16-year-place of employment, filled by belly with a hearty breakfast and lunch, took time throughout the day to e-mail, text, and speak on the phone with loved ones, purchase some items I had wanted (note: not really needed), and made plans for the weekend, I realized I not only shouldn't have been shocked by my co-worker's reply but should have been the one delivering it when I was asked how I was doing. I--as many of us are--am clearly blessed way beyond the "I'm good" phrase I toss out often without thinking. I WAS great. And despite the ups and downs of life; the sick days that creep upon us; not always getting our wants (often ignoring the fact we really have all we need), life is great. And every day we are allowed to rise and be able to say so, MAKES it so, which trumps anything we could ever possibly gripe about.

Indeed, we're human and so the gripes will tumble out of our mouths every now and again. But my encounter with my co-worker has reminded me that I have a lot more to be ecstatic about instead. So, the next time I'm asked how I'm doing, I will consider using her reply and, in doing so, remind myself of the truth of it: Life is great and getting better every day.