In my mind, I build up every little thing until any outcome shy of unicorns running down rainbow roads into my very own castle feels like a huge failure.
I am terrible at receiving disappointing news. Not that anyone should ever be really great at something like that but I am especially awful. Like the crying, cranky and cursing kind of awful.
And if I hear one more person tell me, “hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” I will scream and start stabbing.
I know that it’s the smart thing to do but for some reason I can’t stop laying those damn rainbow bricks. Am I an eternal optimist or just an idiot?
Every time I am faced with something like this, I am reminded of that scene in Christmas Vacation:
Ellen: You set standards that no family activity can live up to.
Clark: When have I ever done that?
Ellen: Parties, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, holidays…
Clark: Goodnight Ellen
Ellen: Vacations, graduations…
I am mothereffing Clark Griswold.
Of course, not every disappointment is a total loss. Sometimes the “thing” is good, just not as good as I was hoping for. These are the situations where my father used to love to tell me, “It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.” Yeah, thanks dad. I can’t think of many things that AREN’T better than a sharp stick in the eye. Very helpful.
But he did kind of have a point.
Perhaps I don’t have to go all the way to Debbie Downer and prepare for the worst, but simply use that built in optimism to seek out only the best parts of any given result in any given situation. And then of course use those adjusted perceptions to adjust goals and/or expectations.
That all depends of course on whether or not what I have is optimism, rather than plain old idiocy.