"No, I'm a pessimist and you're a fart."

Saturday, January 10, 2009


When I was a little girl, my precocious older sister (who must have been about eleven at the time) said to my nonplussed and hair-challenged five year old self, "The difference between you and me, Kathleen, is that I'm an optimist and you're a pessimist." As my mother tells the story, I thought about this for a minute. Then, not really knowing what either word meant, but knowing that my sister was trying to impress me, I said, "No, the difference between you and me is that I'm a pessimist and you're a fart."

This story says a lot about me, even still.

While I hope that I am no longer a pessimist (my sister, however, continues to sometimes be a fart), I am a realist by birth and, unfortunately, optimism has never come to me easily. You see, I was a very sensitive little girl who was raised to know that life is not a fairy tale or a movie and that pain is not optional. While I consider myself lucky for the upbringing I had, there is a certain sadness in knowing the inevitability of sadness. Now, just to set the record straight, I am hopeful to a fault and very proud of it, but hopeful + realistic does not an optimist make.

This year my number one New Year's goal is to enjoy the good and look forward to the great. As I have stated in previous posts, I know all too well, as we all do, that life hands us ups and downs and all arounds. However, what may have been lost on me as a child and I may sometimes lose sight of as an adult is that while pain is unavoidable, so is joy. Life is many, many things and lovely is one of them. So, for at least this year, I am going to try to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop and dance around in my heels (wobbly ankles and all) in the joy and the happy, happy chaos that is life.

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