Optimism on Fire

Tazo tea makes this beautiful tasting concentrate that is in the spirit of a Moscow mule, and I am in love with it. It has a hint of ginger spice to it, which is a nice little surprise to the taste buds.  It needs a little mint, so I added it to my grocery order. A random thought to begin with, but it is something that is making me happy today – and finding the little things to be happy with is so, so important.

I drove 230 miles today. I spent damn near five hours in the car. I worked for a whole 3 hours.  I have paid my bills and ordered my groceries.  I am running purely on caffeine and good intentions at this point in my day, now nine o’clock in the evening.  And I felt the indescribable need to write. When I saw the quote post that was next in line, I knew exactly why – today was a perfect day to write this particular piece.

I haven’t posted a quote to the Facebook page in a couple days because I was just feeling overwhelmed with life. As things fall into place, I feel less overwhelmed.  Plus, I remembered just who the fuck I am last night; I decided to change my mindset. I crawled into my bed with my Chaser and watched HGTV for two hours, eating snacks and laughing with my little one. I decided that I was going to approach current circumstances how I approach everything – with a little profanity and sarcasm. Turn up the music and turn down the bullshit – you know, my usual rose-colored glasses, glass half full mindset. At the end of it all, I know I’ve got this – because of my optimism, if for no other reason.

“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.”

Jane Austen

Indeed, Jane.

I have never been the negative type, but I got hit with so many things seemingly all at once that demanded my attention. . . I let that negativity overtake me and drag me down for a few days. Now – how in the hell am I going to stand behind my never ceasing mottos of positivity if I’m not going to live it?  This isn’t about fake it until you make it, either.  It isn’t about putting up a façade. This is one hundred percent about changing one’s mindset.  I decided last night I was going to allow myself the evening to rest, and then I was going to get back to kicking ass with a smile on my face.

I did wake up late today. It was raining when I started my driving adventure. Both of my front tires panicked when we hit colder air in Michigan and lost some pressure.  I need a new windshield wiper and didn’t discover it until I was driving behind a semi-truck down 223 this morning.  Oh, and to top it all off. . . I forgot my face mask.

The first leg of my trip took me to brother’s house, and he had me covered – extra face mask and an air compressor. I know that if I had showed up with windshield wipers, he would have installed those for me, too. If you’ve been following for a while you know how we operate – he’s got me, and I’ve got him. We always catch one another when one of us falls, no matter the severity of the situation. We have a lot of people that care about us – but at the end of the day no one gets us like we get one another.  I don’t know what I would do without my big brother.

I can’t think of a better time to visit back home – the colors are absolutely magnificent this time of year.  The reds and yellows and oranges are all unique from one another, no tree or bush burning with color quite the same as another. It’s beautiful on a day filled with sunshine, but oh – catch it on a grey day like today? Magnificent.

I attended to some business and then headed back towards home, stopping on my way to get a salted caramel mocha from Starbucks.  This is my favorite time of year – the colors are the best; the flavors and smells are the best; and I rather prefer the comfort of jeans and long sleeves to shorts and tank tops.

As the caffeine from the coffee coursed through me, I felt more and more confident in my abilities – and it wasn’t just because of the caffeine, either. It was the fact that I was crossing shit off my list.  It was because despite knowing that I had a full plate, I was still getting shit done.  I don’t know how or why I’ve been doubting myself so much lately, but it felt wonderful to feel myself again, to know that under no uncertain terms that I would navigate through this portion of life like I have all the other times of uncertainty.

I knocked quite a bit off my work to-do list in the few hours I was there, I stopped at the car wash to get the ridiculous amount of dirt off Scarlett after my travels, and finally headed home for the day.  After talking with Grandma for a few minutes, I made my hooligans an old staple from my childhood – salmon patties.  I didn’t expect rave reviews, and I didn’t get them – Matt said the texture was weird and Chase took a nibble and turned his nose up.  I know it was a good version of the recipe though and was happy that after a year of having the cans of salmon in the pantry that I actually made them. It was a nice meal on a chilly dreary day, despite the kids not caring for it.

Now here I sit in my normal writing situation –  previously unreleased music from Linkin Park playing softly, my candle and lights blazing, tea beside me and my desk blanket covering my chilled legs. . . and I am so, so incredibly grateful for this life of mine.

I don’t know where this last part of 2020 is going to dump me off at; I don’t know how this chapter will conclude. There is still quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding several aspects of life right now, and y’all know how me and uncertainty get along – that is to say, not at all. If I’ve learned anything through this last year though, it’s to embrace life – no matter where it has you at and where it may be taking you. Why stress about the unknown?  There is absolutely nothing to be gained from it.  Life will end up how it’s going to end up, no matter how much or how little you worry.  So, you may as well embrace the moment, and to hell with the rest.

With that in mind today, I turned up my stereo and navigated over 230 miles of rainy dreariness, simply happy to be behind the wheel with only my music to accompany me.  I enjoyed the beauty of the country roads back home, and the time with my brother. . . I appreciated how we had each other covered just like we always have. I made sure to appreciate my coffee for more than just the caffeine boost I needed. I recognized the feeling of confidence surging through me as I contemplated where life had placed me and was excited to feel my normal optimism returning – there’s nothing I can’t handle.

I won’t ever dwell on the negative. There’s nothing to gain from that.  Sure, you’re then pleasantly surprised when good happens – or so I’ve been told – but if you’re always optimistic then even when less than fantastic things happen. . . you’re not phased. Because you can always find the good in the situation, no matter what. There’s always something to be learned from every situation, after all. And if nothing else, I have learned a fuck of a lot in 2020.  About myself and about others.

Let other people handle the pessimism. Because you won’t catch me dwelling there.

Happy Thursday. Please, take a moment to find something good in this moment. You won’t be disappointed.

Photo by Paul Bulai on Unsplash

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