(1) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: Buoyant Optimism

As mentioned in the previous post, I’m proud to be called a dork optimist. So I was thrilled to read your comments and discover that I have so many dork optimist comrades!  It seemed appropriate, then, to make my first Thirty Days of Grateful Praise post be about our ability to find joy in simple pleasures.

Interestingly, for me,  some of this likely has its roots in less than happy circumstances—the fact that my life has, in many ways, been hard and there’s never been a lot of money for the “extras” seen as necessities by modern society.  Clearly, when you’re in this situation, mourning the things you don’t have rather than celebrating what you do have is surely the way to unhappiness, so I’ve mostly chosen the happy path.

I’d never be one to romanticize financial struggles—it’s a hard business, especially these days.  But if you look for them, there are almost always gifts hidden in in even the most difficult of circumstances.  I do think that having less has helped me appreciate far more even the smallest pleasures.

I think, too, that hard times have a way of bringing into sharper focus what’s important and what’s not.  It turns out that some of the simplest, most humble things are the very things that make my life rich.  And if I Iost them, I would be impoverished indeed.

So maybe you can add “simple-minded” to my dork optimist moniker.  The older I get, the more I value simple-mindedness.  The older I get, the more I see the simple as deep.  And the older I get, the more I turn away from the clamor of the world trying to make me believe otherwise.

Simple-minded dork optimist.  Yep…that’s me.  And I like it.

8 Responses to “(1) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: Buoyant Optimism”

  1. Betsyfromtennessee Says:

    Fabulous post, Beth…. Looking at what IS important in our lives instead of wishing for the things we don’t have is GREAT….. Money certainly is important in our lives for the basic necessities. BUT–money cannot bring us happiness and joy –like rainbows or sunsets can!!!!!! Keep that optimism going!!! It will help others—-all of us!!!!


  2. Bikbik & Roro Says:

    This is so timely Beth. I’ve been framing a post about having an attitude of gratitude every day, every minute really — for, as you say so eloquently, “mourning the things you don’t have rather than celebrating what you do have is surely the way to unhappiness”. I’m learning too to simplify, to approach life with the simplicity of a little child. How true it is that “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”.

  3. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    Today I’m grateful for the rain that broke the heat wave and provided water for the grass and growing things. Last night at this late hour it was still 95-degrees, but right now it’s only 76. And that makes me happy and grateful. I smiled when I saw on my sidebar that “Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl” had a new post. I saw and I came right over to read and be uplifted. Thank you, Beth.

  4. Chris Says:

    An attitude of gratitude certainly goes to long way towards happiness. I also believe that we always have choices, choices about our actions and our reactions to what life throws at us.

  5. Sharon Says:

    For me, the greatest truth in these words of yours is the line which says, “hard times have a way of bringing into sharper focus what’s important and what isn’t.” I couldn’t agree more!

    Can’t wait for more wisdom from my favorite dork optimist!!

  6. Benjamin Says:

    Of course, in the words of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Doyle Bramhall in “Wall of Denial”: “The little things in life, are the greatest pleasures–a smile, a kiss–a little baby’s laughter. It makes no difference if we run away in fear. Because the little things in life, hold us so near!”

  7. Rider Says:

    Guess I made you angry with my last comment, huh? Sorry about that, Ms. Blue. I didn’t certainly mean to.

    Now, after your posting above, I have something else to say. It’s that you’re as far as can be from the adjective you used: “simple-minded.”

    What I’m saying is that both adjectives you used to describe yourself are inapposite. Only your noun is apposite: “optimist.”

    And that’s good.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Dear Rider,
      When I saw your comment that you thought you’d made me angry, I was greatly dismayed to think that you thought that! Oh my goodness…no, no, no, I wasn’t at all angry. On the contrary, I thought that what you said was very kind. So I re-read your comment, then re-read the above post, and then understood why you might have thought that. So, please let me assure you that my post was in NO way a response to your comment. When I said I was a proud dork optimist, it was more of a response to a world that might see me and my wide-eyed, eager optimism as dorky because the world seems to think that snarky and cynical and jaded is “cool” and anything other than that is dorky. I was trying to say in my post that, sure, if being cheerful and buoyant and eager and enthusiastic is dorky, then, by all means, I am dorky. I proudly embrace my dorky optimism. And by simple-minded, I meant that I see some of the most simple things of life as the things that are most satisfying to my spirit. The same things that the world might see as boring or ordinary, I often see as the most profoundly fullfilling.

      Anyway, I sure hope you see this because I truly hate to think that you thought me angry. I’m not sure if I’ve explained myself very well here, but hopefully it’s clear that I, as always, appreciated your comment and value your friendship.

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