Tag Archives: optimist

Charlotte Parent: Stay-At-Home Dudes

Glass half full? Glass half empty?

Today at Charlotte Parent, where I’ll be blogging under our Stay-At-Home Dudes column name, I’m worrying about something. I’m always worrying about something, but this time. . . This time I’m worrying about worrying.

See, parents are of two minds about how they look at the future.

When we look at our little dudes and little dudettes, we’re all about the positive, optimistic vision of where they’ll go and what they’ll do. Then the darkness comes over us and we see all the bad things that can happen.

Parents are optimistic by nature, but it’s our job to be a professional pessimist. Which can lead to some. . . interesting situations.

Hard as it is to believe, I’ve actually got something to say about that. So, click over to Charlotte Parent and you can read the latest Stay-At-Home Dudes column.

Share on Facebook

Rose-Colored Contacts

I’m more the type to yell at someone to get me another glass of water.

You do know the question to that answer, yeah, dudes. For those of you a bit slow on the uptake (no, not you. The other dude. Yeah, him. Right.) is “Are you a glass-half-full dude or a glass-half-empty dude?”

It’s a question that gets to the bottom of the nature of perception, how we see the world. Are we inherently optimistic, in seeing the glass as half full, or are we inherently pessimistic, in that we see the glass as half empty?

It’s the same glass, with the same amount of water. The way we perceive it, however, tells us a lot about ourselves. I made a little joke up there in the lead, but that’s not really the type of dude I am.

When I see a glass that’s not full, I see a half-empty glass and begin wondering who drank the other half and if the half that remains is poisoned. More pessimistic than I wish that I was.

Events bring out the pessimist in me. However, that’s not all I am.

When I face a question about a person, it’s a completely different person. It seems like I’m always thinking the best about people. If someone’s never done something before, I still believe they can do it. I’m an optimist about a person, a pessimist about people as a group. I feel like I sort of fall into the camp as outlined by the great sage and philosopher Agent K.

Had he ever existed, which he most assuredly did not, Agent K might have said, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”

So I’m not alone in this.

But, and here’s the big point here, I didn’t like being that way. I didn’t like always assuming the worst was about to happen.

So I decided to change. I decided that, instead of always looking for the hammer to drop, I’m going to compliment the person holding the hammer on her lovely nail polish. Instead of ranting about the litter on the side of the road, I’m going to think about how it’s less than it’s been in years past, then I’m going to pick up all I can carry and feel better about having made the world a (slightly) better place.

My mom had a number of favorite sayings she would repeat as often as possible. One of those was something she cribbed from a radio psychologist, Dr. Joy Brown: “You can’t change other people. The only person you can change is yourself.”

And, you know, they were right. I know that there are people who bug me just by breathing. I feel my blood pounding in my ears, my fists clenching all that. But that person’s not going to change. It’s who they are.

I have to decide that it won’t bother me. And it’s more than possible. It’s actually easy. It really is, dudes.

You can decide to be more positive and you’ll be more positive. You can decide to let the little things just slide off your back and they will.

Since I’ve decided to be more positive, to see a glass someone filled up halfway just for me, I find that I’m seeing more positive things happen. Not only that, but I’m feeling like I should be doing more little things to make the world a (slightly) better place.

Instead of getting irritated that someone left their grocery cart in the middle of a space instead of putting it away just two spaces over, I’m glad I came along so I can move that one and another that’s nearby because it will make some anonymous Harris Teeter worker’s day a little easier.

It’s all in how we choose to perceive the world and the people around us.

So what’s it going to be, dudes? Are you going to be positive or negative? It’s up to you.

I know you’re going to make the right decision.

Share on Facebook

Amateur Night

Amateur Night has come round again, dudes.

Be careful out there on the streets because there are far too many people, who incorrectly think they have a handle on their emotions, their ability and their driving skills, who really, really don’t.

Alcohol isn’t to blame for all of that misperception of ability, but it certainly doesn’t help.

And, to make matters even more non-salubrious, New Year’s Evil is full of people out drinking — a lot — who don’t often drink all that much. And, being the kind of people we mostly are, even when we’re stumbling drunk, we’ll never admit it. Which means these amateurs will head out and keep on drinking. Because they’re obviously not even afflected — notevena liddlebt.

If you see where I’m going here.

Of course, not all that sure that the professional drinkers out tonight are any sort of person to emulate, either. People who drink a lot and do it often, might understand they’re impaired, but statistics show that they still get behind the wheel or drunk dial their exes at 3:27 am for sparkling, slobbering conversation with an answering service.

So that’s not all that good.

Listen. I know we’re all headed out, looking for a good time. But understand it’s okay if your good time doesn’t end with you face down in a suburban roadside swale, blowing bubbles with your nose in the stagnant rainwater.

It’s okay to go out, not drink all that much (if at all) and then wake up on Jan. 1 without a blinding hangover. Really, it is.

In fact, it might make you feel slightly more optimistic about the coming new year if you can do a bit more than moan pitifully and weakly wave toward the curtains in the vain hope that you’ll spontaneously develop telekinetic powers and will close the drapes tighter.

Remember, there’s a lot of unsafe amateur drinkers (and even more unsafe professional drinkers) out there tonight: Avoid them. Come home safely and start out the new year the right way: Alive and happy.

#NewYear #HappyNewYear

Share on Facebook