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Optimism- When enough is enough

My generation will never forget Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmations on Saturday Night Live.

Stuart turns to the mirror and chants out his mantra…“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” (insert crowd laughing and applauding)

I’m not going to lie, the optimist has often been the butt of punchlines, whether it be in real life or on the screen. They have been depicted as being naΓ―ve, having lost touch with reality, and just overall being obnoxious.

Their plight for hope and goodwill is commendable. Actually, as a teacher, I often find myself selling the same propaganda, but at some point, we have to examine the difference between

a) choosing to swim upstream and be optimistically strong for the sake of fighting the many realities of the universe and

b) making the decision to logically lay down the sword and accept the truths as they are

… honestly, for the sake of self-preservation.

Life has not been easy. Quite frankly, at times, life has been very hard… and perhaps that has made me the ultimate optimist. Maybe it’s the guilt of all the self-inflected wounds of poor decisions that fuels me to right the wrongs until the silver lining appears. Perhaps it’s the sheer determination to not only survive, but to thrive as all the nay-sayers shout on. Whatever it may be, there have been times when I have blatantly lied to my face, I have persevered in the most dire times because I was willing to sacrifice my well-being for the sake of proving the long shot could rise above it all.

But even the Stuart Smalleys of the world have to know when enough is enough.

Photo by Alex Green on

Believe it or not, but optimism takes incredible strength and energy… a type of strength that is hard to explain because in the end you have to admit that your outlook on life is not what you portray. You see, we understand the odds, unlike those who say we have lost touch with reality. We bet against logic, we manipulate the present in hopes of changing the future and we do it with a smile, while carrying the weight of the evidence that says things will never change.

This type of endurance is exhausting. Period.

So when is enough, enough?

At what point do you exhale?

The good fight never ends. It never does.

Is it true, no rest for the wicked? What about for the optimist?

Don’t get me wrong, I think optimism is an important quality to have, it has been a significant brick in my foundation, but too much of a good thing can still become toxic. I want to share 3 healthy boundaries optimists should consider:

  1. Be open with those who are the most reliant on you. Optimism isn’t a constant state of positivity, optimism is as simple as having hope for the future while struggling through the present. Reach out to others, they will be more than happy to listen to your fears and concerns… it’s a way they can give back for everything you have done for them.
  2. Reset your brain. Allow it to slow down to weigh out the pros and cons. Like everything, wanting only to see the good in people can become an unhealthy habit. Though the heart is noble, thinking you might be the only one in their corner can lead to misguided evaluations and poor decision making.
  3. Share the load. Agreed, the world is struggling right now and optimism is a high commodity, but it isn’t up to you to save the world. Spread optimism but share the load of carrying the weight of change.

September 28, 1991, Stuart Smalley interviews Michael Jordan. In the interview Stuart is determined to help Jordan with his career. (Obviously, no help is needed… insert crowd laughing and applauding) Eventually, the tables are turned and Michael Jordan ends up helping the ultimate optimist.

In the end, we are all just people. Optimism is not a title but a mindset. It is how we approach difficult times. We are not here to save the world, we are here to leave our community better than how we found it. So, relish the small moments of contributing to a better day!!

Cheers! ❀Annie

Stuart Smalley interviews Michael Jordan on SNL, enjoy!!!

8 thoughts on “Optimism- When enough is enough

  1. I will take optimism over pessimism anytime. Those who dare to look at the possibilities will trump those who see no options and only whine about everything.πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜ŽπŸ˜ŽπŸ˜ŽπŸ˜ŽπŸ’πŸ’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed! I’m not a big fan of whiners. It takes an open mind to see all the possibilities!! Although I think sometimes, optimists take on more than they need to. It takes a village and if you don’t allow yourself to lean on others or feel the very real emotions of fear and concern, you are failing to face the realities surrounding you and opting out of receiving rather than the giving that one becomes accustom to. But, yes, pessimism is a pet peeve of mine. Love your enthusiasm!!❀❀❀ Thanks! Annie πŸ™‚


  2. Great post, Annie. It really appealed to me. I’m told I’m more optimistic now than I used to be, and I think that’s right. I’d been a real pessimist for years, but it really wasn’t doing me any good at all. With a lot of hard work on myself, I gradually learned to look on the bright side more often, and I have to say, life has been better since then. It was a job at first to convince myself I could be less negative, but with practice, I got to feel happier and felt some of my confidence returning. From what you write, I feel you’ve got the balance just right. Hope you are well, Annie. Ellie xx πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ellie! I just returned from Canada and I am currently redecorating my apartment with my mother who drove down with me and the UHaul. I am starting the new school year and this is the perfect time to focus on being an optimistic influence within my reach. I am excited to see my new group of students and taking on a fresh new year! I hope this finds you well… can’t wait to see a new post from you. Take care! ❀ Annie

      Liked by 1 person

    • Brava to you for practicing mental discipline! In the East they have been practicing these thought replacement techniques for thousands of years ~ here we let our thoughts run completely amok and then wonder at the devastation they wreak around us. πŸ™„

      Liked by 2 people

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