Finally back to sunshine weather here! There is nothing that can compare with finally feeling warm sun on my face after a long winter, rolling my windows down for the drive home instead of huddling in a coat to avoid the bitter cold. It’s one of the little joys in life that helps me stay optimistic in a world that seems anything but.
I get it: after a week of me talking about being optimistic, you’re probably getting a little irritated. “It’s not so easy to be perky!” you say, “I’m just a pessimist at heart.”
The world isn’t all sunshine and roses, and if it were, then that would be boring and we’d still manage to find something to complain about. Please, don’t fake happiness until it gives you a heart attack. This whole optimism thing isn’t about putting on a show: it’s about genuinely focusing on the silver lining when possible, and learning healthy ways to work through it when there does not seem to be one.
I’ll be the first to admit that some days, sarcasm is as close to optimism as I get. There are days it seems like life is a sitcom, or a satire, or just generally depressing, but we don’t have to live in those days. We don’t have to enter each new day with thoughts like “Great, another chance for my life to go horribly wrong.” Life throwing us curveballs is a fact of living, but the ways we choose to react to them in the long-term are up to us. Part of a healthy reaction is knowing that some days are just downright terrible, and what healthily cathartic behaviors you can use to cope when days just are that bad.
My favorite ways to get through rough days are sarcasm with a good friend, and carving clay. The featured image is of a small jar I keep on my desk, now glazed blue and filled with chocolate. It is one of my absolute favorites because it is one of the first ones I did purely organic. With all of my pieces up until this point I followed a pattern, generally without a whole lot of variation or detail. This one I spend days on, working my way around it, as little by little the world slipped away while I carved my frustration, hurt, and pessimism into this malleable piece of clay. A piece of my soul goes into every single thing I carve, and while I keep some just for me, there are others I choose to give away or sell, hoping they can bring some comfort, peace, and beauty into a world lacking it.
So, now I ask you: how do you respond when the world is frustrating, pessimistic, or full of pain? What are you doing to increase beauty in the world around you?