The Forced March of Optimism

So, I live in Michigan.  It has started snowing, here.  Not much, rarely more than a couple of inches accumulation, and only one snowfall that has made the drive home even remotely nasty.  Although, from a morning commuter perspective, the primary problem has been that it has been rain that turned into snow.  Which means snow on top of ice to be cleaned off the car in the morning.  Which makes me REALLY miss being able to take the bus.  Almost more than gas prices do.  Almost.

This morning commute – roughly 20-25 minutes either way, mostly rural roads – mans I have a fair bit of time every day to spend talking to myself.  Not out loud, although I realize that I could pass it off to just about anyone that bothered to look as blue tooth.  No, I call it talking to myself because my thoughts tend to run in a sort of conversational format.  I ask questions, I get answers.  I make statements, I get rebuttals.  That’s just how the word portion of my thinking goes.

So, I am driving along the morning after the first snowfall, grousing a little to myself about other drivers, when I made the statement ‘I hate winter.’  To which my internal perky person (I swallowed her years back, because she annoyed me.  Didn’t help.  She still won’t shut up,) responded with “No you don’t.  How can you hate a whole season?  Besides, hate is a bad word.”

“Okay fine.  I don’t hate winter.  I just hate having to drive in it.”  At this point I turned on the first of the very rural roads – so rural it has no speed limit (this is fairly common in Michigan, even near the less rural places where I live.)  Looking down the lane of the road, every tree and weedy seed pod was lined in its own little shell of snow.  Always beautiful, as Ansel Adams well knew.

At which point Perky Voice practically crowed, “If you didn’t drive in it, you wouldn’t get to see this!”  I will spare you the extra exclamation points she added to the statement.  I grumbled in response that it would still be prettier from inside a place with a fireplace and warm beverages.  Perky Voice scoffed at me.  “As if you would ever live any place that rural.”  There were exclamation points on that one too.  They were not nice exclamation points.

At this point, I conceded defeat, and enjoyed the drive, at least until I ran into the portion where the sun was shining directly at me through snowglare, at which point I drove my car into a pond.

Okay, that’s not true.  I got to work just fine, actually.  But, more to the point, that’s how my version of being optimistic works.  It’s just a part of me that I can’t turn off that just fights longer and harder and dirtier than my misanthropy works.  Which is pretty phenomenal, given how well-developed my misanthropy muscle is.  I don’t know if that’s how it is for everyone else – if it’s a constant fight, and one side is just better, stronger, more persistent, or has a pipeline to one’s guilt complex.

Cariad says it’s because I grew up with dogs.  Not to say that dog people are optimists and cat people are pessimists, more that his theory is that it’s hard to be pessimistic around a dog that likes you.  Growing up with that kind of reinforcement is a kind of conditioning, that eventually turns into optimism.  Maybe he’s right.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that I can’t shut it off.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.  Maybe, since I don’t know t yet after all these years, that means it’s just a neutral thing.

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One thought on “The Forced March of Optimism

  1. ‘And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.’

    I’m glad you made it to work safely. *smiles*

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