With Restaurant Week taking up the majority of my time, my marvelous is in the small elements of life.
Yesterday was one of the ladies at work’s birthdays (she works in the guacamole station, and is one of the most lovely and happy people I have ever, ever met) and so I made her a quick banana bread cake with a center of some of the leftover cranberry buttercream from Tgiving (I had frozen some of it). I don’t really know how it turned out (because there was only one, for her, and a little extra that I made into a mug cake for Alex). But I did it in 30 minutes, so BAM!
I wrote the follow Saturday before last in between my double, but it is still germane to today. I hope you enjoy! Also, I would love for you all to check out my post Saturday, if you haven’t–it might be one of my favorites yet!
I would imagine that if you asked most of my friends/family if I was a glass-half-full or half-empty kind of person, they would be less likely to pin me as an optimist. Alex is definitely the optimist in our relationship, and (bless him) sometimes to a detrimental degree. There are times that he trusts too much in the inevitability that things will work out. And often this makes me want to physically hurt him. Yes, he knows this. That I often want to hurt him, that is 😉
I think of myself as a realist, with a tendency towards expecting not necessarily that something will fail, but that I will either a) fall short or b) it won’t work out. I don’t always enter into situations in this mindset, but I usually arrive there after my initial excitement. Consequently, one can imagine why I find the fact that you all seem to think that I see the bright side in the situations to be intriguing/ironic/surprising. But am I selling myself short? Am I a closet…optimist?
My answer (and this is the answer arrived at after the initial burst of epiphany-related energy) is that no, I am not a closet optimist, or at least not with regards to looking to the future. But further reflection reveals that I do have an ability to find the positive elements of situations or circumstances that would otherwise appear rather sh*tty.
For example, when I tell people I have Crohn’s, I often receive condolences or amazement that I function so well, and various other reactions. My response? It is what it is. Do I wish I didn’t have to deal with it? Sure. But a) I don’t have a choice, and b) I have learned how to live with it fairly successfully thus far. I consider myself very lucky, actually. My surgeries have been minimal, and I am on a drug regime that works well for me. I am able to live a largerly normal life, and likely one fairly close to how I would live if I didn’t have to deal with it (I’m sure there would be differences, but I think I would still be a health and fitness driven individual). So, for me, it is what it is. And beyond that, thank goodness I am strong enough to handle this burden, as it were, rather than another without the support system and resources that I have access to.
When I think back on the fact that I have yet to have a true, paying job in my chosen career field and am instead continuing to work as a waitress even though I have diplomas from a nationally top-100 prep school, a top-20 university, and an Ivy, a) I have to chuckle; b) yes I am incredibly frustrated; but c) look at all of the opportunities it has afforded me. Hourly, I make way more than I would if I was working as a preservationist. My job at Orzo paid for my honeymoon and start-up costs here in Chicago. The supplemental income goes into our savings. And I am still able to pursue certain passions, like running and working out.
When I think about the fact that I am currently seeing so little of Alex, I am like YES!!! JUST KIDDING. Actually, I hate it. But you know what? Thank. God. That we are so strong as a couple to be able to handle the separation in our first year of marriage. Thank god it is because he is doing something he loves, and that what he loves is actually beneficial to the world. He is making a difference. Thank goodness we like each other enough to actually wish we were able to spend more time together. Thank goodness I am working nights because that means a) I am good enough at my job to be considered for it and b) those are the money shifts, so if we are going to have to be separated, at least it is for a reason. And you know what, it makes those times that we are together all the more special. We try to focus on US, have a real conversation.
I could go on, but I’ll spare you. My point is this: and it is something that I firmly believe in: Events in life may or may not happen for a reason, but as I said in my last post, life is about your reaction to what it throws at you. My life is pretty much a comedy of errors (at least in my mind). But you know what, when I look at it rthat way, how can I not laugh? I am a ridiculous human being. I have a ridiculous cat, and a ridiculous husband. I am met with absurd situations that I muddle through as best I can. Some of my muddling is more successful than others, but you know what, I tried.
That doesn’t make me an optimist; it makes me the ultimate realist: I am realistic in knowing that life is what it is, and to some extent I have the power to shape it, but certain things are just beyond my control. As long as I live according to my morals, it is not possible to live with regret. Reason for it or not, A has gotten me to B. B could be better, but B could be worse. And B can always GET better.
The ultimate test of strength is learning to see the real and positive when the going gets tough.
Have a great day! Stay warm–it is a high of negative degrees here in Chicago, gulp….
Are you an optimist? A realist? A pessimist?