I admit I am not always the most optimistic person you’ve ever met.
Sometimes, I see the half-empty glass and become convinced it’s closer to a third. I’m not always shocked if things don’t turn out how I want them to. On the flip side, I can then enjoy a happy surprise if they do.
I don’t really know why that is. I’m a preschool teacher, which I think means I’m supposed to be smiling and sing-songy and certain that everyone is trying their best. And that is absolutely true from 8 am – 3 pm.
That child who takes approximately seventeen minutes to make two rabbit-ear loops on their shoes is winning at life. The little guy using the paintbrush to splatter his shirt and mine with flying red droplets is the next Picasso. The little girl who just wrote every letter in her name in the right order for the first time ever has my undying admiration and will get a shout-out at the next circle time.
Somehow, however, I can turn it off right after work when I pull out into traffic, and everyone around me forgets how to use their signal lights.
Or place their shopping cart horizontally across the aisle so everyone has to inch their way around them on tiptoes. Or forgets to pay for their parking and we all have to back up so they can get out of the exit lane.
That kind of stuff gets me in a pessimistic state of mind, and I almost forget where I live. But I’m going to tell you the secret to cleansing your soul of all the negativity.
It works for me (at least for a couple of days). I make a mental list called Stuff That Never Gets Old.
I suppose you could call it a gratitude list if you want to be just like everyone else, but I like the specific idea of noticing things that make me stop for a minute, no matter how long I’ve been exposed to them.
This stuff always makes me close my eyes and stay right there in the moment. They make me realize, over and over, what a wonderful little life it is. They hit me right in the soft spots of my soul.
Those things might be different for you than they are for me, but maybe if I share my list with you, it will inspire you to make your own list.
So, here you have it: Leza’s very own Stuff That Never Gets Old:
- Big, ancient trees that line the Parque Lineal near Pitillal. They’ve survived EVERYTHING that life throws their way. So I guess I can, too.
- The waves hitting the shore, over and over. In all the changes of life, those waves will always be there, washing the sand and my toes.
- The breeze in mid-January, cool, salty, and comforting. I can sit out in my green little garden and experience the perfect temperature all morning.
- Guacamole – what is a more perfect food, especially paired with some salty chips? And it makes everyone else happy and certain of your culinary skills.
- Morning coffee – we are in the land of coffee, that drink that makes me look forward to my early alarm (sort of).
- The sunset over the ocean. These colors have ended each of my days for twenty-three years, bleeding into one another and lingering in the sky like a friend hovering at my door for one more good laugh. The day’s end is a constant, ever-present reminder of the joy of life. And how could that ever get old?