Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The other day in class, some students were expressing worry about never getting a tough concept. I told them I knew they would. They expressed surprise that I thought so, and I told them that I was an optimist. They said, "Really?" and I said that I thought you had to be if you were a teacher. They agreed.

In general, I am an optimist, maybe because of my faith. I'm not Pollyanna, but I choose to look at the better side of things. This quality has been unfortunately tested this week, with the shooting in Arizona. The representative's doctors don't know her prognosis, but they have said it's possible she'll fully recover. I've heard people express doubt in that, but I believe. Granted, I have a reason: in high school I suffered a traumatic brain injury, one like the injury that killed Natasha Richardson. I lived, and most people can't tell that I was ever so grievously injured. So I don't think it's unrealistic for me to say that she could fully recover--and may she do so.

I don't bury my head in the sand, but when I think about tough things, I try to approach them in a positive way: how are they getting better? How could they get better? What is good about this situation, even if it doesn't seem good? I find that sort of mindset infinitely more satisfying and productive.

I tried to do this with the following page:

(Design notes: I used January's Studio Calico kit, and I think I used a Pioneer Woman Action on my photo--probably Warmer--my skin is not that creamy.)

Last summer I participated in the Big Idea Festival at Big Picture Classes. There were many prompts, some of which required posting, then turning into a scrapbook page. The one that flummoxed many of us was the prompt "I loathe." We pondered whether we could turn it into a page.

Me, I couldn't. I don't like commemorating dislikes, even something as horrid as someone breathing on my face (sorry, I have issues with that). But...I am an optimist. And so I created the page above, the first line of which reads, "I resolve to avoid doing what I loathe." Here's the rest of the journaling:

I will not drive to beat and defeat other vehicles.

I will park straight and even.

I will pick up after myself.

I will do my work before I play.

I will treat others with kindness, even when it seems like they’re being unreasonable. I may not know the whole story.

I will seek to understand and get the full story before I share my two cents.

I will share my popcorn and turn off the lights.


BabyBokChoy said...

I like this post very much. I've been feeling awfully down, thanks for this.

Keshet said...

This is beautiful, Jenny. And I'm sorry to hear about that accident in your past, but your recover has been truly amazing!