I am a self-proclaimed optimist. My cup is half full, the sun will come out tomorrow, and there's a light at the end of the tunnel. You get the idea!
And I believe the core of optimism is gratitude. I have a husband I adore, the coolest son ever and a cozy home full of laughter and love. I know that the best things in life are not things at all, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy driving a nice car, carrying a new purse and buying expensive shoes.
But I've learned that the times in my life when I get sucked in by "Keeping up with the Joneses", they have never brought me joy. All of a sudden my car is too old, there are nicer purses and my trendy shoes seem so last season. And my cozy house, well, it just feels small.
I used to think I was born with an optimistic spirit, but with age I've learned that optimism is a choice. If I focus on the things I don't have in life, it will be a full-time job. If I focus on all the people I've lost, I'll be buried in grief. If I focus on all those who've wronged me, I'll be an eternal victim.
I believe you bring into your life what you put out. If I put out positive vibes, I will attract positive people. It's not a coincidence my friends are optimists too. I know "my cup runneth over", and I am grateful every day.
Optimism is especially important as a teacher. My students joke that my classroom is the happiest place on Earth, but I know what they mean. They know when they walk into my classroom, they'll be greeted with a warm smile by a teacher who loves her job. I know for some students, my classroom is the only place they feel safe and welcome, even if for just 45 minutes a day.
In a world that can be so cruel, so violent and so unfair, I choose to live with hope, joy and gratitude. So will my book get published? I really don't know, so I choose to be optimistic. I choose to believe that if I do my part, my book will end up exactly where it is supposed to be. Not only do I choose to look on the bright side, I choose to live there.