I’d love to call myself an Optimist. I’d love to wear rose-colored glasses and have five pairs as backups. I’d love to claim that a positive always exists to counterbalance every negative. I’d love to “expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation.” I’d love to be a glass half full kind of girl.
But I’m not. At least not all the time.
But I’m not a full-blown Pessimist either. Every now and then I succumb to my inner cynic, but I certainly don’t possess “a tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable or to take the gloomiest possible view.”
I did the pessimism thing during my husband’s first deployment years ago. I focused on everything that went wrong. I withdrew from my friends. I resented the fact that he was gone and I was left to manage everything. And you know what that got me? Six months of misery.
When the second deployment rolled around, I knew I couldn’t let myself go through that again. I couldn’t change the fact that my husband was deploying so I needed to find something I could change. I started with my attitude.
I thought of that attitude adjustment when I stumbled upon this military wife quote:
The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances.” ~Martha Washington
During that first deployment, my misery was brought on more by my pessimistic disposition than the circumstances. During the next deployment, the circumstances were no different, but I was able to find a level of happiness because I tapped into the optimistic side of myself that could focus more on the positive than the negative, more on the laughter than the tears.
Of course, there’s no way a deployment or a PCS move or anything in military life is going to be all sunshine and rainbows. And sometimes those rose-colored glasses are going to get stepped on or lost or eaten by the dog. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom either. It’s all about perspective.
Maybe I’m not a card-carrying member of the Optimism Club. Maybe I’m more of a Cautious Optimist. Or a Recovering Pessimist. Or a Realist with a sense of humor. Whatever you call it, I know that the glass needs to be half full more than it’s half empty if I expect to get through the tougher parts of military life.
Do you think a positive attitude can make military life easier? Are you more of a “glass half full” or “glass half empty” kind of person?