Thursday, July 22, 2010

Half Full or Half Empty?

I do understand that life can't be all sunshine and roses and warm fuzzy feelings, but sure seems like I'm surrounded by an awful lot of negativity all the time. And, I suppose, as much as I want to pretend it's not the case, a lot of it is coming from me.

In my mind, I'm the person that rolls with the punches and always looks at the bright side of things; making the proverbial lemonade, you know?

But, the ugly truth is, that when people around me start complaining and whining, I get so upset over it that I turn into a bitter and selfish monster. I want so badly for everyone to be happy or at least even keel all the time, that when they aren't I just can't take it. That doesn't really make sense does it?

I don't know, I just don't understand why people can just suck it up and take on life, even when it's mildly unpleasant or something you don't want to do. Why can't they just rise above? Complaining does nothing. It just makes you feel worse. If you don't like your circumstances, then find a way to change them. And, if you can't change them, find a way to change your attitude. I promise you it will make you feel better.

But, I look at people in the world around me and I wonder if this is something that you can really control. Is being an optimistic person or a pessimistic person and inherent trait? Are you stuck in that rut from the very beginning? Can you learn to control or change your attitudes?

Take last night for instance. We went to Disney's California Adventure. We were going to see their new nighttime water and light show "World of Color". It's the middle of summer. The place is busy. There are thousands of people who want to fit into a small area to watch the show. First, you wait in a long line to get a pass that gets you in line for the show. Then, an hour and a half before the show, you get in line and wait to find a spot to watch the show. And, then you get lucky if you get a decent spot where you can actually see. There was a woman standing behind me who bitched for half an hour about how horrible it all was. How she had to wait in line. How she thought there would be "seats" instead of standing. How she felt like she had been duped. She repeated this all over and over again until the show started.

I wanted to turn around and tell her to shut up. I mean, seriously. All the hundreds of people standing around her did the same exact thing she did. No one was forcing her to stand there and watch the show. She could have just left. And, in the end, what did all her complaining accomplish? Nothing. So why waste your breath, and why pollute the brains of everyone around you?

I'm trying to teach my kids to be grateful for everything they have, and to see the good in everything around them. But, still, they complain. Will they grow out of it? Or are they already stuck in that half empty rut? I guess only time will tell and I will keep trying to teach them a positive attitude.

I'm done complaining about complainers now.