Today, the sun was out. It was out yesterday too. I’m not quite sure about the day before that, but I’m definitely sure about today. The sunrise turned the peripheral clouds pink, and the air was crisp like lettuce, but did not bite, like an ice cube.
The optimist says, “See! I told you the same. I told you it would become warmer and more pleasant world to live in.”
The pessimist says, “Yes, but did you hear the forecast? More rain! Another storm is coming! Another storm always comes.”
The optimist says, “Yes, but then the sun always comes out again. The spring always comes after the winter. Just you wait, you will dry out and warm up again.”
The pessimist says, “But you are still a bit sick. Last week your whole family was sick.  That was awful.”
The optimist says, “Yes, and see how much we have improved each day.  And now because it is sunny, I am going to try my feet at a run, a nice slow jog with the baby stroller.  It feels refreshing to be out this morning.”
The pessimist says, “You won’t make it halfway. Your lungs are still congested, and you are still worn down.”
The optimist says, “Yes, but I will make it as far as I make it, and it is a joy just to be out on the trail, under the trees, seeing what I can do.”
The pessimist says, “It is work.  Life is so much work. We get a little bit of sunshine, then the rains come again. We have a little bit of pleasure, and then the pain comes again.”
The optimist says, “Yes, we feel pain, and then the pleasure comes again. We got  rain, last week, and with it, sickness. That was life then.  But these few days are sunny. The baby is asleep. When he wakes, he will be happy and hungry. I have my running clothes on, and my running shoes laced.  This morning, I can stretch my muscles and sniff the air. This too is life. This too, my friend, is life.  Do not forget.  Take selfies and remember the sun.  I am building experiences, attitudes, and memories.  Life is deep sorrow, a malnourished grey drudge of work.  But life is also sunshine and new green shoots, a deep breath and a clear view of the mountains.  Do not be surprised by the hard times.  Do not be suspicious of the good times.  Today, the sun shines. Let it shine.  For this too is life.

4 thoughts on “This Too is Life: An Answer to the Pessimist

  1. fogwood214 says:

    The sun was out here too, for 3 days in a row. It warmed things up above 40 degrees for the first time since November. I hardly knew what to do with it! We went for walks and drives and the kids played so much outside. Except for my 18 mo old, who just stood in a sunny spot and Did Not Move for the longest time.

    Now we have rain again (amd maybe more snow), and temps are headed back towards freezing. I look forward to the sun’s return so, so much.

    1. stephlenox says:

      I love your 18-month-old’s reaction of just standing and soaking it up. My kinda kid!

  2. This is a lovely, thoughtful post that so accurately captures the optimist/pessimist voices in our own heads. Pessimists pride themselves, it seems, on “facing reality,” and pointing it out to others — but as you so beautifully point out, life does not wallow in grief, all the time.

    There are days of sun, days of rain — without the rain, there is drought.

    1. stephlenox says:

      Thank you so much!

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