Tag: Choices

Choose Optimism

 

What if I told those of you who are “realists” or “pessimists” that changing your worldview, particularly about the current state of the United States, could help save the country? I know, I know. Sounds like the statement of a dedicated optimist. But if you will bear with me, I’ll make the argument that it is possible to change our worldviews (which often determine what we say and do) and it is a worthy endeavor.

First, let me provide my understanding of these words: realist, pessimist, and optimist. A realist has an “inclination toward literal truth and pragmatism.” I would also say that in many ways, a realist can practice either optimism or pessimism when he looks beyond the present. The reason for these pairings of beliefs is that it’s nearly impossible for a realist to accurately (in his or her view) see the current situation without looking to the future. Whether your secondary worldview is pessimism or optimism will determine whether you are hopeful for this country or are assuming the worst.

Perception is Reality

 

We were at a small, intimate dinner, and that evening turned out to have a profound impact on me. For the first time, I was meeting a woman whom I’d heard about named Peggy Bassett, who had become a minister at the age of 50. She was adored by her community, and when I met her, she was a victim of ALS. Although she could still eat with us, she was in a reclining wheelchair. Yet her face glowed with serenity and joy. When one of the other guests asked her just before dinner how she was doing, she replied with some effort, “I’m just fine in here.”

I’m just fine in here.

Member Post

 

The last couple of weeks, several people (some of whom I consider to be friends) have been very angry with the management of Ricochet. Most recently they have been furious with Rob Long. I haven’t heard his comments yet, but I’ve been reflecting on the choices people are making to leave, and I don’t relate […]

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Member Post

 

I was doing pretty well for a while. Heck, we even had pizza delivered yesterday. But now I’ve learned that a couple of people from our 55+ development are in the hospital just across the street with COVID-19. I have a pretty reliable source. And I hate the idea of giving in to fear. Here […]

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Baby, Were You Born Fat Way?

 

My grandma was a fat woman trapped in a thin woman’s body. Or rather, she was a woman for whom thinness required more mortification of the flesh than is usual, eating like an anorexic (they do eat — sometimes) simply to get her BMI down to normal. At times, this meant weeks of her eating nothing but carrot broth. More generally, it meant cooking deliberately unpalatable food (justifying it as “healthier”) for her whole family, to discourage “overeating”. She was also a hypothyroidic woman who came of age in an era when thyroid supplementation was not widely known.

Trouble keeping weight off isn’t the only sign of an underactive thyroid. The other signs — frizzy, thinning hair, the perpetual frog in the throat, catching chills — grandma had those, too. Not that you’d know it when you met her, since she wore a wig and retained just enough foreign accent to dress up her chain-smoker’s growl (in one who never smoked) as the smoldering alto tones of another Marlene Dietrich. My grandma was an elegant lady; built like a brick house even at her thinnest, but trim and sexy, very sporty; the kind of woman who’d pester the local rowing club into admitting women in the morning, then doll herself up for the evening in a dress looking far less shabby than it really was to go out on the town, dancing and pretending to sip fancy cocktails (not really sipping them, though — calories). My grandma had an iron will, not just iron but huge, rolling and inevitable, a steamroller. Her physical beauty was a manifestation of this, winning her several proposals when she was widowed before her time. For grandma, thinness was a moral issue.

My mother, inheritor of the same complex of maladies that had dogged my grandma (including but not limited to an underactive thyroid), felt differently. Once Mom took anatomy in high school, she learned about the thyroid gland and demanded to see an endocrine specialist. Mom was tired of years of being the fat kid, tired of being judged by her own mother as immoral (a liar, a sneak, weak-willed, etc, etc) for not slimming down on ever-more-restricted diets. The spartan eating habits that had worked for my grandma clearly weren’t working for Mom. Maybe my mom’s problem was weakness of will — compared to my grandma, that is. Compared to the rest of the population, Mom was also a steamroller. Just a fatter steamroller.

Quote of the Day: Choosing

 

“When you wake up each morning, you can choose to be happy or choose to be sad. Unless some terrible catastrophe has occurred the night before, it is pretty much up to you. Tomorrow morning, when the sun shines through your window, choose to make it a happy day.” – Lynda Resnick

For me, the best thing about 2018 is that it is almost over. If I have had a worse year, I cannot recall it. My wife died, my father died, and my father-in-law (a man I have respected for nearly 50 years) will likely die before the year is out. I had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night because of difficulties breathing. I have had money and job challenges.

Member Post

 

Ah, election season.  A time for advocates of all stripes to proclaim to one and all why their candidate is the best, last hope in saving this great nation.  A time for desperate pleas to join the cause, to stay loyal to the movement, to place my trust in the one who pledges to “take […]

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Member Post

 

Lately, I’ve been doing some thinking (dangerous pastime, I know).  Up front, you should know that I’m about to turn 43, have rising middle school and high school age kids, and am very much still in my “first career.”  That is to say, I won’t be leaving my “first career” anytime soon, at least voluntarily. […]

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