For starters, this phrase is pretty laughable to me. This is a great example of an expression created out of jealousy. The jealousies toward those people like me who choose to live our lives in a positive manner and do our best to maintain positive thoughts throughout the day.
This jealousy of course, coming from those who are excessively negative. They need no introduction.
As for me, I have been in the Army for 19 years in July. I am married to a wonderful, beautiful woman named Jill (17 years in July as well) and we have two amazing children, 11 and 8. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. Aside from spending time with them, I love to write and exercise.
I have aspirations to be a screenwriter at the conclusion of my Army career in the next few years. Of course, that is my goal right now, so about the only thing that would make my life absolutely perfect would be to reach that goal. However, I am far from understanding just how thankful I should be about my life and where it is now.
There are people out there who are suffering and I mean really suffering, day to day. The “problems” we see each day are problems these folks wish they had, because things are so much worse for them.
There is this twisted notion that people who attempt to live their lives with a positive attitude are oblivious to the bad things that happen in our world each day. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I can’t speak for everyone else, but one thing I know is that for me, a negative attitude or spending every waking moment (or damn near most of it) focusing and obsessing over these horrible things can just mentally cripple me. I refuse to allow that to happen. Life becomes a real drag then.
I really don’t worry too much about people saying this makes me a “sunshine and rainbows” person. As I stated at the beginning of this blog post, I know exactly why people say that. So it doesn’t bother me.
Not only that, but someone help me to understand…what exactly is wrong with appreciation the finer and beautiful things in life?
Think about this. Most women I know wouldn’t hesitate to admire an attractive man and the same thing for men about women. Yes, we can all pretend to stick our chests out and claim that no one in the world is “all that,” but it’s not even that serious. We are attracted to people we find attractive.
What is wrong with that? Nothing.
So, if we have no problem doing that, why is it viewed (by some of these same people) as such a bad thing that we want to look at and be attracted to the other beautiful things in life? Seriously…if you had the option to look at pictures of people you found attractive and those who you felt were not attractive, which option would you choose? I’m not going to say “Be honest” because I don’t need to. I already know the answer.
And of course, I am a man. A straight man. What exactly is wrong with me viewing things in life to be “beautiful” without all this and that being said? Is there some level of “manliness” that goes away because I feel like this? And how exactly does that work?
In saying that, I really don’t understand why people feel it’s a “weakness” to want to appreciate life in that same manner. To want to flock to those things and people that we are attracted to. To focus on the different aspects that we find to be beautiful.
Why is that bad?
When you look up at a beautiful sky, does that mean you’ve never experienced a gray and gloomy day? When you see an attractive person, does that mean you’ve never met someone who wasn’t (physically or personality-wise) attractive? When you eat your favorite foods, does that mean you have no concept on what nasty food tastes like?
So why is there this ridiculous concept that those of us who want to be positive have NO concept of the bad things in life? Of course we do. We just choose not to force the issue of exposing ourselves needlessly to those bad aspects.
Speaking of “bad aspects,” this is an election year, which means the ugliness is out in full force. It could never be a simple “agree to disagree;” NEVER. I don’t mean just basic debating back and forth. Pure ugliness, both from people I don’t talk to and from my friends.
Even worse is that these aren’t kids doing this. These are supposedly “grown” adults. Grownups who can’t have a disagreement without insulting each other or even the presidential candidates. Not so much just speaking of the things they don’t agree with, but calling them names. Seriously. Speaking negatively about how a candidate looks like we’re in freaking high school. I could even tolerate if these folks were younger than me, but many are in their 40s, 50s and 60s, and they’re making fun of someone’s physical appearance. Friend or not, that’s pathetic. Period.
I get on social media a whole lot less now than I used to for two reasons; one, because as an aspiring screenwriter, I know that my focus needs to be on writing. I can’t afford to spend time on distractions. Spending hours a day scrolling through statuses is not productive for me at all.
Two, as much as I would love to know that my friends and family are doing well, it seems that these days, there is a lot less positivity and friends just speaking of how they’re doing, but so much excessive negativity that I just simply don’t want to be around it anymore. I don’t like even logging in much now. If not for having to network as a writer, I would probably never be on there. People just being so ugly with each other. Some of my friends surprising me with that very ugliness and all for what? Because one person doesn’t believe in the same thing? Because you don’t agree with somebody else? That warrants that level of ugliness? And something is wrong with ME because I choose not to be around that?
I think more about the toll it takes on me when I’m around that kind of excessive and truly unproductive negativity. I’m at a point in life where I truly understand (much better than when I was a lot younger) just how precious life is and that tomorrow is not promised. The question for me is just how much time I’m willing to spend on what makes me happy as opposed to what doesn’t.
I’m well-aware that people who say things like this to those of us who like to have a positive attitude mainly do it because for one, misery loves company, but also, because many of them wish they had the boldness to go against the status quo. They wish they were strong enough to NOT follow society’s blatant negativity, of course, out of fear that they’ll be viewed as that person who’s all about “sunshine and rainbows.” That level of thinking makes them feel “weak,” and God forbid they let anybody see that they have a perceived weakness.
In the end, all we have is ourselves. All those people you went through so much trying to impress or to not look “weak” around are not there anymore. A long time ago, I decided to take a good look at my life and ask myself where I would like to be when all is said and done.
I took a look at all the good things that have happened in my life. I looked at all the bad things. I put them together and I realized that all that mattered was for me to be happy. Even though I struggle with that sometimes today, that’s always my goal. Because again, the people who have all this and that to say, especially those who pitifully try and put me down for having a “sunshine and rainbows” attitude won’t be anywhere around when I reach the end. On top of that, that negativity is largely a reflection of their attitudes about their lives. It doesn’t mean it has to be a reflection of mine.
When I’m lying on my deathbed, I don’t want to regret having spent so much time in being angry about this and that, which would likely not matter much anymore by then anyway. I would want to think of the happy moments. My purpose now is to participate in as many of those happy moments, even if I have to create them myself, so that is where I am when it’s time to say goodbye forever.
And if that means that throughout my life, I’m viewed to have a “sunshine and rainbows” attitude, so be it. You can have the nasty rain and gloomy skies to prove that you aren’t “weak.” I’ll take the beautiful “sunshine and rainbows” any day of the week.
It’s about how MY heart feels each day, not the attitudes of everyone else. Those attitudes don’t get me through the day. My heart does.
And FYI, even if you think all I see are sunshine and rainbows, rainbows only happen after what? Exactly. I wouldn’t be able to see one without having seen the other.