O is for Optimism – April’s May Alphabet

Of course I chose Optimism – and yes, I know it’s predictable.  But I think there would be some disappointment if I chose anything else.   And besides, I have been looking forward to O – I found M and N to be a little bit difficult, dimming my enthusiasm for the rest of the alphabet just a little.  But O – I know all about Optimism, and surely I can make a decent post out of it!

I read a lot of quotes about Optimism, mostly because I love quotes, but also I was looking for someone else to have a pithier or more elegant way of summing up the post.  And I found about a dozen I liked.  I probably won’t be using them all…but how to sum up a ‘life lesson’ (as I began the alphabet) or…I don’t know what it is now – tiny insights into how my brain works? things I like?…

Okay so I’m having trouble with this one too.  What is up with that?! So I looked up the definition.  I know what it is, and you (I assume) know what it is, but what’s the actual definition?  It’s this: An inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.  (Thank you, Merriam-Webster)  What I found interesting – most interesting – is that the two synonyms they listed are bullishness and sanguinity.  Really?  Well, they are in the dictionary, so it must be true.  Bullishness makes me laugh, though – because I have been bullishly optimistic, and I recognize it in myself.  As though if I am determined enough, then, dammit, everything is going to be just fine.  Fine, I say!  Is determined optimism what you think of when you think of an optimistic person?  It certainly isn’t what I think of – I think of sunny, cheerful, perhaps happy-go-lucky.  Bullish is not among the adjectives I would ever use.  But I guess if the shoe fits…

And that makes me think of my friend Paula.  She used to good-naturedly tease me about being a Pollyanna (I may have mentioned this before) and she and her husband play Pollyanna’s Glad Game The April Game. This is the game where you think of the most positive aspect of a situation.  Or a person or their actions.  Sometimes it is harder than other times.  But…She’s right – I play the game all the time, and don’t even realize I’m doing it.  And…sometimes…I can be pretty bullish about it.

So there you go.  Everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about me and my bullish optimism.


The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer


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