A half-full glass on the bright side of a silver lining

I’m not mindlessly cheerful, I promise.  Heck, I’ve even been accused more than once of being pessimistic.  Neither description fits well, but my arrow tends to point more towards the first.

One would have to ignore reality to not see, hear or read about bad things and bad people.  One would also have to be more pessimistic or cynical than me to believe that’s all there is in the world.  Circumstances happen and we choose how to react to them.  I just prefer to choose a more optimistic viewpoint.

I know full well that good things don’t always happen to good people and bad people get their comeuppance.  But I nevertheless choose to believe that having a good attitude leads to more good things happening to you than bad.  A cynic might say that’s just because I’ve never had anything bad enough happen to me to defraud that attitude.  Could be.  Maybe I could refute that argument by saying my positive attitude is what’s helped me avoid anything really bad.  Both points of view are somewhat like religion, it’s simply a question of what you believe in.

I’ve tried to view my current immobility during my recovery for my foot as an opportunity to do things I would normally be too “busy” to do otherwise.  It’s interesting to see how much of my life can fall into patterns of regularity; subtle routines that, while not unpleasant, offer little change in day-to-day activities.

For example, being a talented barbecue chef (it would be immodest to call myself “Master”), I cook the bulk of my food on the grill.  Chicken, pork, beef, even veggies.  During my recent convalescence, I still needed to eat.  The hopping (literally) to the patio to the grill and back, even in my humble-sized home, would have been wearying (if not painful).  Not to mention the difficulty in the all-important wiping of the feet before coming back inside (I have white carpets…okay, cottage white, but still an insane idea).

This forced me to return to oven cooking, something I have moved away from in recent years.  With a fully stocked freezer and plenty of seasonings, I was able to try out a few new combinations and even develop a new sauce that I think will go over equally well at my next BBQ.  Ask any of my BBQ attendees and they will tell you my sauces are one of the biggest hits.

Another opportunity provided by this “time off” was my ability to catch-up on some movie and TV watching.  Thanks to modern technology (and a recent upgrade of the home theater), I now stream Netflix into the big screen TV and was able to see some old favorites and new discoveries.  My reclining couch provides a painless way to ease both my feet and my mind.  Oh, and though I didn’t get to the Marlins home opener, I did see the great pitching performance and opening win in HD (and air conditioning), which comes a close second.

One other not-so-small advantage the seclusion period created for me was to do further work on my plot for Jeremy Shuttle Adventures, Book Two.  A couple of clarifying ideas came to me that I started jotting down on my plot pad and I just kept going, so much so that by the time I finished I had the skeleton of Book Three laid out as well.

Today I was finally able to squeeze my foot into a shoe and let Dad take me out for lunch.  Tomorrow is my “week after” follow-up with the doctor and I scheduled a lunch with a friend.  While the foot is not yet healed and I’m doubtful for tennis this Saturday, I think my time as a hermit is now at an end.

I’m not thankful for the ailment, but I am pleased that applying the proper outlook has yielded some rewarding benefits in what otherwise could have been a stir-crazy period.  It may not work for everyone, but I’m positive it works for me.

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