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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Pollyanna

Pollyanna? Perhaps...I'm not ruling it out. I've just returned from Boise, Idaho, where my mom had cataract surgery and needed just a little extra help. I never mind the drive over and back. It takes me along I-84 for 415 miles, about 7.5 hours. It's pretty much the same route that the Oregon Trail took with lots of history along it. As I rolled through the leafy green potato fields of Eastern Oregon near Ontario this morning, the sprinklers splattered their mist onto the rolling hills. The hills make their way over to a pretty deep ravine that holds the Snake River, the border between Idaho and Oregon. It's very dry this time of year. The hills tan and brown without moisture. I took a good whiff of onions in the air -- their scent heavy in the morning, without any wind.

My mom is a Christian woman and we have devotions before every breakfast around the table. She reads from a little devotional book. Yesterday's was on Pollyanna, the childhood character that learns to find good in any situation. If there was ever a current day Pollyanna, it's my mom. No matter what, she tries to find the good. But I got to thinking about me...am I a Pollyanna? Not really, I don't think....but I do tend to err on the side of positive, not negative. I frequently see other people less fortunate than me and comment about how lucky I am.

I've been told many things about myself in my life. As the eldest child, I'm quite typically the Type A personality. I've been told, "You think you're perfect." I've been told that my ideas typically "have a little white picket fence" in them. And it's been clearly pointed out for much of my life that "You think you can do no wrong." And it's true....I like things organized, clearly defined, workable, common-sense oriented.....and, well, perfect....I guess. I used to be defensive about those sorts of comments. I mean, who in the world likes to hear comments about themselves...especially when they know full well that there is some truth to most of them. Ouch. But as I've aged, I've discovered comfort in the skin that I wear and the things that I've turned out to be. I'm me. And I'm happy. I count it as a compliment to be told that I have some Pollyanna-ish ideas. That I always set the bar pretty damned high and hold expectations of myself and others higher than most. I don't think I'll ever feel badly about expecting a lot out of myself. I thought today on the way home what I'd be like if I had just the opposite personality -- what if I had few, or no, expectations of others? What if I didn't think highly of myself? What if I had a bad attitude regularly? What if I had a dark personality that wanted to achieve nothing? What if, what if, what if. It was a good drive, I must say.

My sister and I had a brief discussion about what makes both she and I irritated in life. She knows me well, I'm afraid. The things that set us off and give us ire. It was a good chat about life, about where's she's at, and the fact that we are both in our mid 40s and, truly, only 20 or so years away from retirement.....that sort of slaps each of us upside the head. As if we haven't all heard it enough, life is quite short. So, Pollyanna if you choose. Perfect if you choose. Whatever you choose to call me, I know full well that it probably has some amount of truth to it. And that's cool. I'm comfortable with knowing it. I'll sort it out, separate the wheat from the chaff....and end up with the best that life has to offer.

4 comments:

RAD said...

It is hard to believe we are that close to retirement huh? Yup your a first born indeed! --Oh Golly Ms Poly....another great post! :-)

bridgeout said...

OK. So I would be more intimidated by your irritability factor if I hadn't met you in person. But, I won't tell anyone... ;)
I choose to call you... friend.

Mark in DE said...

I've always thought that being Pollyana was seeing only the positive and being oblivious to caution signs. So rather than being a Pollyana, you're likely just a positive thinker.

CJ/Rick said...

Aren't you something Lewis. Nothing annoys me more than someone with a positive attitude. I hate that "Can do" spirit, always looking on the bright side. Huh!
But I think it gives one longevity in life so if you want to live to retirement and go through all that old age crap then you go Poly!
You're a good son. You went through Weiser? Nice drive.