Look on the Bright Side

Hmmm…not so much, huh?

I know there are times I seem unfeeling and inattentive. Part of it is my personality. Who wants to go to those bad feelings anyway?

More often, though, I think it is a combination of experience and a narrowing window of time. Do you notice that in older people? They are less like to beat around the proverbial bush.

Yes, I know there are things that are tragic, shocking, wrenching, etc. And I feel them deeply. I can take intermittent rides with my sorrow and stay with it for healing, for learning compassion, and for gaining understanding. Even with my short attention span I can live with my feelings for my own sake and that of others.

It’s just that I’ve lived through a lot.

I’ve lost games. I’ve been fired. I’ve been hurt. I’ve been sick and injured. I’ve experienced loss. I’ve missed out on getting things that I wanted desperately (at the time). Some, I would still enjoy having.

And I know the truth.

Life goes on. And sometimes it is visibly better than it would have been…

My daughter and daughter-in-law lost a bid on a house today. It seemed a perfect fit – the neighborhood, the size, the price… And they lost out. My immediate response was heartfelt but not comforting. No acknowledgement of their feelings. No sad-face emoticon.

It’s just that I have constant reminders of the times when life turned out so much better for me when I lost what I wanted and thought I needed.


My husband and I were unhappy with the high school in the town where we lived.  Having both come from small towns, we were worried about our children being tiny frogs in a huge pond. We wanted to move to any neighboring town.

We saw a house available in the small town where my husband had grown up. At the time it seemed a mansion to us and was at the edge of our budget but we tried. Maybe we lost out in the offering. Maybe it sold before we got a chance at it. I don’t know. But we were heartbroken.

Soon after that our ideas changed.  How or why a small Catholic high school caught our attention. It had just become ecumenical and was affordable because it still gave discounts for larger families attending. Bingo!

Our children enjoyed an excellent education in a small school.

Now I pass that long-lost house frequently on my daily walks. When I compare it to the house we ended up buying, when I think of the subsequent homes we have enjoyed – I am grateful that we lost out.

Sorry, my darling daughter, for overlaying my history onto your experience. Sorry for taking the air pockets out of time and being concise in my confidence that some things work out for the best even when we can’t see it at the time. And for seeing this as an opportunity for better things.

I’m sorry you lost what you wanted. And I hope it works out perfectly for you.





  1. “…..it is a combination of experience and a narrowing window of time. Do you notice that in older people? They are less like to beat around the proverbial bush.” This is beautifully put and helps me come to grips with my own problems with reactions and more importantly communications.

    Optimism of the past, ie, the “if only” syndrome is a universal malady which with advancing age gets reduced in appearing in my life though quite suddenly and unexpectedly, it does when something triggers it off. A frequently occurring such thought is when some old colleague suddenly pops up in facebook and talks about the old times. I immediately go off on if only reverie till I snap out of it with some current reality,


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