Calhoun Times

Optimism is key

- Coleen Brooks is a longtime resident of Gordon County who previously wrote for the Calhoun Times as a columnist. She retired as the director and lead instructor for the Georgia Northweste­rn Technical College Adult Education Department in 2013. She can be

Just exactly what does optimism mean? In short it means the belief that everything is going to turn out okay no matter what.

I must admit I am an eternal optimist. My daughter has always referred to be as “Little Mary Sunshine.” In fact, I wrote a blog titled that a few years back. I have been accused of being too happy in the morning. It’s true, I suppose.

I am happy in the morning, kind of like a chicken is. A chicken wakes up to a new day and doesn’t even remember the day before. This is me most mornings. I wake up bright-eyed, ready to face a brand spanking new day with endless possibilit­ies. Why shouldn’t I be happy? And my attitude about yesterday is that no matter what has happened, it can’t be changed.

When I was a kid, I lived for Saturday morning cartoons, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Sky King, and My Friend Flicka. This is telling my age, but I don’t care. I got up early to sit in front of our small black and white Philco and was lost in the world of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd of “kill the wabbit” fame. I knew he’d never kill the rabbit. It was Bugs Bunny!! I rode in Dale’s Jeep named Nelle Belle and dreamed of riding Trigger. We named our dog Trigger.

I flew out of the western sky with Sky King and his daughter Penny and got to clean out Flicka’s stall. It was a wonderful life for me. Saturday afternoons were spent playing in the clubhouse my daddy helped build with my mama’s hand made curtains to adorn the cut-out window. We neighborho­od kids, along with my sister and sometimes our baby brother would play for hours in that little clubhouse. This was when I lived in Louisiana. Those three years of living there was a kid’s dream. No cares, no worries … well maybe 4th grade division. I always passed it no matter what. And I was always optimistic that I would.

We moved to Kansas and found a whole different world. Unlike Louisiana, Central Kansas was prairie land, and it was nothing to see a cowboy decked out in boots, jeans, and a cowboy hat called a “10-gallon” hat to cover his head. We went to rodeos and horse shows all the time. I loved going to Wichita to see the gaited horses with their fancy steps and beautiful flowing manes and tails. My sister was more of a horse lover than me. She was in hog heaven the whole time we lived there.

In the winter, we experience­d our first blizzard accompanie­d with feet of snow. The

temperatur­es plummeted and we had snowstorms with lightning and thunder. None of us had ever seen so much snow and what was called a white out. People really couldn’t see sometimes ten feet in front of them. I know this because my sister and I got lost, and, as we were walking trying to get our bearings, we walked into the side of a house. I was optimistic that we’d get home okay even if my chin was almost frozen.

Being optimistic has always been a way of life for me. It isn’t always easy, but even as an adult, I continue to be optimistic. In truth, the world seems to be full of meanness these days. My mom and dad always encouraged my siblings and me to be kind. I can hear the words of my dad as he said, “Never treat anyone any other way, but how you want them to treat you.” It’s not always easy to do that and I probably haven’t always done that, but I’ve tried.

Believing in the goodness of mankind has always been with me even when the worst of ugliness happens. In all my years of living, and it’s getting more each day, I look for people coming together for the good and not the bad. I’ve read about and have been many places in the world. And the one thing that has stuck with me all my life is that all human beings, no matter their color, religion, origin, etc. all want the same thing — a roof over their heads, enough food to eat, and love.

Family is important. Having friends is important. Being happy is important. It isn’t always this way with everyone. But, hope and being optimistic that things will be better, that everything will be fine, is key to a happy life. It isn’t money, a big house, fancy car, or anything material. It’s hugging a loved one. Understand­ing a loved ones needs and having faith in your fellow man.

Wake up to a brand-new day with optimism. It’s the key.

 ?? ?? Brooks

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