Optimism (HLD 161)

30 Aug 2020

It’s a very well known fact within my immediate family that my husband will try to get a parking spot as close as is humanly possible to the entrance of whatever he’s trying to get to.

Whether it’s a church parking lot, a shopping centre, an airport parking lot or a restaurant, he will drive directly to the entrance expecting a spot to be available. He will grumble if there isn’t one, and possibly do a lap or two just in case one happens to become available. In this time, of course, we could have walked from a parking bay a little further away.

The rest of us in the family put this down to extreme laziness, while the driver in question ascribes this habit to optimism.

He is just really really optimistic (that’s what he tells us). Whether he’s looking for a parking spot, a shopping bargain, travel prices, whale or dolphin watching, or whether the amount of fuel left in the tank will last just another 50km, he seems to have expectations that because he’d like something to happen, it probably will.

Either he is right, or he just likes pointing his optimistic nature out to us every time he parks the car, but it seems to be fairly frequent occurrence.

There was an article in this morning’s paper about a study showing that middle aged people are the most optimistic age bracket. Apparently those aged 40-60 are more glass half-full sort of people, supposedly because by this age they are more competent at what they do and therefore success comes a little easier for them, and also because they are less focussed on “getting ahead in life, and instead attending to things that make them happy”.

So – for the next three years, my husband can carry on being optimistic and telling us all about it. Because apparently after the age of 60 the level of optimism starts to decline as health issues start to bring that chipper outlook of life down a little. Of course, if he gets very old and infirm, he may get possession of one of those parking permits that let him park in specially marked bays right outside the shops!

That study was done out of the US and the Netherlands, mind you. Both countries have marijuana laws that may have influenced the results.

But if you’d like to hear my husband’s theory of a positive and optimistic life, please don’t hesitate to ask him. We won’t be there – we’ll be getting our exercise walking from a parking spot that’s a little bit further away.

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