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Dumb luck + optimism = pleasantly surprised.

February 28, 2010

So Ethan has this somewhat accurate impression of me that I somehow go about life blissfully unaware of mistakes I make, because they always seem to work out. Obviously this is an exaggeration, and I have a feeling that it’s fueled by the fact that many mistakes I make (losing things, forgetting things, getting half way through a cupcake recipe before realizing we don’t have baking soda) don’t phase me. Getting all worked up almost always feels like a supreme waste of energy when there’s nothing to be done about it now.* No crying over spilled milk as they say. (This is not to say I don’t lose my sh*t over completetly unreasonable things on occasion–I mean, I’m human).

An example would be last year when I didn’t realize that I had accidentally lost my wallet on the bus until a lovely woman from the history department sent me an email to let me know she’d recovered it. Another example would be when I mysteriously lost my phone last winter. We found it, apparently run over (Ethan is sure by me), right at the curb in front of our house. No matter–I didn’t like that phone anyway.

This morning’s example may be the best yet, and it certainly had Ethan laughing for a solid half hour. About a month ago I lost my reading glasses, on which I’d become very dependent. Conveniently, I had recently realized the prescription was off, so I wasn’t too concerned.  Anyhow, we were leaving the house this morning, headed out to brunch. I was waiting for Ethan to lock the door and stood facing the house, examining our yard covered with a rapidly melting 2-foot layer of snow, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw this:

glasses coming out of hibernation

How pleased I was! Now I have a spare pair! Clearly they flew out of my coat pocket one evening, while I was searching for door keys in my bag, mysteriously landed 3 feet from the back door, and then got covered in snow that night, hidden from view until this morning.

I wonder what other delights spring will bring!

* There is psychological evidence (Forsythe & Compas, 2005) that this actually a great style of coping. When you don’t’ have control over a situation, it’s best to engage in emotion-focused coping (try to make yourself feel better). If it’s a problem you can do something about, you’re best of putting in some good problem-focused coping time (you know, doing something to actually fix the issue).

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