Community Magazine

On Being an Optimist

By Specialneedmom2 @specialneedmom2

On being an optimist

I struggled with calling this post: On being an optimist.  It sounds kinda cheesey.  And I don’t really think of myself as an optimist.  I don’t try to look on the brighter side of things.  They are just there, surrounding me.

When we first had Little Miss Adorable’s diagnosis of Prader-Willi Syndrome the pediatrician helping our family at that time made an off-hand comment that we tend to ‘see the glass as half-full.’

But isn’t that the only way to see something?  If there is something inside the glass, it is partially filled.  By default.  Half-empty is a practically impossible state.  You would need to have the glass filled, and then remove some of the contents to have half-empty.  Fortunately we have never been in that position to experience that kind of loss.

According to Dictionary.com, Empty is an adjective that means:

1. containing nothing; having none of the usual or appropriate contents: an empty bottle.

2. vacant; unoccupied: an empty house.

3. without cargo or load: an empty wagon.

4. destitute of people or human activity: We walked along the empty streets of the city at night.

5. destitute of some quality or qualities; devoid (usually followed by of ): Theirs is a life now empty of happiness.

Thank you Dictionary.com.

So back to my half-empty or half-full glass example, our ‘glass’ was never really full.  In the early days we thought Little Miss Adorable might die, so hearing she was medically stable, albeit with Prader-Willi Syndrome, was a bonus.  We would have her with us.

And, as both Hubby and I work in the field of special needs, we had a vision of a life we’d live with her.  It is a very full life.  Even as a newborn we envisioned living in the countryside, Little Miss Adorable with a pony (funny how things come full circle) and as she became an adult she’d live in a supervised apartment and volunteer with animals.  We never thought she’d have an ‘empty life’ because of a developmental disability.

It will be a full life.

Some things will happen instead of others – like supported living instead of Little Miss Adorable owning her own home, and maybe being an esthetic’s assistant or Early Childcare Assistant instead of going to university.

Sure, things will be different than the stereotypical dream of college, work, marriage, homeownership and financial independence.  2.5 cars in the driveway, that kind of thing.

But we never really thought along those ‘typical lines’ anyway.

Because there is so much more to life than jobs or status symbols.  Happiness, enjoying the company of those you are with, and enjoying what you do.

I’m sure you can think of ‘successful’ people who are not happy, and happy people who are not successful.

Which is the glass half-full?  Which one is empty?

What are your thoughts on quality of life? 


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