Saturday, March 7, 2009

My opportunism is a function of my pessimism a neighbor and colleague told me this morning, when I ran into him and his wife coming back from a walk just as I was heading out for one.

It's a gorgeous day here--after single-digit temperatures last weekend, it's now 72 and sunny. So, I skipped the gym, put on my hiking boots, and headed for White Park, a huge woodsy space criss-crossed with trails that's about a ten-minute walk from our house.

En route I ran into a couple who live around the corner from us coming back from the park. I mentioned that I wanted to get out and walk before it rained.

"Is it going to rain today?" they asked.

"Well, there's like a thirty percent chance of rain," I offered sheepishly.

"So," Michael said, "your opportunism is a function of your pessimism."

Wow! Yeah, I guess it is.

After years of living in Colorado, where the forecast sometimes called for rain but where, in fact, it almost never did rain, back here in wetter climes I fully expect that if the weather guy says it's gonna rain, it will. Even if he says it isn't, I figure it could still happen. I've re-learned the necessity of having umbrellas in the car and my desk drawer, just in case.

But is it true, in a larger sense, that my opportunism is a function of my pessimism?

Am I that much of a glass-half-empty kind of gal?


Rosemary said...

UPDATE: It never did rain yesterday. I've subsequently come up with a corollary to the first maxim: my pessimism is a function of my relative stress level. When I have a stack of papers to grade, a novel to read, and a conference paper to write, and the weather over the weekend is supposed to be beautiful, I *hope* it will rain so that I stay inside and work. :^p

Historiann said...

Who says that rain is a bad thing? Here in Colorado, it's precious, precious gold. It's been such a dry and not-snowy winter that I'd love some rain right about now?

But, to your larger point: you're just being reasonable about wanting to enjoy the good weather while it lasts (this being March and not May or June.) Make hay while the sun shines, and all that, right?

Historiann said...

p.s. That first paragraph should end with a ., not a ?

I envy you your natural environment in the spring--the Chesapeake Bay region and Appalachia are so beautiful then. And here in CO, red bud trees die of drought and exposure!

Rosemary said...

@Historiann--Since, as you well know, warm sunny days are a rarity in these parts this time of year (as opposed to CO), I agree that my pessimism is probably more akin to well-founded realism!

I'm now going to say "Make hay while the sun shines" in response to just about every challenge I come across. Works in a lot of situations... :^)

ej said...

You are one of the most optimistic people I know, but not in that annoying, Pollyanna kind of way. Your glass is half empty, but you see that as a good thing. After all, it could be completely empty!

Rosemary said...

@ej: that's exactly why I chose that LOL cats pretty much sums up my own notion of optimism. Everything you need's right there, just out of reach, tormenting you!

(I'm glad you don't think I'm a Pollyanna, BTW...having a "cookie personality" is bad enough without adding that to the mix.)