Jane Brody recently wrote two columns about Optimism in the Health Section of The New York Times. The ﬁrst column on May 21 posited that there are many good things that happen when you surround yourself with optimism. The second article on July 2 was a commentary on the reactions to the ﬁrst column, and looked at how to make optimism work for you.
The gist of her two articles was the power of optimism to bring greater happiness and health to each of our lives. In addition to health and happiness, imagine the good things to be done with all the time and energy NOT spent on griping, complaining, stewing, feeling dissatisﬁed. While we’re all entitled to a bit of grumbling now and then when it rains on a picnic or a drop of olive oil lands on the front of a silk blouse, the question is: do you view the glass half empty or half full? Do you believe, like the Boylan Sisters in the musical Annie, “You’re not fully dressed without a smile?”
However, rather than an abstract concept – general cheeriness, “the sun will come out tomorrow” and all that stuﬀ – or a even a lack of complaining — I’m thinking mostly about how optimism can bring such positive energy to the daily rhythms of living life and enjoying good food. For example, I believe that if we can all ﬁnd a way to enjoy putting food on the table for ourselves, our families, and our friends, we can help change the way we all think about buying and cooking food. I like to think about meals (and dishes) as learning, loving, nurturing, and nourishing a priority for me and the people I care about. What better way to love myself and others?!
I call it joy and the daily rhythm of life.
You may consider this Pollyanna (another young girl’s movie)! I don’t. Flipping your perspective of shopping and cooking from a chore to the work of a happy optimist has the power to transform your life, your health, and your state of mind.
Happiness and joy.
— Sara Baer-Sinnott