The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Optimal Optimism

            Are you an optimist?  Do you try to look at the positive side to everything?  If so, do you then kick it up a notch a strive for optimism at the highest level?   That's optimal optimism.  

           If you think about it logically it makes sense to be optimistic.  I like to think about the outcomes of our thoughts and actions.  Realism is right thinking, but we can be optimistic even in the most dire circumstances, and for our good and the good of those around us this optimistic thinking is what keeps us going.

          We have control over our own thoughts.  Even if we have had a lifetime of negative programming which inclines us toward negative (unproductive) thinking, we can eventually train ourselves to become productive positive thinkers.  I invite you to try to persuade me otherwise, but my real challenge to you is to become an optimal optimist.  You will be happier and more productive because of it, and you will influence those around you and help make the world a better place for us all.

           There are many books on positive and optimistic thinking.   I encourage you to investigate some of these and read them if you haven't done so already.   If you have any to recommend please tell us about them in the comment section.  One such book that you should read often is the Bible.  This may be controversial to some of you, but it's difficult to deny that there is a lot of advice in this book on how to think more positively.

            Much of the blogging community offers positivity and optimism.   Let me get to the business of recognizing some bloggers that I often find to be a positive inspiration to me.  I highly recommend that you check out these great ladies and try to absorb some of the sun rays of positive thinking that they usually radiate in their posts.

            Vanessa at Optimal Optimist is a young lady with a brilliant outlook on life.  The title of her blog is the inspiration for my blog post today.   She imparts some wonderfully uplifting messages that can help you see things in a better way.

             Yvonne at Welcome to My World of Poetry is someone with whom many of you are already familiar.  Yvonne knows a thing or two about sorrow and troubling times, but she has also made a decision to overcome these negative energies.   She even wrote a book of poetry about it called  Negative V. Positive: Poems of Life's Experiences .   Her poetry reflects her philosophy of life and offers a pleasant boost for your day.
          
            Ruby at  Blabbin' Grammy  is  perhaps older in years than many of us but younger at heart.  In the year that I've been following her she's gone through what some may have seen as a world of hurt and sorrow, but she has chosen to turn it into a new life of opportunity.   She's got stories and advice that will warm your heart and make you smile.   Here's a lady who seems like she'll never let anything get her down and many of us love her for just that.

            If you don't know these bloggers yet, then please go and say hello to them and start checking out their  blogs on a regular basis.   And I know there are many more positive and optimistic blogs that I have missed.  Please feel free to recommend any that you can think of in the comments below.

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       Now a final update on my neighborhood Borders closing.  As I reported in previous posts, the closing sale offered some pretty decent book deals for me.   This past Saturday (4/16/11) I noted that the signs were announcing the last day of the store being open with all books four for five dollars.  I could not pass up checking out to see what was left.  Here was what I took home Saturday:

Ellen Bryson's  The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno
Ace Collins'   Swope's Ridge
Pat Conroy's   My Reading Life
Jonathan Franzen's  Freedom
Susan Froderberg's  Old Border Road
William Gibson's  Zero History
Michael Koryta   So Cold the River
Philip Roth's  Nemesis

All of the books, except for the Collins and Koryta books, were brand new hardback editions--all eight of them for a grand total of ten dollars plus our 10.75% sales tax, part of which is intended to help fund a new state of the art library just a few blocks from my house.  I also picked up a pleasant Sting CD called If On a Winter's Night... for the paltry price of $1.70.  According to my receipt I saved $192.02 which is none too shabby in my opinion.

        Borders is now gone but now I look forward to what will come next.  Will it be a big discount bookstore?  A computer or electronics store?  Perhaps it will stay empty for a while, but in the end it's all good.   We still have Staples, Lowes, Walmart, and a bunch of other stores.

        Life is an adventure and we should do our best to enjoy it.



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62 comments:

  1. I am a bizarrely optimistic optimist! Life is just so darn amusing.
    We have the same problems with Borders in Australia, but I'm a little over bookstores blaming the customers for their downfall. I'm buying as fast as I can!
    One great thing about being optimistic is you don't recognise hurdles in front of your dreams, they're just fun climbing equipment :)

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  2. Yvonne and Ruby are my inspirations. I thank them and am glad I know them.

    I will certainly check out Optimal Optimist. I think I love her just by her name!

    Thank you Arlee.

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  3. I loved the message of this post, Arlee. I have always been an optimist and believer in the old saying, life it what YOU make it. If we allow ourselves to always think the worst, we are only hurting ourselves, and sometimes the people around us.

    I'm off to visit Optimal Optimist!

    Ellie Garratt

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  4. Congratulations Lee, you are the Bargain King, long may you reign (at least until Borders shuts its doors for good)

    mood
    Moody Writing

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  5. "The Happiness Trap" by Russ Harris is pretty good. Now I'm off to go visiting. But before I do, that's a good swag of books you got there, lots to read till you get a new bookstore. Sue@JumpingAground (Alliteration & drabbles)
    Sue@traverselife(Workplace bullying)

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  6. Thanks - I'll check these loggers out! Always room for more optomism in this world/society we live in!

    SueH

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  7. wow..nice I love optimism for only that gives up hope.
    There are few Motivating Spirit around the blog too...Mine for 'O' is 'Omnipotent'.

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  8. will have to go take a look thanks for the introduction

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  9. Wow Lee you made me blush, being mentioned , but thank you all the same. The books I read are all written by Paul McKenna PHD. they are: INSTANT CONFIDENCE:
    I CAN MAKE YOU HAPPY:
    CONTROL STRESS:
    All can be found on Amazon each book contains a cd that goes along what has been written.

    Loved the post as always,
    Have a good day.
    Yvonne.

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  10. Yvonne and Ruby are always full of optimism!

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  11. I think that Optimists don't have easier lives, but they do have easier times - if that makes sense. I agree about the Bible, I always find something to help me. I also like taking the time to read a good fiction book to take me out of my self for a bit. Thanks for the post - and this challenge!

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  12. I try to look at the positive of everything during bad situations, even if the negatives do out way the positives, it's always good to think positive about things.

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  13. Good catch at the bookstore, even better attitude.

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  14. I am an optimist. Always. In fact I did the topic Obituary - writing my own for the letter O in celebration of my upcoming birthday."

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  15. I am an optimist, although my faith and hope are in Jesus Christ.

    Bummer again about the book store. Hate to see them go. Once again, I have not heard of one book on your list. However, I hope you enjoy them.


    Gregg Metcalf
    Colossians 1:28-29

    Gospel-driven Disciples

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  16. ah, most people consider me an extreme optimist :) I believe it's the only philosophy which leads to relaxed and happy, stress-free living.

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  17. Optimism is very important. I find it changes the mood of a room or builds up confidence. Great post!

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  18. I have a saying posted on the wall by my desk. "The pessimist may be proved right in the long run but the optimist has a better time on the trip."

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  19. It's great to hear from so many optimists this morning. I don't think we can ever be too optimistic. Optimism is a positive attitude that generates positive energy and the more positive energy we have in the world the better off we are.
    Thanks for the great comments so far.

    Lee

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  20. I can't say I'm an optimist. I like to think positive most days, but consider myself to be more of a realist.

    http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2011/04/o-is-for-ontario.html

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  21. I too try to be positive but I don't think I'm quite to the optimist status... maybe in some parts of life but not when it comes to certain things and people. Stop in & read O is for Orion

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  22. Nothing wrong w/ being an optimist--sure beats the alternative!

    You've done well w/ your book purchases--especially for hardbacks!

    It will be interesting to see what store will open there--maybe a B&N? :)

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  23. I consider myself an optimistic person- (however, sometimes cautiously so.) In some way optimism is the same thing as Faith. You have it or you don't.

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  24. Great post, I like to think positive most days :)Loved your beautiful blog!

    All the best
    Marinela
    Short Poems

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  25. I am a glass half full rather than a glass half empty type. Like to look for the positive.

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  26. I try to be optimistic, but sometimes I find myself really falling into negativity. Sometimes it's hard to drag myself back out.

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  27. I am definitely an optimist. I wouldn't want to live any other way. The world can be so cynical and dark...

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  28. I agree, we do need to enjoy our journey through life. Thanks for the links!

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  29. Fredamans -- I think you can be a realist and be optimistic. A realist is not necessarily neutral and not always right. One's view of what is realistic can still be an opinion.

    Up -- Optimism is worth the effort. It makes life more pleasant.

    Lisa -- With the current dying bookstore trend I don't see a B & N taking the place of our late Borders, but something like Books-A-Million could be a possibility.

    Rae -- Cautious optimism goes hand in hand with being realistic. I don't encourage foolish, blind optimism by any means.

    Marinela -- Thanks for stopping by.

    Ann -- I think looking for the positive makes us more attractive to others and happier within ourselves.

    Marjorie -- I know how you feel because I often do the same. Sometimes I think we just have to force ourselves.

    Luana -- You are so right. We have to do something to counter all of the negative forces around us--what's the point of conceding to that?

    Karen -- Again, if we aren't trying to find enjoyment in life then what is the value of life. Enjoyment should not be confused with pleasure either, although pleasure is not necessarily a bad thing either.

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  30. My post for letter "O" is up.

    http://mom2nick.typepad.com/heres_whats_new/2011/04/o-is-for-oprah-.html

    Thanks for looking.
    Laura T.

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  31. "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale first comes to mind.
    The whole idea in a nutshell is pretty well said in "The Secret."

    Positive thinking works!

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  32. Arlee,
    I am an eternal optimist...I would have to say without a doubt! Which is why it makes it extremely difficult to be around pessimistic people. I can listen and be supportive but at some point, it's time to move on.
    I really think you need to go and visit Ocracoke...you will NOT be disappointed!

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  33. I'm all for optimism, unless you overdo it and end up blinded to the true situation at hand. I'm prone to analyzing every aspect of a thing, so no one would ever call me an optimist. Yet, I do try to get people to think positively.

    I'm a realist with optimistic leanings.

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  34. I am a hopeless optimist. I feel blessed so my outlook on life is positive and I expect good things because that's what being blessed brings.

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  35. ARLEE BOID ~
    I'm a little surprised that you would mention some blogs that you consider to be "Optimistic" in tone, and yet fail to mention MY blogs as well!


    Ha!-Ha! I kid, McBuddy, I kid!

    >>> . . . Are you an optimist? Do you try to look at the positive side to everything?

    Oh, certainly! That's me to a T. Why just the other day I was telling our mutual friend DiscDude that,

    "Since I gave up hope
    I feel much better."

    See, that's me, always looking for the silver lining.
    ;o)

    Yak Later, Boidman.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  36. Negativity is one of those things I just can't seem to get past. I'm going to work hard to be an optimist. Then I'll work on being an optimal optimist. ;)
    Thanks for the heads up on these blogs Arlee!

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  37. I try to be an optimist. I don't always succeed though.

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  38. Ruby is one of the most optimistic gals I know.

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  39. Wow! You've got this A-Z blogging down to a fine art. I'm impressed! Your Negativity Nuisance gave me a belly laugh.

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  40. PMS generally hedges up my way. Suddenly everyone is INFURIATING and daft.

    But generally I'm Super Smiley and Happy Happy. :D see?

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  41. I tend to bounce back and forth between optimism and its no-so-optimistic sibling. I would like to strive for optimal optimism, which continues to be a challenge as my current personal and living circumstances are making me very uncomfortable and neurotic. If I can be frank with you, I kind of want to disappear....forever. Participating in this challenge though, has brought me some excitement and I've experienced more joy than I ever thought I would this month. Most of that can be attributed to meeting lots of cool bloggers such as yourself and reading wonderful posts, some of which has taught me about new things.

    When I read your post on Saturday, I looked my my local Borders and found out that it was closing as well, which sucks, but there is a Barnes and Noble a few blocks east from where this Borders store sits, so I won't be out of a place to find books. Actually, my town is filled with dozens of independent and specialty bookstores as well, so even if the big boys (Borders, Barnes and Noble, Hastings, Books-A-Million etc.) close, there will still be others that I can visit.

    Yesterday, I went to the Borders store that is closing in my town, hoping to get a deal similar to yours but their discounts were only 40%-50% of "select" items. The children's section was worse, at only 30% off, so I didn't buy anything, especially since some of the books that I really wanted were not available.

    It was slightly a mad house in there as well. A lot of the merchandise, while in the right sections, were not in order. I know that is to be expected, but I don't like shopping and in a situation like that, it caused me to be overwhelmed and frustrated. I don't have the patience to sort through every nook and cranny at a store as large as Borders, just to find some cheap gems of books that I want to take home and read.

    Since that location is scheduled to close at the end of May, I may go back next month to see if they marked their prices down to 80% or more and then look around to see if there is something worth buying.

    Most of the fiction seems to be sitting around. It's the non-fiction sections that are mostly wiped out there, such as Crafts, Economics, Accounting, Art, Religion and Business.

    There are a lot of Biographies still there though....LOTS actually, but I'm not interested in reading about Donald Trump, Sarah Palin or some Golf Athlete that I'm not familiar with, lol.

    A lot of their DVD sets were not that cheap either, so I'm going to wait this thing out and see what lingers around after everyone who wasn't looking for the cheapest deal they could find has bought up everything else.

    I am OPTIMISTIC that whenever I return to that Borders bookstore before it closes, I'll at the very least, be able to find books, CDs or DVDs that I can give to friends or family members, even if I don't find something for myself :)

    The Madlab Post

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  42. Arlee: You're absolutely right about optimism! I am trying to make myself be more positive in my day to day living. It hasn't always been an easy ride, but I'm making it work somehow!

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  43. I'm liking all the optimism here - great post Arlee and good points made.

    I'm off to investigate your bloggy recomendations... love Yvonne though, she's fab!

    Hope you are having lots of fun. Your last line was beautiful.
    Lxxx

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  44. Laura -- Thanks for stopping by.

    Pat- I bought The Power of Positive Thinking when I was a teenager in the late 60s and have bought many positive thinking and other self-improvement books since then--it's been one of my favorite topics and one that has gotten me through some difficult times.

    Tracy -- Negative people can really bring us down if we let them.

    Sand and Snow -- Glad it helped.

    Nate -- I too am a believer in sensible optimism. It's important to have realistic expectations.

    Stephen Tremp -- I agree with you and your optimism comes across in what you write in your blog posts.

    StMc --I certainly thought about you when writing this then realized that all of the optimism and positivity that you encompass and exude could not be contained in a mere blog post. You are worthy of a book. Maybe you should write one since you'll have more time when you stop blogging. With so much good feelings content it would probably make Oprah's book list.

    Maurice -- Negativity can be a difficult thing to shake, but you can do it. Sometimes you really have to force yourself though.

    Carol-- We all have our bad days and we just have to do our best to get through them.

    Jan -- Ruby is amazing to me.

    Alison -- You are very kind to say so.

    Crystal -- That is just as you come across on your blog.

    Nicole -- I think most of us struggle with the duality of moods and you aren't alone. I would imagine the sale at your Borders will be similar to ours. When you see that the prices get down to 80% you'll know that last day is near. The last day will probably be a Saturday and everything will be picked through but they'll probably still have a lot of good stuff for very cheap prices.

    Jeffrey -- Being positive sure beats the opposing side and you'll feel better for it. It's gotten easier for me as I've grown older.

    Laura -- Thank you so much. I want to give back all the good I receive and throw away the garbage the bogs me down.

    Lee

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  45. I myself am an optimist and was inspired by your post and words. We do have control of our own thoughts and we should exercise that control and think positively.

    You're right that being positive, smiling and making people laugh can bring wonderful changes in them and those around you. This brings more happiness and positive feelings to you and its like then you feed of each other.

    I haven't checked out any of the other blogs, but will.

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  46. Lee,
    Thank you so much for mentioning my blog in your post today! I'm so glad that we can share our passion for positivity with others and continue to create more Optimal Optimists.

    Thanks for giving me another great reason to smile today! :D

    Vanessa from Optimal Optimist

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  47. I do my best to be optimist. I like blogs that are optimistic and hopeful too.

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  48. Wonderful inspiration here! Optimism is a good thing to have.

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

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  49. Greg -- Feeling happy and positive can do wonders for one's physical and emotional well-being and we should all try to spread as much good will as we possibly can.

    Vanessa -- Your blog is a treasure worth sharing with others.

    Holly -- A negative blog post that is full of rants, sadness, and negative thoughts can really drain me and get me down. I try to stick with the bloggers that lift me up the most.

    Elizabeth -- Optimism is the best outlook to have--it inspires and infuses energy into the soul.

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  50. I'm ridiculously optimistic. Bad stuff happens, but it's where you direct your focus that matters. Life is good.

    I'm A-Z Blogging here: http://www.word-nerd-speaks.com

    My “O” post is right here: http://www.word-nerd-speaks.com/2011/04/old-mother-hubbard-economic-reality.html

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  51. I force myself to be optimistic. Makes things so much easier.

    www.solitarymama.com

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  52. I struggle to stay optimistic but, even though it's hard sometimes, I love it when I'm able to see the glass half full.

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  53. fantastic message.
    It's good to be optimistic and see things as potential opportunities instead of inconveniences. And yes, soemtimes it takes a smidge more effort to be optimistic, but makes a world of difference.

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  54. I used to be optimistic, but I've found it leads to elevated expectations, which leads to devastating disappointments. Now I try to keep my expectations low.

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  55. Great post! I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. I am a hopeless optimist, or so I've been told. Thanks for the links!

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  56. Word Nerd -- Life is good if you let it be.

    Christina -- Sometimes I do think you have to force yourself to become optimistic until it usually just becomes habit.

    Catherine -- In the same vein as forcing yourself, being optimistic can often be a struggle.

    Lynda -- I agree with you. Pessimism usually blinds us from seeing the opportunities ahead of us.

    Spenc -- Sometimes we can make a mistake of setting too high of expectations. As I stated previously, optimism should be grounded in realistic expectations.

    Marguerite-- I am also sometimes seen as being overly optimistic and sometimes I am. But positive thinking is more apt to get things accomplished than being negative.

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  57. If I'm brutally honest, I'd love to be optimistic, but I tend to be more realistic. Optimism is hoping for good to happen, but realism is being absolutely content with what you've got!

    Duncan In Kuantan

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  58. BOID ~
    Ha!-Ha!
    Why you sarcastic so-and-so!
    :o)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  59. I so enjoyed this post! Now in my sixth decade, I remain an indefatigable optimist, recognizing that in the cycle of life there will be lows and highs. I choose to focus on the highs, as difficult as it may be, on occasion...lol.

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  60. Duncan -- Hoping for good doesn't mean being unrealistic. I think of that wonderful film It's a Beautiful Life where the day to day experiences are horrifying but hope keeps the characters going. If hope is not rooted in false expectations and reaches toward the possibilities of what can be then I think reality and hope work together along with being content with what you've got.

    Mr. McCarthy -- Me? Sarcastic? Never! I was being positive and optimistic.

    Lynette -- I like the way you look at things. Why do otherwise?

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  61. An enjoying the A-Z approach! Am I an optimist? Yep, incurably.

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Lee