Jan 1, 2013

First Day, 2013

by Terri Wagner

Good way to start a journal entry, isn't it?

Years ago I saw this saying and adopted it as my own personal philosophy:

An optimist sees the glass as half full;
The pessimist as half empty;
The realist knows sooner or later, someone will have to wash those glasses, and it will probably be them.

I enjoyed being a realist, and thought it a prudent way to see the world. I incorporated being a natural born worrier into this philosophy. For example, I use to live in a high airplane dense area, so naturally I was concerned about planes flying into my apartment. The optimist would laugh and say, "what are the odds?" The pessimist would say, "yea well then that's your fate accept it." Me, the realist, examined the issue by thinking, "so if the plane hits while I'm gone, no sweat. If it hits while I'm there, what are the possible scenarios?" That was just one way I kept my worrywart nature on high alert.

Trouble is, the world has shifted dramatically to the dark side. Our church leaders now use words like "perilous times, in a war, a strengthening of evil," and yet use words like "keep the commandments, protect the family, stay happy, be a light in the darkness," to advise us.

So I changed my New Year's Resolution from my usual boring thing that hasn't worked in years anyway to tada: being an optimist. The world doesn't need anymore realists who view the world through somewhat jaded eyes. It desperately needs a light to run to, a light to be warmed by, a light to be strengthened by.

Frankly, this will not be easy. I am still unemployed, my dad's health has downgraded to "hopefully having more good days than bad ones," and the current economic path does not fill me with much hope. The old me, the realist, would square her shoulders and try to "keep calm and carry on," wondering if I really can live on my food storage, well, what food storage I've managed to stock up.

So I suspect I will be consulting with Heavenly Father regularly on exactly what an optimist thinks and how they see coming events. The best place to start is the place this shift began with Lesson 24 in Teachings of the Presidents: George Albert Smith. The last page of the lesson is a must-read for this new year and the reason for my newfound optimism.

In this lesson, which I had to teach, the Lord's prophet (as a convert of many year, I still find it amazing that we have a prophet to look to for advice and instruction), basically said, there's a plan, all these events were foretold, there are instructions to keep (food storage comes to mind) and a great mission to perform for a world seeking light. Read it! Hopefully you will come away as inspired as I was (and as comforted).

So, journal entry for First Day, 2013 would be something like: The overcast sky makes the water on the beach look gray and mystic. I can almost imagine magical things taking place just below the surface. I am grateful to live so close to the beach I can go there every day. My father is up and moving around (he went through a heart stent, congestive heart failure, and a blood clot in a two-and-a-half-week period). There's money in the bank as I have been warned to accumulate, there's food storage for a few months, the sweetest dogs in the world to share my life with, and family to prop me up. I have a mission to perform, so keep smiling. You know how this all ends.

I can assure you that would not be my normal "realist" journal entry.

So here's to optimism (not to be confused with Pollyannaism, which is just plain otherworldly LOL) and a New Year to learn a different way of looking at things.


  1. The world really does need more optimism. I love how the prophets always remain optimistic even in the darkest hours. Les Miserables - "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."

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  3. Reminded me of a funny Mother's Day card I received from my daughter:
    Pessimist: glass half empty
    Optimist: glass half full
    Mom: alright, who didn't put their glass in the dishwasher?
    So true!

  4. Love, love, love your post Terri! Good for you! And thanks for sharing your insights. It is exactly what I needed to read today...going right along with my scripture study this morning. Happy new year..and many hugs~

  5. I really like this! I think I'll do this too instead of the five pound normal goal. I mean, attitude is everything! thanks for the good advice!

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