Sometimes I worry I’m too much of an optimist. That may seem like a weird thing to worry about, but there are times when I’m afraid I’m going to say something inappropriately cheerful. A few weeks ago I was at a party and talking to a guy who was lamenting his pending divorce which was forcing him to look for a new place to live, and I said, “Well, on the bright side…” The entire room went silent. You could hear a pin drop, which is a neat trick on carpet. Then another guy said, “Oh, I’ve gotta hear this.” And I said that with all the construction and changes going on in Nashville there were a lot of new places around. The guy getting the divorce said, “Yeah, that is a good thing.” In fact my ability to find a bright side to even the worst news sometimes makes me think I should rent myself out as a professional cheerer-upper and “Well, on the bright side” is something I say so often anyway it could be my tagline, but that’s another story.
Bringing up all the construction going on around Nashville reminded me of a period of about three months when I had to change my daily walk to the bus. A whole city block was being torn down and rebuilt to put in some new apartments and businesses. It bugged me because I had to leave work earlier, which meant I also had to get to work earlier, and walk farther. It also bugged me that the construction was blocking city sidewalks and a whole section of the street for months. On the bright side, though, it gave me an excuse to get more daily exercise. And then I worry that I really shouldn’t need an excuse.