Optimism always wins

Dear Optimists,

This blog started out because of a whiner who always looked on the negative side of life. Every time there was something wrong in this person’s life you’d find her online complaining to her friend in the US. He’d listen, nod and let her finish – then twist her pessimism into optimism.

One day he said to her, “There are a lot of people out there who tend to focus on the negative things in life – I wish we could change that.” 30 minutes later ‘Dear Optimists’ was born.

And it has changed me (the whiner!). I can’t stop thinking of positive stories I want to share with you. I can’t stop drawing these silly illustrations, because I know that they make you smile.

I used to hate it when people said, “Look on the bright side!” whenever I shared something – now I want to hug them for reminding me.

Love,
Nadia.

Love and Texting

Dear Optimists,

I was on the train today and seemed to be surrounded by many college students heading to the university. I noticed a trend and started really paying attention to my surroundings and then realized a common occurrence:

The person gets a text, they read it, and smile this HUGE smile that covers half of their face. This is not a smile that appears from a joke or funny comment; I’m talking about a glowing smile that says they’re in love.

And now that I’ve started looking, I’ve noticed it more and more often. It’s nice believing that the whole world is slowly falling in love, even if it is via text. And even if these are just crushes, who cares? A crush can lead to love…

Smiles,

Den

You’re Den!

Dear Optimists,

Don’t call me it! So here in the U.S. we have a game called tag in which everyone runs away and avoids one person, and the one everyone is running away from is “it“. As in, “Tag, you’re it!” So basically, from a young age we’re taught that being “it” is a negative thing. It’s bad. Yucky. Blech.

So today, Nadia made me aware of the fact that in both Danish and Norwegian (and who knows how many more languages!) my nickname Den (short for Dennis) is translated as “it“! Are the Danes and the Norwegians out to get me? Do they have a hatred that is so strong that they have decided to use my name to mean “it”?

Probably just a coincidence.

Love,
It.

Curiosity

Dear Optimists,

It’s so easy to absolutely enthrall a three-year-old. It was my girlfriend’s niece’s birthday the other day and we took her out for the day and let her pick her gifts. The next day was her party, and I found one of the things she really loved (from the store) at a yard sale, so I grabbed it for her, a My Little Pony that was actually quite large that talked, sang and even wiggled its butt (who knows why). My girlfriend grabbed the batteries and once we gave it to her, it was like every other gift just disappeared.

No, this isn’t about how cute kids are again, dear optimists. It’s about how easy it was, as a kid, to look at something and just become awed by it. Wondering how it works. Watching it do whatever it does. Thinking about it in such an open-minded way. It was lovely. I do that sometimes with simple things  like seeds as they grow. Isn’t that just amazing? I put that seed in the dirt, I watered it, and it’s growing. I watch a caterpillar and it’s many legs moving across a leaf. Or even my typewriter…all those little parts that I can see, working together to create.

The world is an amazing place.

Love,

Den

Happy Music

Dear Optimists,

Do you ever listen to music to make a happy moment even better?

I do.

I loooooove music. My favorite happy music is definitely Belle and Sebastian. When I’m driving to work and don’t necessarily want to go, I blast some B&S and it puts me right in the best mood ever. I hope everyone out there has a band like that. I once went on a trip all the way across country just to see them play for the first time. It was absolutely worth it.

Who is your happy band?

Love,

Den

P.S. I am LOVING the optimist version of a B&S album covers Nadia made…

Sunday Relaxation

Dear Optimists,

I love relaxing after a perfect weekend full of fun and excitement. Do you ever have one of those weekends where it’s Sunday night, you’re relaxing with tea and a good book, or a beer and the game, or whatever your Sunday evening preference, and you just think to yourself “What a damn good weekend”?

I love those.

Love,

Den

Hurricane! Hurricane?

Dear Optimists,

I woke up Sunday morning in the middle of a hurricane to find…NOTHING. No rain, a little wind, no damage…so imagine my surprise, considering the news kept telling everyone the end of the world was coming (practically). The stores were out of water, bread, milk, eggs (I think everyone makes French Toast when it storms, I swear it…) and they were even completely sold out of GENERATORS. So when nothing happened, people were, to put it kindly, upset.

So I watched the news, something I tend to avoid because it’s so so so negative (I get my world news from NYtimes.com and BBC). I wanted to see what they would say/do/show to get themselves out of the pickle they’d put themselves into.

So I’m watching as the newscaster says, “And now we have the Atlantic City Director of Emergencies on the line.”

A picture of a cell phone comes up and we hear the man’s voice. “Good morning! So, we think we’ll be letting people back into Atlantic City around 4 P.M. on Monday, but then I’m just pulling that out of my buttcrack.”

This got my attention, and the newscaster’s as well, who was suddenly back on camera. “Okay…I think that maybe that wasn’t who we thought it was.”

The cell phone voice, one I assumed was gone, suddenly said “No Shit, Sherlock.”

I laughed my buttcrack off.

Love,

Den

Kids Are So Cute

Dear Optimists,
Kids are awesome, aren’t they? They do the silliest, most entertaining things if you really observe carefully.

The other day I was waiting in line at a store, a little girl, probably like eleven or so, started jumping into and out of the automatic doors. She had a shirt with a Superman emblem on it and a serious case of hyperactivity. It made me smile.

As she jumped at the door the last time and it opened, she threw both hands into the air, palms up, and said “What what?” and then giggled like crazy.

Love,
Den

Eavesdropping 101

Dear Optimists,

Eavesdropping is a bad, bad thing. You really shouldn’t do it, because it’s absolutely none of your business.

But think of all the interesting conversations you’re missing out on? I could never let that happen to me, because one of the things that always make me smile is eavesdropping on other people’s conversations in the bus, behind me during lectures, at parties, whenever.

Sure, you pick up on things you might not want to hear, but the trick is to listen to people you don’t know and that don’t know you. Sometimes you strike gold:

Love,
Nadia.

Pampering

Dear Optimists,

I mentioned the other day one of the greatest advantages of moving away from home. But there’s something I have to admit.

No matter how much I enjoy eating cake in the morning (and around the clock), it’s always nice to come home and be pampered.

That morning I knew I had to get up early to go to The Blue Lagoon. As any other kid (you’re always a kid when you’re home, right?) I depended on my Mum to get me up in time to pack my things and get ready.

I got up 15 minutes before we had to go. Because this happened:

Love,
Nadia.