Saturday, November 10, 2007

Intuition Proven Wrong. Again.

I had friends who, when they were a couple, asked themselves which of the beloved A.A. Milne characters they best embodied. "Oh, that's easy: you're Pooh!" "And you'd be Piglet, in a cinch!" My approach to the exercise wasn't quite so flattering. I would have loved to be categorized as an Eeyore, but the truth was more bitter. I was a Rabbit.

I put a cheerful face on my everyday public dealings, but find I have to combat a tendency toward fretfulness. It's a different creature from its cousin "gloom." A friend once asked me what my "gut feeling" was regarding a certain circumstance. I told him, but was quick to add, "My gut feelings are disproved every time I get out of the car and close the garage door."

I have reservations about Martin Seligman's Learned Optimism. So far as self-help books go, this one has been only moderately successful in helping me help myself. But while I may not yet be an "optimist," I have at least learned to question the most pessimistic of my fretful impulses.

1 comment:

DarkoV said...

Sir, i believe you are at the correct age and life station to be fretful. What with 2 daughters, I believe you should be elated that "fretful" is the condition you're in. I know quite a few fathers, blessed with daughters and no sons, who would wish to be only "fretful". The fact that you are trying to temper your "fret" with a dose of bookish optimism tells me that "gloom" is not in your future.

As long as your rabbit's whiskers can detect the danger ahead, I'd say your state of "fret" is almost envious to be in. The fact that your eldest can dispense body-checks with ease will also help keep the "gloomies" away for a while. Time to teach the youngest the art of the deadly hip-check.