We genealogists find many cousins, usually distant, but sometimes close. It is through the internet that we often get to know one another - some of us never meet.
In these online communications (whether through email or forums), we try to decipher someone else's personality. One of the things I read quite often about myself is that people think I have a very upbeat personality.
Well, I do. I smile often, always look passerby in the eye and say "hello" when I'm out in public, and I often pause to think about how grateful I am for things. I've had nicknames like "Pollyanna" and "Sunshine", though they are balanced out by those who know me as "Fiery Valkyrie". Former employers knew me as "Radar", because I anticipated their needs or work that needed to get done.
There are many arrogant people out there, especially writers. My gosh, I cannot believe what some writers say about themselves (when they wax poetic about just how wonderful their writing/story is), or the derogatory things they say about agents, publishers or one another! There is a huge difference between being an upbeat, confident person, who thinks they might have something that can entertain readers, and being completely egotistical. I've also known the types of people who embody the "Misery loves company" cliche - people who want to bring others down to their level.
I guess I'm never sure what all the fuss about anything is, well, about.
Today on the radio, I heard one British passenger speak about her experience with the Italian cruise ship that just sank this weekend, killing at least 3 or 4 passengers. She said that it is hard to believe that, only two nights ago, she was sitting on the side of the ship in the freezing cold. Now she's just happy to be with her family.
I think gratitude helps keep a person upbeat. So does doing what you love and encouraging others to do what they love. I think this is why I like to beta read for a really sweet, smart writer friend that I've made online. Likewise, I greatly appreciate those betas who are committed to helping me improve my work.
Last weekend, my son and I had a discussion about what he might want to do when he grows up. He loves drawing, and wanted to know if there was such a thing as art school. I told him that there is, and while my father denied me the opportunity to attend one when I asked (he wanted me to go to a "normal" college), that I would never deny my child the same opportunity.
He's got an easygoing, upbeat personality too. Maybe it comes from being creative or from being my son, or maybe that's just the way he is, no matter what.
What I do know for certain is that it's more fun to hang out with people who laugh and share your sense of joy in something, than to waste time on those who want it to be their way, or the highway.
Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan