Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Taking the rough with the smooth

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You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.

Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting

There are times when I do wallow in a pit of negativity and doom and gloom but on the whole I’d categorise myself as a quietly optimistic person who has a fairly balanced view of the world. ‘Sanguine’ is the word I would choose to describe myself.

I’m certainly not one of those people who believes that everything is awful or that everything should go their way and cannot cope with setbacks. If you’re a sports fan, you may be familiar with the kind of supporter who likes to call up radio phone-ins after a defeat to rant about how everyone associated with their team is a useless disgrace and should be sacked immediately. That’s definitely not me.

Which is why this week’s quote from the late Robin Williams’ character in Good Will Hunting has always resonated with me. I expect bad things to happen in life, not out of a sense of negativity or fatalism but because, well, that’s life. I’ll get upset at bad personal experiences as much as the next person but I’m generally quick to move on and recognise that it’s the (relatively few) bad times that make me appreciate all the good things in my life, from having a stable, well-paid job to having three healthy and (mostly) well-behaved children who I adore. My life may be full of ordinary moments but they’re my moments and when I tot things up there’s far more good than bad.

That seems like a pretty good result to me.

Yes, there are the inevitable troughs to go with the peaks, but if you don’t have valleys to go with the hills then your view is going to be pretty flat and uninteresting, isn’t it? On balance (words you will hear me say a lot), I’ll take a little bit of rough to make me appreciate all the smooth.

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