Using The Negative To Find The Positive

Out To Lunch

I believe in balance. Over the course of my life I’ve been pretty observant. Yeah I overlook some things. I’ve missed some great opportunities as well. But the one thing about me is that I notice things most others overlook. Call it a gift or a curse; it’s been a little of both. It has a lot to do with why I’m a writer, though.

If you believe in balance as I do, you see things in off setting opposites. When you have something good happens you automatically moderate the exuberance because you know there is a downside coming. But when you suffer a set back or defeat, you also know something good is just around the corner. It’s the optimistic side of this balance thing that I pay the most attention to. Maybe that’s because I really don’t like being me when I am negative. Guess what, no one else likes me being that way either.

Me in mid 1970's
When I get in one of my moods I can be funny in a self deprecating way. Remembers, I see things differently and that includes a lot of things other people miss. Fortunately for writers and comedians the world is full of irony. Actually, I have a theory that the invisible force that science is looking for, that thing to holds the universe together, is actually irony. Yep, that’s the glue. Anyway, I like to point out some of those odd, quirky things to others. Whether it makes them laugh depends on their moods. Sometimes it reinforces what they already think about me – that I’m weird. But that’s okay, as long as no one ever accuses me of being normal, I’m doing just fine.


I guess what I’m getting at is that old adage about looking for the silver lining. I’ve had some pretty seriously dark clouds over the past several years. I won’t innumerate them here because it would be a long boring litany of mishaps, failures and mistakes. We all have those. Some of us have more than our share for a while. But maybe that’s because some of us have more we need to learn about those things than others. The way I figure, I’m supposed to write about some of the stuff that happened to me. Since few would ever believe many of those things it’s probably a good thing I write fiction. Let’s suffice it to say in the immortal words of Jim Morrison, “I’ve been down to very damned long, that it look’s like up to me.”

So if you’re thinking things can’t get any worse, just know that’s up to you. Your attitude and approach to life is what matters the most. I’m not saying to be happy when something bad happen to you. That would be crazy. But what I’m saying is that you can start looking for something good to come along. It’s usually behind the worst things, just about exactly where you wouldn’t expect to find it. Let those bad things be your compass. You might have to go in the opposite direction from the way you’ve been headed – go south for a while instead of north – but there is always something good that goes along with something bad.

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