Someone told me recently I was an eternal optimist. I'm not sure that's true, but I am a pretty "look on the bright side" kind of person.
This has nothing to do with any kind of Pollyanna syndrome. I don't think everything is always perfect and I'm not always on top of the world. However I do think that keeping a positive outlook and seeing the bright side of every situation makes us happier. And I also think that it's mostly a choice we make, this idea of happiness. Because there is always a dark side. Life is full of challenges, disappointments, hardships, and all things terrible. We lose people we love, we struggle to make ends meet, we suffer all sorts of losses, and yet, if we focus on the good things, we can usually overcome the blues.
I always remember what I read many years ago: we can't question why bad things happen to us unless we also question all the good things. We are blessed in so many ways and I think in this time in history we expect only good things. If we look back 150 years we see the hardships suffered by people all the time. Children died of things like scarlet fever because there were no antibiotics. Folks of all ages died of things like the measles because we had no vaccines. Women worked hard and often died in childbirth. Men worked hard and spent years away from home on whaling ships or looking for gold. It was. Time before life-expectancy was 80, that's for sure.
Today we have so many options, so much opportunity, and so much wealth that we're spoiled. And far less grateful for our blessings than our ancestors were.
So, my be I am a bit of a Pollyanna, I don't know. But I find that being grateful for the things I have, and centering the positive,makes me much more content at night, and better able to sleep well. So maybe optimum isn't such and thing.