Research makes very clear that people who look on the brightside of life's events live with less physical stress and as a result, among other good things, tend to also live longer lives. Some of us are born bright-siders. They are often called a pollyanna, meaning that their nature is characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. It's based on an 11-year old girl, a book character by that name. Pollyanna always managed to see the good in situations and people.
Well, I like my fellow Americans and all global citizens am now faced with an extraordinarily disorienting and potentially stressful or even fatal situation due to the coronavirus Covid-19. Everyone is asked, in some cases commanded, to "shelter in place." Go home, and stay there!
I am not a natural born pollyanna. My initial reaction was to be irritated by a number of inconveniences this triggers. But over the years I have learned to discipline my thoughts so that I actually stop and ask myself...what is the bright side here? And this morning I found mine for this situation. For several reasons I've been more or less playing around at writing my next novel. Always finding something else to do after only a few paragraphs written. Now that I really can't go out and do other things....well....if I get back into "professional mode" and write whether I feel like it or not, I could get this book, at least a first draft, half written before this voluntary quaranteen is up!
So that is my brightside to being forced to stay at home. The goal would be a chapter a day. That for me will be a challenge. I'm feeling pretty good about meeting it. And feeling good is very much what looking on the bright side is about.
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Dr. Judith Hand writes historical fiction, contemporary action/adventure, and screenplays. Hand earned her Ph.D. in biology from UCLA. Her studies included animal behavior and primatology. After completing a Smithsonian Post-doctoral Fellowship at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., she returned to UCLA as a research associate and lecturer. Her undergraduate major was in cultural anthropology. She worked as a technician in neurophysiology laboratories at UCLA and the Max Planck Institute, in Munich, Germany. As a student of animal communication, she has written scientific papers on the subject of social conflict resolution.
Astronomy image credit: NASA: Full Hemisphere Views of Earth at Night.