ReLentless Pursuit of Optimism

“Part of the fun of working on [‘Son of Ali Baba’] was getting to spend a lot of time with Davy Sharpe, the stuntman who was my stand-in. Over his career, Davy appeared in more than forty-five hundred films–no one knows the exact number–which means he may have appeared in more films than anyone else in US film history. […] Davy was twenty years older than I was, in his forties, but he was a superb athlete. He could take off his hat and fling it up in the air without looking at it, and it would always land on his head. When Davy was rehearsing, he always had a cigar in his mouth, and he could throw the cigar up in the air and catch that between his teeth. One time early in his career, a director filmed a rehearsal scene without telling him, and Davy vowed never to let that happen again. That was why he always kept a cigar in his mouth during rehearsal. He knew the director would ask him to take the cigar out when it was time to roll film. Davy was always upbeat, and a joy to be around. His signature line was, ‘I greet you with cordiality and good cheer.'” (page 135)

–From ‘American Prince: A Memoir’ by Tony Curtis

I purposely postponed writing this blog, hoping the funk I was in would pass and I’d feel more upbeat. One of the things I wanted to give up for Lent was entertaining negative thoughts. I read somewhere that it’s not so much what happens to us as how we *think* about what happens to us which determines our reactions. And I think–quite literally–that’s true. All that said, I feel as though I’ve done a decent job of exercising the optimistic outlook lately, especially with the infection I’ve had in my foot and feeling drained from the antibiotics. In fact, being grateful daily for good insurance and healthcare has been a source of great joy for me. I’ve been exhausted at work, however, and since the busy tourist season has started I’ve been tested more than I’d like under these circumstances.

Reading Tony Curtis’s anecdote about the stuntman Davy Sharpe inspired me: “I greet you with cordiality and good cheer.” Wouldn’t the world be a wondrously different place if we could all say that to one another! Instead, most of us are lost in a boggle of thoughts about who-said-what to us, what bills are coming due, romantic entanglements, who cut us off in traffic, etc. I wish I could sit here and type how easy it is to do a few meditative breaths and let all that go and greet everyone with a smile and such an affirmative greeting as Mr. Sharpe was known for, but it’s not easy for me. In fact, I feel like the sore thumb in this GIF much of the time:

camel meme

I’ll be 34 in a few weeks and I’d like to be a bit more clear-headed and happy with my station in life by then. The guy who works overnight at the hotel next door just told me tonight that he put in his two weeks notice, as did his supervisor AND my old supervisor who’s a manager over at that property. It got me to thinking, what am I still doing here? Am I happy, or am I just biding my time? A job’s a job and all that jazz, but life’s too short not to be happy. Meh, so that’s where my thoughts are at right this minute. I *am* grateful and I *do* feel blessed; I just want that to come across in my reactions and interactions with others.

Best wishes for a safe and fun St. Pat’s Day to everyone,

brt

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve been entertaining writing a blog post about how I managed to convert myself to a more consistent upbeat attitude; after reading this, I’m thinking I definitely should. It works. It’s not travel-related, though, so I need to figure out how to make it travel-related so I can post it. In any case, keep on that track, Brian. It will serve you well. And happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!

    Reply

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