Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Am I Optimistic?

Optimism is defined in the Oxford English dictionary as “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something”. This explication is far too broad for me to derive meaning from. “Confidence about the future” can be subdivided into infinite areas: future family, career, health, happiness, success, appearance, fitness etc. etc. When others or myself inquire as to whether I am optimistic, what are they even asking?

If optimism is the sum of all these infinite areas, then I can truthfully say I am optimistic. Although I may not be hopeful about the possibility of future skiing holidays or confident that I can achieve my dream of being published in a scientific journal by the end of the year, I am certainly confident about my family and friends. I know that they will continue to be shoulders to lean on and sources of happiness in my life. I am also absolutely hopeful that I will improve physically. This is, in part, due to my complete trust in two brilliant surgeons, who are, at present, carefully disputing the pros and cons of several different surgical options.

However, if asked before I go to bed “do you believe that tomorrow will be a better day?” the honest answer is unfortunately negative, as of that, I am not optimistic. I am a realist, and as there have been no physical indicators of improvement in the last six weeks, I feel it would be an insult to my rational mind to expect miracles. Tomorrow is physically likely to be similar to today. Yet, there is a further reason that I am not hopeful, confident or expectant of tomorrow exceeding today. Today has not solely been about exploring surgical procedures, about pain management or about immobility. Today has included a little too much retail therapy, a newfound love of online scrabble, reacquainting with old friends through email and an ecstatic visit from four fabulous friends. Although my days, at present, are by no means as I would have wished, there are pockets of magnificence within each of them, which any day would struggle to compete with.


  1. Beautifully written blog and so touching - as a fellow blogger, it's much admired. Have you thought about contacting some publications (newspapers, women's interest magazine's) to see if they'd like to publish you as a column? I hope that you get a decision on the surgery (ergo some relief) very soon. (Saw you at the hospital - I'm Ben's mum.)

  2. Hey Sophie - great to read your blog and to see how positive you're managing to be despite obvious big stuff you're dealing with. Team Sophie is really behind you which I know must feel reassuring. I was thinking about what a lovely time we had in Crete just earlier - remember sitting opposite Jack and Josh coming out with random fact after random fact for hours whilst we looked on at this foreign species wondering... we'll do again some time... I'm sure the big surgeon brains will be working hard coming up with the best solution for you. Love
    Nicolle xxx

  3. Another beautifully written piece which has given me food for thought.

    Thinking of you and hoping to see you soon.

    Love Devorah

  4. Dear Sophie
    Impressed in equal measure by your amazing fortitude and by your terrific writing! Stay strong and positive...and retail therapy is always good! Most of all - keep writing!
    Jane x

  5. Hey Sophie,
    I have just discovered your blog today and have been reading through it backwards. Firstly, you write so well it embarrasses me. Secondly, I just hope that these 'little victories' help in a disproportionate way to cancel out the hardships you are facing. Without trying to sound trite, keep your chin up and keep writing. Its great.
    Yoni xx