Monday, June 8, 2009

Optimism or Delusion?

Every night Maggie hops up onto our bed, confident that she will be allowed to sleep on my pillow for the night. And every night, I scoop her up and toss her in her kennel at the foot of our bed. 

This little scene is replayed every single night. Yet she still keeps trying to wrangle her way into our bed, certain that some night she will win the right to hog all the blankets and pillows for an entire evening. 

Sorry, girl, it just isn't going to happen. 

Is this the definition of optimism? Or is it an example of delusional thinking? 

I wonder how to define that line of reasoning whenever I think about living with a chronic illness. Whenever I read a study about the next greatest cure-all medication, or hear again that weight loss being a panacea for any and all ills, or see an advertisement that promises a return to youthful health if one buys an herbal concoction; I feel this same kind of hope that Maggie demonstrates every night. After a few minutes of thought I have to tell myself: Sorry Julia, it just isn't going to happen. 

But still, Maggie and I just keep hopping up on that pillow. Is it optimism or delusion? 

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