Ya know, it’s really difficult to be an optimist nowadays, especially with all the irritating political wrangling and all the negativism knocking at our door.
And what’s worse, the older I get the more I realize my bucket list is a list of improbabilities, a bucket full of dreams and hopes and wishes.
Looking at my bucket list, I see that the first item is to memorize my very favorite quote in the world, and I still haven’t done it.
I discovered that quote on a plaque which I gifted to one of my grandsons years ago and now have the words posted above my desk. It is something Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh. “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
It is a simple statement by a fictitious simple child to a whimsical bear named Pooh. It is hard to remember sometimes, but isn’t it just the best thing you can say to yourself? You are braver than you seem and smarter than you think.
If I could remember that, I think life would be a lot easier.
Everybody needs a Christopher Robin in their life. I tried to be that for my children, and now I try to be my own Christopher Robin.
I usually apply this saying to simple things like trying to touch my toes without bending my knees, swearing or crying. However, Christopher didn’t say anything about exercising or keeping in shape, so that consoles me somewhat.
If Christopher Robin didn’t care about it, why should I?
Christopher Robin probably would have said, “Your toes don’t want to be touched. Those muscles that hurt when you bend over are all make believe. You are more flexible than you believe, and this will all blow over in the morning. Sit down and have a glass of wine.”
And yes, Christopher Robin, I am smarter than I think. When I can’t figure out how to do something on my computer, it isn’t because I am not smart. It is because computers were designed by and for people under 60, and it would make other seniors feel bad if someone like me were adept at working at a computer.
Knowing how to turn a computer on and off is an amazing feat, and I should be content with that.
When I can’t find my cellphone, it’s all make believe. A kangaroo named Roo has hidden it in her pouch.
And the glasses I left at a restaurant? They will magically reappear when the Beast kisses Sleeping Beauty and I wake up and my prince, my husband, has gone back and cajoled the waitress into divulging that my glasses were found on the floor.
My car no longer needs a key in the ignition? I just have to carry it around in my purse or pocket and my car will magically start? Yes, Christopher Robin, and I believe the moon is made of green cheese.
Now that I’m really concentrating, memorizing that saying shouldn’t be that hard. I’ll work on it again tomorrow.
I’m beginning to think that believing the quotation is the difficult part. Yes, Christopher, I am trying to be brave in the face of adversity, strong in the midst of challenge, and smarter than my refrigerator door.
I pray that the whole world will begin to live your motto. May our leaders become more honest than Pinocchio, as wise as Solomon and slay more dragons than Saint George.
And while I’m believing, may I be able to touch my toes by Christmas and may Santa really come down my chimney.
Nancy Carlson Dodd is a Fort Wayne resident and author.