Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shiny Happy World

So I subscribe to this "Daily Tip from Dr. Weil," which means every morning I'm greeted with an e-mail featuring a topic on healthy living. Yesterday's was about optimism, and it went like this:

"Did you know that pessimism has been linked to a higher risk of dying before age 65? On the other hand, expressing positive emotions, such as optimism, is associated with a variety of health benefits: lowered production of the stress hormone cortisol, better immune function, and reduced risk of chronic diseases."

And then there's Dr. Wayne Dyer who says (paraphrasing):

"One of the most important decisions you'll ever make is whether or not you choose to live in an abundant universe."

All this talk about optimism, reminded me of an author panel I participated in last year where one of the guests in the audience asked if we YA authors feel compelled to write "up" endings, and if so, why would we chose to do such a thing when life gives you anything but. Isn't that a little unfair to our teen readers?


Well, the truth is, I do feel compelled to write "up" endings, but mostly because I believe in them. And while my life hasn't always gone in the exact way that I'd hoped, I truly believe that every single experience has prepared me for the next one, and more importantly, those same experiences (especially the not-so-good ones) brought the opportunity for growth.

In other words, I guess you could say that I'm a fervent believer in silver linings.

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner says, (again, paraphrasing), that:

"Providing hope is a moral obligation."

And while I'm not always big on defining what is and isn't moral (it's a charged word meaning different things to different people) I like the quote. Providing hope is important. Robbing someone of hope is criminal.

And that's why I've decided to move HERE.

Or at least visit as often as possible. Because in a world where a simple spring shower turns into STORM WATCH 2008!!! I'd like to hang in a place that keeps it real, keeps it simple, and keeps it, well, positive.

And on that note, I leave you with this-- enjoy!

Happy Thursday Everyone!


Erica Orloff said...

Great post. I, too, believe we choose to be happy or not. We choose how we react to tough times.

My life is very far from picture-perfect, but I really treasure each day . . . and I also choose to give my YAs an upbeat ending. I feel like a fairy godmother when I write--I create the ending I would wish for.


Trish said...

Okay, I've always liked you, but The Ramones? I love you, man.

Alyson Noel said...

Hi Erica- Oh, I love that! I feel like a fairy godmother too!
And I totally agree, we don't always choose our circumstances, but we can choose how we react to them.

Hey Trish- Joey's a God. When I saw that episode of Entourage where they had the script to make I WANNA BE SEDATED-- I got sooo excited!
And then I realized it wasn't real.
Someone really needs to make that movie!

Sara Hantz said...

I'm a total optimist! Living with a pessimist...... what can I say ;)

I've bookmarked the Optimists site, I love it.

And I would NEVER not have an upbeat ending in my books. Just the thought of not doing it.....

Erica Orloff said...

I live with a pessimist too.

Some days I want to strangle him.


Alyson Noel said...

Hey Sara- Opposites attract!

Erica- :-D

Anonymous said...

I've also read that optimists tend to be more successful because they believe that something can get done. Look at writers; how many pessimistic writers make it past the abundant rejections to actually get published? Actually, how many of them actually believe that they *can* write a whole book, it *will* be good, and they *can* get it published? Without that, it's hard to find the drive. Many pessimists say that they are simply being realistic, but it is as unrealistic to expect only the bad as to expect only the good -- unless you take into account self-fulfilling prophecies. In that case, I want my positive prophecies fulfilled!

Alyson Noel said...

So true! And I'm with you- I want all of my glasses half-full, and my prophecies fulfilled!