I think that aging and skepticism seem to go hand in hand. After all, how can we really absorb all of life’s twists, turns, and lessons without developing a bit of a hard outer shell or skepticism? As single parents, we may be carrying around MORE than our fair share of skepticism and while a little bit can be healthy—too much can keep us from moving forward…
Skepticism: doubt, uncertainty, and disbelief. Perhaps we do not exactly expect BAD things to happen, but we are skeptical that good, lovely, wonderful and delightful things will. We may be skeptical that we will get that raise or promotion at work, that our ex will ever pay his or her fair share of child support or expenses, or that we will ever find love of the healthy lasting sort. While it can be healthy to be patient and reserved and not rush headlong into new endeavors, expecting them to go poorly is probably not helping.
I confess that I can be queen of the skeptics and I haven’t always been like this! By nature, there is a strong vein of optimism that moves through me, I think it has just been buried by an earthquake and/or avalanche or two over the past several decades. The fact that I expect things to be hard and that I wear my cynicism like a bright new coat probably keeps me from moving forward as quickly and gleefully as I could. As single parents, our tough, strong, crusty skepticism can both help and hurt us. I believe it all comes down to creating a good balance of trusted experience and optimism. After all, just because something has happened before does not mean it will happen again. We can learn from our mistakes, but then we have to let them go—hanging on to them and clinging will not necessarily prevent them from coming along again, but it might keep us from taking the chances or seeing when good things are coming our way.
Also: Coping with Skeptics