I joined that website where old classmates sign up and can find old friends. After being a member for several years a girl (now woman of course) who lived next door to me in my parents first home and went to school (a few years behind me) suddenly joined and contacted me. I was REALLY happy to hear from her as I'm short on friends..long story..and was looking forward to catching up on our lives and where we've ended up to date. She's had a much "livlier" life than I've had in some ways, is happily married, has a grown son and a grandchild and one on the way. She and her husband are active and do alot of things together, recreationally and with friends. Her life sounds pretty eventful anyway. I jumped in and tried to fill her in on about 48 years of my life, the highlights and low lights..and due to not having alot of people to talk to personally these days, I guess I told too much in too long emails. In any case I guess I DID have more negative and unpleasant things that have happened than I really realized and they obviously over whelmed the good things in what I wrote to her. After only a few emails back and forth she wrote me an email the other day saying that...well reading me the riot act about being too negative and how I should lighten up in all aspects of my life, reduce my stress, quit smoking (DUH!) and in general get a life. She's had some surgeries but has not lived with chronic pain, so I don't expect her to really understand how it does limit you in so many ways, and yes, how you do at times get 'down in the dumps'. I admit I am a pretty negative person at times. I've had a lot of negative things, losses etc in my life and at 58 now, it's hard to feel like Mary Poppins or expect that the next thing will necessarily be the best. I also think that I find it more beneficial to expect the worse (the opposite of my old self) and then when the best happens I'm TOTALLY happy about it and surprised. A negative way of looking at things by itself. If there IS a really OPTOMISTIC person or persons on here, HOW do you keep it up. I am good at it for periods of time and then find myself once again looking at the glass as half empty instead of half full. Like I said, history has led me to believe this is generally the case at least in MY life. I am REALLY serious about this. What do you DO or TELL yourself or??? to be OPTIMISTIC MOST of the time? I will appreciate any ideas on the subject!!! Bambi P.S. They used to call me Smiley when I was young and well into my 30's. I don't think anyone would think to call me that now!