“Choose to be an optimist, it feels better.”
-Dalai Lama XIV
I secretly relish last day of the calendar year. It forces you, whether you like it or not, to realize the impermanent aspect of your life and your time here. Like the annual birthday celebration in which you are reminded that another year has passed, you are not getting any younger and time is essentially running out. That can be a terrifying realization for many of us. I find it momentarily frightening but I mostly shrug it off with a dash of good old-fashioned optimism. Even after a year in which the winery lost money (due to increasing our production) and I was still not able to pay myself a real salary, I look forward. I continue to believe that this year is the year. Perhaps that is the optimist in me speaking (you have to be an optimist to run a winery, or a sadist).
Optimism alone is a lot like exercising while maintaining a diet based on junk food. While it might make you feel good to run 5 miles, that cheeseburger you ate for dinner is a net negative. Optimism may keep the dismissive voices in my head somewhere between mute and 2, but at the end of the day (or the year) I still have to be willing to do the heavy lifting. I have to figure out and then implement the improvements I need to make whether it is in regards to winemaking, vineyards, sales or telling tales.