15 March, 2021

Accurate thinking

 I was just listening to an interview on our national radio station. It was aimed at how to help anxious children (and parents) but there were many points that were equally relevant to us. My favourite point, though, was:

"Don't teach positive thinking. Teach accurate thinking."

Isn't that perfect? (And not only because it has given me a topic for today! lol)

I'm not overly negative or cynical (despite being told by a colleague once that I was "quite cynical for one so young" when I made a comment that he agreed with) but I'm also not someone with a glass-half-full attitude all the time either. I like to think I'm realistic. (Though once again, this comment is tempered by remembering friends of friends on Fbk who think that they are politically objective, then spew all sorts of hate. Sigh!) Perhaps all these qualifications about who I am or am not just back me up. I hope I'm realistic. I think I was realistic when I saw the infertility and loss statistics for and against my age and my history (first after one ectopic, then after a second) and the evidence we (me, my husband, and my fertility guy) were faced with during IVF cycles, and assessed these without emotion (or rather, with emotion put aside) to determine what if any our next steps might or might not be. It doesn't mean that I didn't have hope. But hope - and for a while, despair - were tempered by evidence, science, and brutal (from each of us at different times) honesty.

I think this is what we ask for when we ask that the "think positive never give up" brigade understand our positions. We don't want our positions dismissed, or the evidence to be ignored. We just want people to understand or at least, to accept our situations. 

In exactly the same way, it is not accurate to assume that a life without children will be never-ending gloom, loss, or sadness. Neither is it accurate to say it will be perfectly happy, and that everything we've all been through will be forgotten. Of course not! It is accurate to say that our lives can and most likely will be good, happy, with some wonderful experiences. Looking on the bright side, embracing the good things we have already, or have because we don't have children, is not blindly optimistic. It is simply realistic. Life is full of balances, trade-offs, pros and cons. The joy is there if we look for it. That's accurate. And I'm not kidding!


  1. Oh, I like this. Positive thinking can be beneficial, but it can also be toxic. It can be a slippery slope. I like the idea of accurate thinking. It really appeals to my mentality. Sometimes my friends and family will get a little annoyed when having conversations with me because I can get so specific with word usage, but, like I tell them, I just like to communicate as accurately as I can! Accurate thinking... Yes, I like this.

  2. Accurate thinking - clear factual based ... and then choosing how to proceed. Because while we cannot control we do make choices.

  3. Oooh, love this post. "Accurate thinking" is just so...perfect. it would be lovely to have the Never-Give-Up, Always-Be-Positive brigade to hear that and honor what it means. Love it!

  4. Exactly this. Positive thinking can take you a little bit further, but if/when it becomes wishful thinking, you can no longer make decisions that are in one's best interest. It can be impossible to know where that line is.

  5. Positive versus accurate thinking -- so true!! You can be hopeful all you want, but facts are facts. I remember thinking that I'd have better odds taking the money we were spending on fertility treatments & going to Vegas, lol.

  6. SOOOOOO agree! The culture of toxic positivity can be, as Phoenix wrote, just that: toxic. Finding truth and stillness and grounding between the 'what we once wished for' or 'could have been' and the 'what is' can be remarkably challenging. But it's also rewarding when we keep it real and own it. Thank you again and always for your insights and your writing xx