A pessimist by choice

It is funny how little things can go a big way. My mother was scheduled for an operation today. All she told me was that it was a minor operation, "Not problem at all. Don't worry. Will tell you later." This left me seriously incapacitated to gauge the seriousness of the surgery.
The operation was slated to start at eight am and continue for about two hours. I called up my brother by 11 to check on mom. She wasn't out as yet and he told me that it was actually a three-hour surgery. Disappointed, I asked him to call me as soon as she was out and once again after she was coherent enough to make small talk.
All through class in the afternoon I waited impatiently for his call. Every five minutes or so I would glance at my phone in case I missed his call. I even had a list of excuses ready in case I had to attend the call. But, he didn't call. I spent the whole day worrying. The pessimist that I am I naturally assumed the worst and got upset with every minute. Finally I could not manage without knowing any longer, no matter how horrible the news could be. I had literally braced myself for the worst. I called my mother. No reply. I then called my brother and he picked up!
I tried to gauge from his voice if anything was wrong. He seemed fine! The nut that he was told me then that he was home and mom was safely out of the operation.
This has got me thinking. How is it that we automatically expect the worst out of any situation? Is it a bracing mechanism that has been put in by the mind to protect you against whatever may happen? So that everything else that happens may be a bonus as you were expecting the worst anyways.
What about the optimists then? Why do people say 'be positive'? How are you supposed to be better equipped with positve thoughts? If you expect the best out of every situation and then something bad happens. How are you supposed to cope with it then?
For very long I tried following the 'thinking postive' method. For mmall things that didn't matter in the larger scope of things I found was able to maintain the positive outlook. Big things, however, were a different story. Things like exams especially were always dealt with in the most pessimistic manner possible. In the end I have always felt better, no matter what the outcome.
I sure am glad to be a pessimist.
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