If there ever existed a more positive, relentlessly optimistic character on TV than Chris Traeger, we have yet to meet them. The state auditor who came to the small town of Pawnee in season two of Parks and Rec quickly became a fan favorite thanks to his sunny Traeger-isms — cheerful nuggets of encouragement and praise he shared with his co-workers and friends.
Devoted to a rigorous fitness regimen, incapable of spouting negativity, always looking to give his friends a boost, and capable of breaking up with a woman in such a positive way that she was completely unaware they were no longer together for weeks, Traeger is a literal ray of sunshine and though the show is now gone, his bright outlook on life lives on.
Here are a few Chris Traeger affirmations to help you live your best life.
“There is literally nothing that you can’t do.”
One of Chris Traeger’s defining qualities was his commitment to lifting others out of their own self-deprecating moods. He constantly provided encouragement and affirmative words even when things went south -– like when the city went over budget and the government had to be shut down or when Ron’s barbecue ran out of meat –- and he was always praising his employees, even the least effective ones (Jerry). So the next time you over-commit yourself to a 90-minute boot camp class at the gym or take on a home renovating project with only Youtube as your guide, remember this Traeger-ism. Anything is possible.
“I consider myself a caddie to everyone in my life.”
The caddie is the most underappreciated person on the golf course but he has an important part to play. He is the support system, he carries the game, quite literally, and is often relied upon for strategical advice. Chris Traeger, by definition, is a caddie. He’s there for moral support, to offer words of positivity and to help his friends when they need it most – like when Ben loses his job and spends three weeks working on a Claymation video that lasts only a few seconds. So the next time you see a friend spiraling into the pits of despair and inventing their own Italian fast casual eatery named the Low-Cal Cal Zone, think “What Would Chris Traeger Do?”
“How we deal with tragedy defines who we are.”
Chris Traeger earned fans by being relentlessly positive and, often, fun to laugh at. His obsession with diet and exercise, his nerdy bromance with Ben Wyatt, and his optimistic outlook often bordered on the hilariously ridiculous, but every so often, he offered meaningful advice. Case in point: when he gives Andy Dwyer a heartfelt pep talk after the loveable idiot fails a portion of the police entrance exam.
Chris was there to help Andy prepare for the test and he was there when Andy failed, giving us the ultimate example of #friendshipgoals. So the next time you’re dealt a rare blood disorder at a young age or when the daughter of a lackluster employee breaks up with you at a bowling fundraiser just know that these moments only make you stronger.
“I think you’ve got several options. They’re all terrible…but you have them.”
Life is full of challenges and ways to deal with them. For Chris Traeger, even a lose-lose situation can be spun into a positive opportunity, like when he and Leslie are tasked with overhauling the Animal Control office after a couple of pot smokers use the place to do experiments. This Traeger-ism is really just a metaphor for life; you’ll have plenty of options and all of them will be terrible, but hey, at least you’ve got them. Remember that when you’re fending off another bunch of disappointing Tinder matches.
“Raisins. It’s nature’s candy.”
This may not seem like a life-altering nugget of wisdom, but Chris Traeger’s dedication to eating healthy, working out, and becoming the first human being to reach the ripe old age of 150-years-old is pretty damn inspiring. He did that by constantly giving himself pep talks and reminding himself and others why organic, natural foods are the way to go. So the next time you’re on day three of a juice cleanse and willing to sacrifice your own mother for a McDonald’s happy meal, remember, nature has already given you everything you need.
“If I keep my body moving, and my mind occupied at all times, I will avoid falling into a bottomless pit of despair.”
For Chris Traeger, exercise wasn’t just an outlet, it was a way of life. He prided himself on his body, on the amount of vitamins he consumed on a daily basis, and on his incredibly low heart rate — which, as his doctors claim, could pump jet fuel into an airplane. But even with his persistent attitude of positivity, Traeger fell victim to bouts of depression and self-doubt. When those low valleys came, it was constant exercise coupled with his proclivity for multitasking that kept the dark thoughts at bay. Remember that the next time crippling anxiety threatens to keep you up for fifty hours straight.
“I’m not lonely, I have me.”
Chris Traeger experienced his own roadblocks on the path to love. Eventually, he found it with Ann Perkins but before the two shacked up and had a baby, Chris went from one failed relationship to another. At one point, things got so bad that even Ron Swanson worried about Traeger’s mental state but Chris, with the help of a therapist, found acceptance and happiness by flying solo for a time. It’s a good lesson for the next time you’re left reeling after a relationship comes undone.