We all know of the common misconception about atheists/secularists: that we're all angry, bitter and hopelessly pessimistic. Such a generalization is as tenuous as any other, but that said, I feel there are a lot of pessimists walking around these days, no matter their personal philosophy. I'd surmised that I'd end up a pessimist as well, but I find that, as I advance in years, my negativity recedes more and more. That isn't to say I've become jovially naive, but I'm less likely to sneer and jeer the older I get.
This isn't without reason. One of those reasons is a columnist named Kathleen Parker. Formerly a conservative writer (she's much more centrist now), her opinions are sane, rational, and incisive. She placates to no one, and yet remains amiable and respectful. This particular column of hers: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/04/christians_at_the_gate.html illustrates my veneration of her; not simply because of her secularist message, but also the maturity with which she relays the message to those whom she otherwise extols.
The above-linked article is a wonderful example of rationality, and that's what supplants my optimism.
Please read it and tell me if you agree.