Thursday, January 03, 2013

How Full Is Your Glass?

My daughter dropped me off at home yesterday just after dark. We'd spent the afternoon  seeing a really good movie (Life of Pi) with a new friend, and I was in a great mood. Coming from the cold and rain into my cozy house felt like walking into a warm hug, and Levi and Gimpy made me smile with their obvious delight at having me home again. Life is good, I thought for the umpteenth time of the day.

The good mood lasted through the evening, only beginning to wane after I read something online that oozed negativity. I know I'm susceptible to getting the blues after too much exposure to other people's bad moods. In fact, it's taken me years to learn that sometimes I can do or say something to lift someone's spirit, and sometimes, for the care and well being of my own inner child, I just need to step away.

Anyway, that set me to thinking about optimism versus pessimism. I know some people for whom the glass always seems to be half full and others who usually find it half empty. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that "half empty" and "half full" don't cover all the variations. There's a whole scale of possibilities in that glass.

My own optimism, for example, is frequently tempered by an innate ability to spot a potential problem the way a hawk spots a field mouse. (It's why I'm usually never caught in the rain without an umbrella.) My kids would be quick to tell you that once I think I've uncovered a possible glitch, I feel compelled to point it out. That's true, unfortunately, but only (as the lawyers say) out of an abundance of caution. I don't dwell on it. So, most days I could declare confidently that my glass is half full, but on other days I might say, "My glass is already down to half full; isn't it good that I noticed it so I can refill it before the reservoir goes dry?"

Consider another woman I know. I see her infrequently (by choice) because her glass is always, always half empty or below. Also, it's always someone else's fault. Her response to the half full or half empty question would likely be, "While I was away today, some sorry son of a gun (and I'm pretty sure I know who it was) came to my house and drank half my water. He thinks I'm stupid, but he's got another think coming! He prob'ly tells everybody, 'Oh, she's got plenty of water.' He believes he's, like, entitled to any and everything I have, and he couldn't care less whether I live or die. People can be sooo cruel."

So what about you? Is your glass clearly half full or half empty? If it's not so clear, how would you characterize it?


  1. Half full and then some. Always!

    Also, was just thinking. You have a new camera! Join me on the photo-a-day challenge for January. I haven't joined a site to post my photos, the prompts are just good to get me going with ideas. I'd love to see your interpretation! Plenty of time to catch up or start today or tomorrow! :-)

    1. You
    2. Breakfast
    3. Something you adore
    4. Letterbox
    5. Something you wore
    6. Makes you smile
    7. Favorite
    8. Your sky
    9. Daily routine
    10. Childhood
    11. Where you sleep
    12. Close-up
    13. In your bag
    14. Something you’re reading
    15. Happiness
    16. Morning
    17. Water
    18. Something you bought
    19. Sweet
    20. Someone you love
    21. Reflection
    22. Your shoes
    23. Something old
    24. Guilty pleasure
    25. Something you made
    26. Color
    27. Lunch
    28. Light
    29. Inside your fridge
    30. Nature
    31. You, again

  2. This post made me thoughtful. I want to be a glass-half-full person but have periods of being half-empty. Those periods seem to snowball as well and it usually takes something startling to jolt me back into the reality of how good my life is and how lucky I have been. Mostly I think it's a matter of actively paying attention to the positive and trying not to slide down the slippery slope of self-pity.

  3. Duly Inspired, thanks for suggesting this challenge. I'm having fun with it.

    Writing My Novel, I know exactly what you mean, and I understand your struggle. What you may not know is that you radiate positivity. I always feel uplifted in your company, even when the subject of our discussion is serious or sad. After all that's happened, you still seem to find joy in life's absurdities, and you have the greatest laugh ever!

  4. Thank you so much for that; you have made my day. I miss you!


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