Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Half empty to half full

I have a perpetually half-empty glass.

I can tell you forty five different things going wrong in my life at any given time. Real things, mind you, not imaginary. Not exaggerated. And boy, do I feel it. Number 32 sits on my left hip. Number 12 is on my right shoulder. Number 45 perches right on my head, probably looking at you. I am the master of all glasses half empty.

I have this friend, Christy. I've written about her before. Now, Christy is hilarious. Probably more than anyone else, she can make me laugh because she calls you on BS as soon as you breathe it. You don't even have to SAY it, just breathe it into existence. And she'll tell you, in Christy language, how it's all BS. She doesn't SAY BS. No, that would be too easy. Instead, she asks you probing questions that get you to realize you're full of BS. And that you insist on seeing your glass half empty.

I've known Christy for seventeen years. In all that time, I can only think of one time she hurt my feelings. I won't get into the hows and whys, but she knows and I know and when she was able, she apologized for it. I'd like to say I was gracious and forgave her right away, but I didn't. I held onto it for awhile. It fit--glass half-empty type. You know, poor me. How could my soul sister hurt me? How terrible she would be human, like me.

Time goes by, and I let go of it. Ironically, I don't remember Christy ever holding on to any of the hurts I've given her. Things that would probably have bothered me. Things I feel guilty about. But she's not that kind of person. Her glass is half full. Anything else is just, well, icing on the cake? Maybe extra ice in the glass?

Today I had a ridiculously bad day. And I fell into my glass half empty pattern that I am working so hard to fight against right now. It was almost too easy. Yesterday sucked too, and I was more than willing to let the stress on my body take its toll and feel sorry for myself. Who's been sucking out of my glass, people??? Funk mood. And I stayed in it all day. At work, and even at home. I talked with my dad and continued with my funk. Sipping the water lower in the glass. See how empty my glass is??? See how much it sucks???

I don't know what suddenly happened for me. Reading my email, petting my dog, watching my daughter...but suddenly I realized that the glass really is half full. I have this beautiful child who actually WANTS to spend time with me. Another child who puts forth effort in situations that are so easy for the rest of us but hard for him. My tiny little Gabi who thinks I hung the moon, especially if a treat is involved. A husband who is willing to run errands on days I feel like today. A mind that works and the ability to write, write, write.

My friend Christy is the bravest person I know. Although my son struggles with diagnoses that are frustrating at best and frightening at worst, her daughter is facing the possibility of loss of life in a few years at such a young age. And yet when I talk to Christy, her focus is on making her glass half full as much as possible. Laughing with her family, bussing her two teenagers to every event they have planned, playing with her toddler whenever she has the chance. And it occurs to me that maybe a glass half full is equivalent to a glass full of life and love. Glasses half empty are filled with fear and suffering.

When I first started therapy, my goal was to gain clarity. Now I find it changing. I want my glass to be half full. Despite the struggles I face, I want to be able to look at them with the mentality of blessedness, love, and gratitude. Little steps will get me there. Little steps and tiny sips from a glass half-full.


  1. Aww... Sweet. God that's a lot to live up to, and I just realized I forgot to put on deoderant today... Better get after that before someone realizes I really am human and actually stink sometimes. :-)

  2. Ha. You're so funny. Don't you realize you have nothing to live up to? It's just who you are. I love you for who you are, exactly that--no more and no less. You are my friend and my teacher and I love you just for you.

  3. I thought for a moment that you said that you fell into your glass half empty. Which would really suck, unless you needed a swim ;)