Monday, June 6, 2011

A Glass Half-Full Kind of Day

Last Friday, I ate at Arby’s and when I went to fill my drink cup, I noticed the slogan on the side—“It’s gonna be a glass half-full kind of day.” Well, after all, it was Friday, and I had to agree with the slogan 100%.

If it had been a Monday, I might have thought a little harder about whether it was a glass half-full, or half-empty, kind of day. I don’t do Mondays well since it’s hard for me to get back into the grind after a weekend. Whether I’ve slept late each day of the weekend, or awakened early, it seems the week always begins out of kilter. I’m changing routines and suffer brain lag from the transition from weekend standard time to daylight rise-and-shine workday time. So, Mondays, in general, are a half-empty kind of day—at least until I’m caffeined up and ready to go.

Last Saturday was definitely a half-full kind of day. My mom came to my house and we were able to spend the day together. I’ve learned to appreciate a day with family. It seems that during our growing up years, we don’t fully appreciate family. Parents tell you what to do and when to do it (how dare they?) and siblings like to argue (they are always wrong!). Cousins are easier to like than siblings when you are growing up because you don’t have to live with them. Love them or want to strangle them, spending time with family fills the glass.

Optimists look at a glass and see it as half full. We all know that no matter how thirsty you are, a half glass is most assuredly better than none. The optimist feels blessed to have a half glass of cold, fresh water.

A dry-mouthed pessimist might look at the same glass and go, “Oh, golly gee, that half glass just isn’t enough water to moisten my parched tongue.” He begins to feel sorry for himself. “If I don’t get enough water, then my tongue will be so dry I may never speak again . . .” and so on until he breaks out in a sweat. He may question whether the water is fresh or if the glass is clean. He has high expectations and a mere half glass falls short.

After we marry and have children, we have some half-empty days when the budget is straining at the seams, the car breaks down, the dog dies, or heaven forbid, a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

When Jim was diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, we couldn’t even see the glass, much less determine whether it was half empty or half full. If we could have seen the glass, I believe it would have been empty—at first. Alzheimer’s is a slow process, and if you let the news ruin your life, you might as well throw the glass on the floor and stomp it. But you know what that means? A shattered glass will never hold liquid again. If the glass is broken, even a half-empty glass is an improvement. That is when you move from depression to pessimism, and with a little gratitude for winning small battles, it’s not that difficult to see the glass as half-full. A half-glass kind of attitude might be all that helps you through the tough times. If you let your inner strength kick in, you move forward with determination that better days are ahead.

In life, attitude and the happiness factor may vary from day-to-day, so a goal for a happy life is to have more half-full kinds of days than half-empty ones. Having a few down days shouldn’t affect a glass half-full attitude about life. Who knows, with an optimistic attitude adjustment, the glass may overflow with possibilities.

Copyright © June 2011 by Linda Fisher
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