Glass Half Empty? Half Full? Wrong Drink?


I am a positive person.

Always have been. I'm positive I'll blow it when I sing in public. Positive I can't write the book I've been struggling to write for two (2) years. (Did I mention two?) Positive I don't know how to parent. Positive my back is so degenerate that it goes out and sells drugs to homeless puppies without my permission, and I'll be stooped over double by the time I'm fifty. Which is an a few minutes. (Okay, a few years. But not that many.)

It's entirely possible that I don't always look on the bright side of life. And honestly, I really thought I did. Then I heard a friend telling about the endless struggles they have with their eight year-old daughter. She was born with multitudinous, inexplicable, and completely random-seeming birth defects. She is a brilliant child, always happy, and very much on top of things. She walks and talks with some difficulty and is mostly deaf, resulting in the need to wear hearing aids at a young enough age to be completely annoyed by them. But she's not.

Her mom was talking about how they recently took their daughter to a local Ear Nose Throat specialist, instead of going to the city forty miles away. This specialist performed a test in the region of the skull directly behind the young girl's ear–in a place she'd never been tested before. The results were such that the doctor felt he could perform a surgery that would increase the girl's hearing to merely moderate deafness from its current profound. Incredible, phenomenal news!

And then my friend's doctor told her he felt she should get a second opinion. So they took the girl up to the city, where the (brilliant) specialist there did a thorough exam and told her that he felt the risk of rendering her daughter totally deaf with the surgery was greater than the possible improvement. Therefore, they should not consider having it done.

Now here's the interesting part: My friend was filled with gratitude that this doctor had had the wisdom to save her daughter from the possibility of further deafness and difficulty. She was rejoicing.

And here's the Hmmm part: I was like, WHAT? She just had the hope that her daughter would be partially cured RIPPED right out from under her. That stinks! That's terrible! I'd be so mad! I AM so mad! Glass half empty? Heck, I want a new glass, baby!

So okay. First of all, one can see why my friend is the mother of this incredible daughter, and not me.  Second of all, I am in awe of this woman's ability to see the best in every situation. And she really does. And she really rejoices in it.  Third of all, I think my life would go better if I channeled this friend and noticed the best in every situation

I mean it's like those dwarves in C.S. Lewis' book, "The Last Battle." You know the ones: they're sitting in the dirt and straw in an old barn while Narnia is being destroyed around them. Then Narnia is reborn and it is gorgeous: endless rolling hills, grass, trees, flowers, Bambi and Minnie and Mickey and all of our Disney friends roaming everywhere. And these dwarves just sit on the ground convinced they are still wallowing in dirt and straw and refuse to see the beauty around them.

I do that. But I don't want to anymore. There's lots of bad out there, and it doesn't take much to see it. If that's all I look at, I guarantee that like the dwarves–and my half-empty glass–that's all my life will be. There's also lots of good out there. If that's all I look at, I guarantee that like my friend–and my half-filled glass–that's all my life will be.

Right. So, from now on: the key I have to whack with a screw driver to get my car to start? Stress-relief-ignition. The flu that we keep having over and over again? Extra vacation time. The slightly less than cushy paycheck? Credit Card Guard. Inability to get my spazzier side in control? Patience Workshop for my family.

If you think about it, the cup is never really empty anyway, is it? I mean, one half of it is full of water. But the other half is full of air. So . . . it's all good.

About Janiel 433 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


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