A blog reader actually said that to me yesterday. To quote my Dad’s mother, “Ha!” It is only because of my doggedly positive perspective that it may seem that way.
The proverbial glass of water is never partially empty because whenever the water is displaced, air is in there, so it is actually still completely full. I don’t obsess and fret about water depletion, but rather try to simply release my preconceptions and preferences about what should be filling the glass.
There are two sides to everything relative and we have a choice on what part of the equation we focus on. While fortunately nothing colossal, there are all sorts of niggling things wrong in my life, but because I have learned that you get more of what you focus on, I try to emphasize blessings and solutions rather than problems. If you look hard enough, there is always a context in which to find good.
So, yeah, I could rail about the snarl in my son’s dirty ponytail and his absurdly off-kilter sleep schedule, or instead praise his stellar work at a top ten school. I could growl about the inconsideration and poor planning of my oldest in leaving her graduate school applications to the last minute and disaffecting us all by dominating our recent holiday with them, or instead be encouraged that she is so faithfully involved with school and meaningful work that she has all these wonderful possible options to pursue. I could freak out that my young homeschooling charge blatantly refuses guidance from me when I have copious wisdom to offer that she obviously needs, or instead be glad she is at least attempting to stand on her own two feet and venturing on her own to learn how to internally motivate herself and make her own self accountable. It all can be a bit crazy-making, however, I am usually able to choose to nurture whatever leads to sanity and hope.
I’m loving all the good and will embrace inevitable progress when it occurs. I refuse to be depressed that I’m still over weight, my office is a disastrous heap of clutter, this website is not yet redesigned, and I have no money for travel. I remind myself how grateful I am for books, and art, and family, and health and safety and prayer. Those other issues will be best overcome by an attitude of love and compassion, instead of self flagellation and depreciation.
I watch toddlers learning to walk and I can’t help being impressed that no one complains that they repeatedly fall down, but everyone naturally encourages them to walk, and they do – with gusto!
In the meantime, maybe I’m more comfortable with uncertainty than most. Life is a creative process, full of unknowns and variables. And incidentally, as an artist and mathematician, I do find that charming.
(Artwork here by Emil Nolde)