Pause For Thought

I used to be a glass half empty person.

Years ago, I was invited to an Optimist Club meeting. The friend who invited me didn’t know me well enough to appreciate my disdain and suspicion towards clubs slash organizations. At the meeting, I joked repeatedly, suggesting my water glass was half empty. It didn’t take my friend long to realize inviting me was a mistake. Needless to say, I didn’t join the club.

I’m hyper-aware of my half-empty perspective. I am trying to train myself to take a mindful pause when I have a choice of perceptions. With a mindful pause, I can acknowledge my instinct to see the glass half empty. But I can also remind myself there are other ways of looking at the glass.

This morning, my day began well. Last night I forced myself to go to bed at 10PM. Recently I have been going to bed later and later. So I woke up early, well-rested and ready to meet the day. Showered, shaved, with a bounce in my step, I walked the half-mile to my coffee shop where I write almost every morning. I started unpacking my gear. I write on an iPad Mini with a full-size Apple keyboard for those who care.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered I forgot my iPad. I started to beat myself up. And then I took a mindful pause. It is a beautiful day in Washington, D.C. Sunny and brisk. So I left my backpack in my favorite seat at the communal table, walked back to my apartment savoring the moment and the day ahead while I listened to Bill Bryson explain the universe.

It was an eight ounce glass with four ounces of water moment. Despite a weekend of mourning over the anniversary of the end of my marriage, ironically on April fool’s day, I found compassion for me. Despite the doubting I have been plagued with lately, I didn’t connect the dots like I used to always do. Meaning, I didn’t simply yell “Eureka! More empirical proof Jon is worthless. Look at how irresponsible he is.”

I even joked with the cashier when I returned with iPad in hand.

“How’s it going?”

“Great!” Eye-roll. “Of course it would be going even better if I hadn’t forgotten my f’n’ iPad!”

“At least you didn’t have to go far to get it.”

“Exactly. And it’s a nice day to boot. Truth be told, the good news is I didn’t beat myself up over it. I would’ve once upon a time.”

“Awesome! Your regular order?”

As an empath, I probably volunteer too much information to strangers. It is just who I am and I am not particularly apologetic about it. I think it comes from a hope that by talking about my feelings without shame, I might help others. Considering how long it has taken me to recognize and accept that I’m not broken, but a work in progress, it is a journey I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I think I rationalize my oversharing as a means of paying it forward. Similarly to one of the two reasons I blog. I do it for me. And I do it for you.

Thanks for listening. Stay in touch.


P.S. A lovely little moment of kindness.

3 thoughts on “Pause For Thought

  1. I used to be a glass half-empty person, too! Now I just think: “there’s a glass.” There’s never a right or a wrong way in life (or so my study books tell me), but it’s your own perspective that colours the world around you. Good for you for realising this about yourself and for joking about it with the barista. That’s one small step for mankind, but a giant one for yourself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! What a great note to come across at the beginning of the day.

      I just went back to the post to see, and confirmed something your comment brought to mind. When I talked about taking a mindful pause and reflecting on having options in perceptions, I was careful not to say I am trying to be a glass half full person.

      I think it comes from accepting the Buddhist concept that you can have co-existing feelings. In that light, trying to always be a half-full person seems inauthentic.

      I hadn’t thought about it when I wrote the post. I think that’s a pleasing sign that I’m slowly turning around the ocean liner that is how I synthesize my emotions.

      And that, my friend is why the first metaphor of the day should never end up in final drafts. Ocean liner?

      Be well.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. It feels like we have to make a choice, doesn’t it? Negativity is bad so we all must try to be glass half-full people. The reality is different, because every day is different. We can’t ALWAYS be positive (or negative), it’s better to see the things the way they are. I’m happy to hear you’re learning to steer your ocean liner around 😉 Keep doing that, you’ll end up in a happier place 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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