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.