Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sleeping with Bread: Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

You know that old story about the pessimist child and the optimist child who are presented with a room full of manure? The optimist child just knows that given that big pile there's a pony in there somewhere.

Well, I've been thinking about doing a Sleeping with Bread post for quite awhile now but have struggled with what to say. There's the potential for me to dwell on the big pile right now but I know that there's a pony in there somewhere. A pony covered in something smelly, maybe, but a pony nonetheless.

Without further adieu...

So far this year, what has left you feeling like your glass is half empty?

I feel like I am looking at a system-wide failure right now. Physically, I haven't exercised in months and months. School was so time and energy consuming AND I didn't have someone to exercise with due to conflicting schedules. Combined with my sleep apnea therapy not working out for months and I am something of a wreck. I've gained quite a bit of weight since December and I just don't feel good about how I feel or how I look. Blech!

Spiritually, I am in the same boat. I have not paid attention to my spiritual formation and it shows. Maybe not to the general onlooker, but it shows to me and I feel somewhat paralyzed to address the issue.

In regards to relationships, I am a weak participant on almost every level. I've become somewhat isolated due to my lack of energy and time. Although I have more time now that school is out, I am such a sloth that I am not making much effort to connect with people.

(Are you getting sick of this whining yet? I promise I am going to move on to more positive stuff soon!)

My dad died this year. It is a situation and history so complex that a Gordian Knot is the best metaphor to describe it. The story continues to add to its complexity with the administration, or rather, attempted administration of the trust. Additionally, this summer, I have been dealing with other family issues. Junk from the past. Nothing new going on--just reminders of what has been.

Finally, we've been dealing with some issues with my son's jaw. It started locking up and wouldn't you know it, he is one of less than 5 percent of people who complete orthodontic work with potential TMJ problems. It just kills me that he has to deal with this and until we know for sure (and it is very likely) that he won't need surgical intervention, I'm not going to be at ease.

I was talking with a friend the other day about all of this and I remembered the Undertoad from The World According to Garp. All of this stuff combined makes me feel like the Undertoad is there, lurking in the waves, waiting for me.

Okay, finally...

What in the last year has left you feeling like your glass is half full?

Paul has been incredibly patient and understanding through the whole "year of getting used to grad school." He values, I think, what I am doing and what it means to me and how it can benefit our family.

Colin has been a pleasure this year. Of course, he is a teenager, so we're not talking perfection here. Beyond some stereotypical conflicts with grades, sibling interaction and what not, I have been very proud to see how he has been handling himself. He's been great about his license and is taking the privilege of driving very seriously. We've had some conversations about Life, the Universe and Everything and I have to say, he has impressed me with his insights and outlook. There are definitely some areas in which he is farther along at 16 than I was. He's a kid who inspires trust.

Marley is growing up. I love watching her change as her body and mind continue to grow. She is back in gymnastics and I get such a kick out of what she can do. She has had the opportunity this summer to meet family who are about her age and spend lots of time with friends. She is eager to enjoy her life and although that can be exhausting for Paul and I at times, I love her joie de vivre.

School has gone well. I've learned a lot and met a lot of great people. I went into this program with an idea that I would enjoy and am thrilled to find that I not only enjoy it, I think I am going to be good at it... once I am finished. I still have a year to go and I won't finish in May 09 as I planned. Instead, due to a scheduling problem with some classes, I will finish in July 09. No worries. I may not get to walk for commencement but I will get to look for work for the fall.

So, while there is lots of stuff which is weighing me down somewhat, there is still so much to be grateful for. And... so much of this stuff is within my power to change. I can exercise, I can pay attention to my spiritual formation, etc. If I can work on some of those changes, the balance can be shifted significantly and I won't be look at a glass half full OR empty, but a glass that is simply full and overflowing.


Terri B. said...

I've never heard the version using the manure and the pony. I'm going to remember that. I'll start looking for the pony. Great post!

I still need to talk to you about getting together.

Anonymous said...

And there's that pony.

atypical said...

you know, even when we don't get to talk, twindom erupts. I have been trying to bring myself to write a similar post for months.

hopefully more to come, but no promises....


Mary-LUE said...

t, I'll be waiting... but not holding my breath! ;)

Beck said...

I love how you ended this post - and I love that pony store! Ha! I think that your attitude towards your busy, full life is beautiful.

Aliki2006 said...

First of all, I had never heard that version with the pony and the manure! It made me laugh out loud.

I generally consider myself a glass half full kind of person but, every now and then, I do feel my glass is drained. I think this is natural, in a way--like a system of checks and balances to ensure that we really do treasure all we do have.

John Ross said...

Wow! You certainly seem to be in a position to view a wide swath of the tapestry of potential human experience. dig for that pony, dig / pony, dig......;)

EnnuiHerself said...

Thank you for this post and thank you for the kind comment on my blog. Both were very uplifting.

I see a lot of poop in my life right now, there's *bound* to be a pony around here somewhere . . .