The Glass Half Full

We’ve been getting so much rain here in Colorado this May that I’m beginning to wonder if we should bypass the umbrellas that are well stocked in the entryway of the stores or go straight for the sporting goods section to fetch some life jackets. I’m pretty sure we’ve passed up Seattle at this point. In fact, this evening we’re expected to get a significant amount of snow, so my husband and I are planning to set the alarm a couple of times throughout the night to go outside and save the newly planted flowers and newly leafed trees by brushing off the heaviness of the snow. Definitely not a typical spring here on the Colorado Plains. And to add a little more variety, we were a little too close to a tornado on Thursday evening.

Tornado funnel

Probably not too smart to be standing out there watching, but I was with a bunch of friends as we all stood in awe of Mother Nature’s power ooohing and aaahhing as if watching a fireworks display. (I try to justify it by thinking we could have all held hands and our collective weight might have kept us on the ground. Okay, I’m reaching there…)

So where am I going with the whole “A Glass Half Full” concept? I’ve heard the phrase so many times over the years, as well as used it. But every once in a while I have an “aha! moment” and it really means something.

One of the few things in life we truly have control over is how we think about something. Whether we view it as a positive or a negative. And what we allow into our mind is usually what comes out in our thoughts and actions. Surrounding ourselves with positive people, positive influences, and positive media leads to positive thoughts, and…well, it all leads to a more positive, successful life. Some examples:

As tiresome as all this rain has been, not to mention that it’s expected to last all weekend, it gives me the opportunity to stay tucked cozily inside and get some good writing time in. I often complain that I’m so busy (more on that in a moment) there’s just not enough time to write like I want to. Well, here’s my chance. I can use those moments to do something I love (aka write) and have something positive to show for it, or I can let that time fritter away while I wish for something that’s not, and look back with regret.

I can complain about how busy I am in life and that “there’s just not enough hours in a day,” or I can be grateful for all of the opportunities given to me and all the experiences I’m privy to. I can worry about what time I’ll actually be able fall into bed at night or grateful that I have a warm, soft bed to fall into. This particularly hit home this morning as I was coming home from the recreation center and I saw a woman living under the steps of a church that closed several years ago. She had nothing but a sheet of black plastic to keep the cold rain out. Wow! Am I blessed!

This morning as we headed to the city’s recreation center to work out in a warm and dry facility since swimming has never been my strong suit (don’t get me wrong, running in the rain is one of the most refreshing and exhilarating activities, but dodging puddles and river overflow is a danger I’m not fond of), I said something to the effect of, “It would sure be nice to be able to run outside again,” complete with a tad of self-pity. Okay, maybe more than just a tad. My husband, the consummate optimist, replied–carefully–“but isn’t it nice that we have someplace we can still go and work out?”

Ghandi

I’ve complained about my job in the past and about the negativity that breeds there. Since I’ve chosen to be more positive, to change the people I interact with, and to be the change I wish to see there, I enjoy my job so much more and am, therefore, more successful and effective. I have a job I love to do (helping victims of crime) and am suddenly finding more spiritual, kind co-workers. They were there before, I was just too stuck in the muck of what I didn’t like in the office to see them.

And tonight when the snow begins to fall? I can appreciate the beauty and purity of the white flakes and be ever so grateful that it will gone within a few hours. 🙂

So now, while the rain is beating on the roof of the house, the droplets creating artistic rivers down the window pane before me, and my cup of hot coffee by my side, I’ve got some time to enjoy working on my revisions so I can get my book off to the editor.

Today, you have a choice how you view your world around you. Whether you look at the glass as half full or…well, don’t even make the opposite an option.

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties” – Harry Truman

57KH-Glass-half-full-wall-decal

Hodgepodge

There’s a lot that’s swirling around in my head these days, the top of that list being sheer gratitude for life in general. There’s something about starting and ending the day with a simple “Thank You” that makes all the rest in between all the sweeter. 2015-02-15 18.37.41 Estes Jan 2015 It’s hard to believe it was a few short weeks ago that my husband and I were enjoying our time in Estes Park for Valentine’s weekend, walking along the riverwalk in the falling snow, everything blanketed in a thick, pristine layer of white. Then cozying up in front of the fireplace with a cup of tea and a good book while the snow piled high outside the window. The weather this past week in Colorado has been beyond beautiful. Add to that the extra hour of daylight in the evenings–thank you Daylight Savings Time–and I feel completely rejuvenated. Once the sleep issues resolved themselves from the time change. But that’s a small price to pay for longer evenings and warmer weather. Yesterday I had the afternoon off work so I slipped into yoga pants and a T-shirt and camped out on the patio. I put my feet up and let the warm sun seep deep into my muscles, relaxing me into a state of bliss. The birds were flying in and out from the feeders, a squirrel ran along the top of the old wooden fence, three times, for the sole purpose of teasing Roxie, my dog, I’m sure–who took the bait hook, line and sinker–and the wind chimes chimed their magical meditative tune. I watched as Roxie settled into a state of complete contentment lying in the grass, head dipping as she dozed, and I savored every bite and crumb of a lemon muffin and every drop of a cup of coffee. It was better therapy than money could ever buy. While on the patio, I finished reading Louisiana Longshot: A Miss Fortune Mystery, by Jana DeLeon, an entertaining read that provided a healthy dose of laughter more than once, and one I would highly recommend. I will definitely be reading more of her work. I also tweaked the back cover copy of my book, Shear Madness, and have decided while editing that I don’t so much like the first person present tense. While present tense seems to add a sense of immediacy, it didn’t read smoothly. So on my next run through I’ll be changing it to first person past tense. I would be interested in hearing what you prefer–present tense or past? Which do you find easier to read? I’m thankful for all of my blogging–and blog reading–friends, and hope you all have a beautiful weekend. Carpe Diem

Thankful Thursday -The Smallest Hope

provoking sunrise

Recently I was laid up with an unexpected illness, accompanied by a level of pain I can’t ever remember experiencing.  On the third day I woke feeling relieved of the pain.  Until I tried to ride my bike and walk, both of which were not possible, as it brought the pain back full force.  However, what was a constant, won’t-let-up pain, did let up for a couple of hours.  And those couple of hours gave me strength, relief, and hope to carry on when the pain got bad again.  God knew what I needed and He provided.

This experience brought to mind other areas in which the smallest hope is glossed over as coincidence or not recognized at all.

When fretting over something I’ve said or done, something I try not to do but also something I have yet to master, and I’m caught in the middle of inner torment, that moment comes when I realize that God is all I need to please and the burden disintegrates into dust particles.

When in the middle of writer’s block or a stand-still in my writing life and that story idea pops out of nowhere, flashing through my conscious.

When guilt makes its ugly way into my writing time, telling me that’s time that should be spent doing something “important” and “worthwhile,” and then comes that comment from a friend or stranger telling me that something I wrote made such a difference to them.

When it’s been a gloomy, rainy spell and the sun decides to peek from behind the clouds for the briefest of moments, it’s rays creating the most beautiful iridescent streamers of light reaching all the way to the mountaintops.

When it’s been a long, dark, cold winter, and finally that burst of green comes through the thawing earth, showing the promise and hope of spring.

Crocus in Snow

When it’s been a difficult week at work, lots of noise, angry callers and co-workers, and then that afternoon happens that all is silent–the phones, the people, even the background noise.

When it’s been a morning, a day, a week, of feeling painful insecurity, and someone decides to make a comment about nice you look, how much you mean to them, or gives you a hug out of nowhere, letting you know you are valued.

When I’ve had a restless night, complete with unsettling dreams, and when reading the Bible during quiet time the next morning and the absolutely perfect Bible verse is laid out before me, lifting me up.

During these moments of hope, is my mind saying “It’s about time” or “Thank you.”  Each phrase is short, simple, yet place the heart in opposite hemispheres.  One shows the heart to be connected to oneself, while the other shows the heart to be connected to God.  One is negative, one is positive.  It’s all in how we choose to live and see life.  Glass half-empty or glass half-full.

Entitled or grateful.

Gratitude changes everything

Today I choose to be grateful.  And, God willing, tomorrow too.  But right now all I have is today.

Thank you God.

All is Grace