A Glass Half-Empty ‘and’ a Glass Half-Full!

So, I’ve been missing in action for a bit and if I ask myself where I’ve been or what I’ve been upto — it’s a regular sort of reply in my head! I’ve been here and there, doing this and that, some nice things, some relatively unglamorous.Β  But when you move and people from your ‘past life’ ask you how things are, I’ve recently realised that it’s very difficult to answer honestly. Like, dead honestly! The truth really is a glass half-full just about as it’s half-empty and maybe all the ‘count-your-blessing’-type conversations we’ve ever had, have originated from this very predicament; the need to see the half-full in the half-empty.

How am I? Let’s see…I love where I am geographically, Dorset’s pretty (a bit of an understatement–but I don’t want to appear delusional)! The people are kinder than anywhere I’ve been and we’ve been made to feel very at-home both in the community and at school. We really couldn’t have asked for much more! I live in a house that I’ve chosen, designed and decorated just the way I’d planned for years and I love it- I feel like I’m home every single time I come in and at 37, that’s comforting and I get to share it all with the people I love the most in the whole world! (There you go, that’s the depth of my zen-seeking mind! ;P)

As blissful and ‘ near perfect’ as the above scenario seems and I swear that it’s the whole and complete truth, there is also the feeling of the glass half-empty….the sense of being a square peg in a round hole that is this world! As I write this, I hear the churning and guzzling of the dishwasher, I have a cup of weak tea in front of me laced with what seems to have become a quiet kitchen obsession-vanilla paste and honey.Β  I hope that it will stop the whirring in my mind and the incessant list-making I’ve taken to since we moved and especially this week as my husband leaves to Chicago soon for a bit and I’m holding fort alone. I look out into the darkness of night that’s playing out to the soundtrack of bush crickets and and am aware of the children asleep upstairs – one in the guest room because she’s in one of those moods that’s about every parent’s nightmare, leaving me with a lingering feeling of having been a bad mother and caused tears at bedtime. Of essentially being the antithesis of every motherhood commercial and parenting advice guide! I know I will remember tonight – sound memory and emotion are inextricably intertwined and great moments of introspection often happen while faced with the me I love, but also mourn! Life, in the best of circumstances, is hard and emotional resolutions lie at the heart of even the most commonplace circumstances.


A part of me questions why can’t we accept the glass half-empty conundrum, why do we need to quell it so…why are we always after that piece of cake, that online purchase, that absolute bone-marrow motivated ‘need’ to get over that slump of staring reality/disappointment/disillusionment squarely in the face? Like allowing ourselves to consider life disrobed from all it’s tinsel is in someway accepting the worst defeat, or potentially spiralling down into an abyss of no return. We aren’t perfect poeple and we clearly don’t inhabit a perfect world, so why should we be expected to exist in an unrealistic happy-bubble?

Oftentimes, I feel that so much of our self improvement is impeded by this incessant pursuit of happy-ness.Β  We’ve created social ecosystems to cater to this need of lives awash with our curated bliss, and perhaps that is part of the truth, but definitely far from any absolute! Aren’t the biggest changes borne out of reaching rock-bottoms? of being thrust against the wall and finding the way back? Hasn’t ‘necessity’ always been the mother of invention? Where does personal growth, re-evalution and honest re-assessments have a chance without the ability to see the possibility of something better? Think relationships, think finance — the two most volatile aspects of life as we know it! The glass half empty is sometimes a leveller- a realist’s perspective, it’s a chance to acknowledge that real problem solving is hardly something that swathes itself in mindless positivity and hedonism. So much of our modern maladies stems from the fact that our generation lacks the grit that our forebearers had and I, being no social expert, see the hand of complacent pleasure seeking in it!

I’m all for positive thinking and acknowledge firsthand the power of the mind! (I think my Instagram feed is testimony to my being very easily pleased), but of late, I find myself uneasy at being perceived ungrateful despite all that I’m blessed with, for feeling that gnaw of human emptiness, an existential angst or imperfection, call it what you may. The same feeling of the glass half empty in the face of unequivocal success, when celebrities holding their awards in hand, say it hasn’t hit them yet, and it probably never will! That lovely state of just being at peace or accepting that there are no limitless highs is what I call reality, and it’s very welcome in my life!




If you’ve liked reading this, I’d also recommend : Retro-Chic and the Cult of Neo-SobrietyΒ  and On Nouveau Peasantry & Elitist Simplicity!


  1. Lorraine says

    That was a most honest and real depiction of a good life, my dear! I’m so glad you pick up on what society is life in our ever shifting world. I enjoyed your very intelligently written post a lot. I completely understand where you’re coming from and it’s evident on every single social platform; our inability to cope with anything other than bliss. Keep writing more, I love it. XO

  2. says

    Whoop you are back and you know what………… when did we all feel that we were entitled to be happy all the time. That is was our right to be happy. I think when we stop looking for it then life becomes much better. I am content, not happy all the time, but pretty content. So enjoy what you have, make the most of the little things and end the day with three positive things (well this is what I tell my boys)!

    Keep writing
    Jen Walshaw recently posted…Engaging books for reluctant readers aged 8/9My Profile

  3. says

    Thank you so much for getting what I was saying, life is fine, great even…and for all that I am grateful! There are always spaces that will never be filled, but that’s ok, sign of the times I suppose πŸ™‚ Thank you for stopping by, L! XX

  4. says

    Exactly Jen, that’s what I always say, contentment is key, but the more I see people shy away from any admittance of a less than perfect life, the more it gets me thinking we’re on a collision course. Sometimes it’s nice to sit down and evaluate the real things! Love your three positive things advice, that’s something that could never hurt! πŸ™‚ x

  5. says

    So completely true! I’m so grateful for all that I have, but despite that there are days I feel rubbish, and I can see my friends/colleagues look at me and think of ways to get me out of that mode of thinking! I find that crazy, that we’re not allowed a moment off our happy clouds and no, I shall not be shopping to get my mind off it πŸ™‚

  6. says

    Great post, I think I have days where I am happy and content and appreciate the small things, days where I wonder how my life got reduced to this, and days where I am glowing with the joy of existence (tho that is mostly when drunk…) I don’t seek perfection, it sounds like bloody hard work to me, and I gave up on trying to be normal, cos it is boring! And welcome to Dorset from a fellow resident!
    sonya cisco recently posted…Eye, eye, it’s #SatCap time!My Profile

  7. says

    It is exhilarating as it is exhausting πŸ™‚ It’s brought a lot to our lives and the way we view the world so I have only good thimgs to say, so wishing you the vert best for what lies ahead πŸ™‚ x

  8. H.B says

    Especially real and very worrying is the glossing over relationships and financial state people find themselves and yes, rock bottom is the most positive thing to happen to someone in dire need of change! Every addiction program has that as it’s fundamental, you cannot change till that pivotal point. You’re spot on honey, shopping and escapism is a way to not have to deal with rot that’s set in in more important places. So pleased to see that apart from the existential angst, life is great, yes? Sending you all my love.

  9. says

    I think you have become wise in accepting the truth of what life really is. It will never be 100% but hey, as a mum who lost a little one, even 50% is good now and I try and see the best in every single day and each moment. Life will never be perfect but it sounds that you have ticked off most of the main elements: a family, a warm and comfortable home, a sense of belonging. Enjoy it all!xx
    oana79 recently posted…On the fourth day of Christmas…My Profile

  10. says

    Oana, thank you for sharing that-I can’t even imagine the strength you must have to keep you smiling! More power to you and yes, the only way to make our 50% more than that is to live each day with gratitude and insight!

  11. says

    I think I am a live in the moment gal but then I haven’t just moved house. That is immensely absorbing, I am sure I would not be living in the moment if I was about to or had just moved. I hope given time you will be able to find your mojo again and position it exactly where you want it to be. Be gentle on yourself for now πŸ™‚

    Good to see you back tho’!
    sustainablemum recently posted…Moments…My Profile

  12. says

    Lovely to hear from you @sustainablemum, good to be back πŸ™‚ Thank you for your kind words, it’s nice to be back in the middle of it all, again! πŸ™‚

  13. says

    I agree, we are often told that we should be happy pretty much all of the time. I know some people that actually feel unhappy because of the expectation to be this happy for the majority of their time which is impossible and therefore, they feel like failures. What a strange world this has become!
    Bek recently posted…Zip Stix ReviewMy Profile

  14. says

    So true, isn’t it! And to foster a culture where blotting out the ‘real’ can only result in a disoriented perception of life and expectations. Thank you for stopping by, Sarah! πŸ™‚ xx

  15. says

    Finally I found a quiet moment to leave you a little note! Fab post, as always, friend! I believe a lot of people, myself included, struggle with the grey tones of every day life. If you’re not constantly happy, excited or “stoked” (thank you, blogosphere, for enlarging my vocabulary!), you feel like you’re missing out. I firmly believe that we have the power to decide how we look at our challenges but there will be those grey or even black periods that we just have to work through, and where a positive attitude may be hard to find.
    So lovely to read you again! xx

  16. says

    Dear Elisabeth, it’s such a pleasure to hear from you! And thank you for enjoying my humble (often confused) outpourings! You got what I was trying to say spot-on…that I feel guilty, like I’m not altogether ok for feeling low/grim/empty even at times! Life is not a party 24/7 despite all the goodness we have in our life and wish people would stop expecting us to “snap out of it” with a piece of cake/retail therapy or a holiday…all of which I love, btw, but not as escapism. I hope you’re well πŸ™‚ Coming over to check what you’ve been writing! xx

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