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. 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. 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. 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!