I saw this old quote with a twist recently, “It doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty, just be glad you have a glass with something in it.”
I’ve always thought of myself as the kind of person whose glass is not just half full but overflowing. Life is a busy and full endeavor for me. Sure, some days it feels empty when I’m having a slow time, but that usually changes fast. I have never thought about it not mattering how much or how little you have inside the glass, but that you have a glass with something in it.
What does having a glass look like? What does having a glass mean? Would having a glass be different to you than to me?
Does it matter what the glass is made of? Does it matter if it is plain or ornate? Does it matter if it’s glass or ceramic or fine china or plastic? Does it matter what color it is? Or if it has words or a design on it? Does it matter if the sides are smooth? Or if it’s cut glass? Or tapered or straight sided? Or if it’s tall or short? Or round or square?
Wow. How many different kind of glasses have we ever used and not thought about it. It was just a glass to have a drink out of. But what about that other kind of glass that the saying is talking about, the one that is our emotions, our dreams, our experiences, our thoughts, our life?
As a wedding gift all those years ago, we were given a lovely set of glasses. There were eight of them. They were tall, 16 ounce glasses. They were clear with yellow butterflies on them. They were really very pretty. I can hear your waiting for the but. Yes, there is a but.
But as lovely as they were, I really am not a yellow kind of person. In the late 1970’s yellow and orange were big colors for just about everything, just not a color I wanted a lot of in my home. Ok, back to the glasses and what they have to do with all of this. We used those glasses when we were not using plastic. Then, when we were getting ready to move across the country, we had to reduce the amount of things we had, so a huge yard sale was in order. I sold my yellow dishes and the butterfly glasses.
I replaced the yellow dishes with totally white dishes. Thinking practically, they would go with any color tablecloth at any time of year. The glasses were replaced with an upward tapered glass tinted a light blue. I still have these dishes and glasses.
So what does that have to say about my glass being overflowing or at times being empty? I think it says a lot.
I have always loved using my blue glasses. They are the right weight and size for my hands. They feel good as I drink my many glasses of water each day. They remind me of making a choice, even if subconsciously, that I can choose what I want in my life. I want things that are beautiful to me around me, even if it’s just a glass.
In the spring of 2016 I moved and was not in my own home, but someone else’s. I was not going to stop drinking water, so I used their glasses. They were fine glasses, but, here’s that word again, they were heavier. They were a different shape, clear, and felt very different in my hand. They felt awkward.
Now this could have just been that I was feeling overwhelmed by amount of things I needed to get done very quickly. It could have been the amount of stress that those situations were creating in my world. It could have been the move itself. I found one of my blue glasses and started using it. It created a sense of the familiar.
I am now again in a home that is not mine as I care for my elderly father. The glass that sits by my computer is different also. I have been using it for 5 months now since I can’t get to my blue glasses. It’s an okay glass, about the right weight, with dimples for fingers. One that I’ll keep using for a while.
So what about this being half full or half empty and that there’s something in it? I see the glass as metaphor for our lives. I think the glass we physically use on an everyday basis speak to us in subtle ways. If the glass is comfortable, we are at ease, we can tackle bigger things in our lives. We can have many things happening at one time, cope with it all, and in many cases excel. It’s about being able to make the choice of what that glass looks like. What our lives look like.
When we feel uncomfortable, the glass is more empty, things become harder to cope with, harder to do, and it’s harder to see the good.
So it really doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty, just be glad you have a glass with something in it.
That something is whatever you want to choose. But pick a glass you’re comfortable with. That fits you. That makes you smile and happy to use. Then fill it to overflowing with joy, laughter, and the things you love.