I have become a “glass half empty” type of person. I’m not sure exactly when that occurred but it’s definitely true. Whenever something comes up as a possibility, I think about the risks associated with it and start preparing myself to deal with those possible traumas and disappointments.
It drives Lynn crazy.
Lynn is very optimistic. He looks at the possibilities and he believes in potentials. He talks about walking again and building the house we started years ago. I respond with, “you have a lot of muscle groups to retrain. Don’t get disappointed if you are not able to walk by the time you want to be able to do so.” In my mind, I don’t see walking even as a possibility. In his mind, he feels that as long as he keeps a positive attitude and keeps trying, anything could happen. I want to be more like Lynn.
So with that in mind, I’ve decided to turn over my glass and let it be half full today.
- Instead of dirty carpets that are covered with stains that can never be removed, I see the blessing of dirty carpets that can have anything spilled on them and it not matter at all. What’s one more stain?
- Instead of worrying about cleaning up the clutter that has accumulated around the house, I see that I have immediate access to the things I need without having to climb step-ladders or go to the attic.
- Instead of being sad that I never get to go shopping to pick out new clothes or browse whatever might be there, I realize that I’m not being exposed to the flu and other ailments so many others are getting from being in crowds and sharing door handles.
- Instead of feeling sorry for myself because I can’t go into work and see people face-to-face so that I get a chance to get away, I’m thankful that I don’t have to put on make-up and do my hair and I can work at my desk in my scrubs and slippers while participating in conference calls with directors and VPs.
- Instead of complaining about all the medical equipment we have stored in all our spare rooms, I’m thankful that he has access to so many things and is making progress toward moving back to the less dependent modes of movement.
- Instead of complaining that he’s playing his music so loud I can’t hear myself speak when I’m at the other side of the house, I am thankful that with the music I can hear him sing when for so long he didn’t have the breath to say a full sentence.
I know that as a caregiver, I have to think about the “what ifs” and have contingency plans. I know I am responsible for his safety and for realistically planning for what lies ahead. But I’m thankful that Lynn isn’t like me. I’m thankful he doesn’t give up and he keeps hope alive.
I’m thankful that we are different; that he’s “half full” to my “half empty” and that when we blend together we are both “full.”