Half full, half empty, or neither?

5 Jan 2020
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I remember a therapy session with a giant bearded Canadian in the group. I had carefully listed my woes but then, in a moment of self-perception for which I expected to be commended, announced that this was my 'cup half empty tendency.' I admitted I had a tendency to be negative, but said I wanted to see my situation as more 'glass half full'.

I loved the Canadian's response. "What do you mean, half full or half empty? Your cup is neither. Your cup runneth over!" He then rapidly listed a whole number of things I had chosen to ignore or overlook. He was right! A lot of people would like to have been dealt the hand of cards providence gave me, and has continued to deal me.

I have shared this story on numerous occasions. And now, a young male friend called Tom quotes it back to me when I display symptoms of negativity. It never fails to bring a smile to my face and my heart.

Zenas

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Maggie May

Jan. 5, 2020, 12:09 a.m.

Hi Zenas, thank you for the blog. My relative good fortune unfortunately just makes my mental illness harder to accept. It brings on the guilt for feeling the way I sometimes do. The depression does not need a reason.

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Molly

Jan. 5, 2020, 1:52 a.m.

Hi Maggie, hope you are ok? I agree about depression and I didn’t really understand the blog to be honest. Molly xx

Maggie May

Jan. 5, 2020, 8:01 a.m.

Morning Molly, thanks for asking. I was quicker than you to reply today!! Sleep problems getting the better of me, but that is in a way good news for me. The depression lifted and now I’m in my manic , can’t sit still, can conquer the world phase .I love this bit - but not everyone around me does! I hid away from everything for a while - even Moodscopers - but I’m back my friend. Xx

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Molly

Jan. 5, 2020, 5:29 p.m.

Always good to see you back Maggie! Take it easy though, pace yourself of you can! Molly xx

Dawn

Jan. 5, 2020, 8:05 a.m.

Hi Molly Zenas was viewing her situation negatively and leaving her focus there. The bearded man could see how fortunate she was in her situation and would love to have been in her shoes, pointing out the positives in her situation, E. G. I sometimes wish I had a larger house with more money to decorate, etc, but then think I am fortunate that my house is in a good neighbourhood, is conveniently placed for busses, shops, etc and is in good shape structurally so doesn't need much money spending on it. I hope this helps. Dawn x

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Molly

Jan. 5, 2020, 5:31 p.m.

Thanks Dawn xx

Maggie May

Jan. 5, 2020, 8:23 a.m.

Hi Zenas, a positive mental attitude is definitely a good thing to nurture. We all have something we can be grateful for and can be humbled by people able to see the positives in sometimes very dire circumstances. The Pride of Britain makes me cry every time at the horrid things some people must endure but are still able to smile , find some joy in life, and even use their reserves of energy to help others. I was merely reflecting that it concerns me that my depression is not , or at least does not seem to be linked to life events , money or lack of it . That makes it difficult to do anything about, and if I don’t understand it how can I expect those around me to . Here I am understood and not judged or even worse pitied. Thanks again for the blog, I know some of us will identify with needing to strive to be more half full.

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Mary Wednesday

Jan. 5, 2020, 8:43 a.m.

Hello Zenas, your blog made me smile - in a good way! I was moaning to my sister one day and she said to me, "Mary, you're looking at the holes, not the cheese. And you've got a great big block of cheese!" In fact, I blogged about it a couple of years ago. But then, I blog about everything! (Grinning face emoticon!)

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Liz

Jan. 5, 2020, 9:01 a.m.

I love that analogy. As a cheese lover it resounds with me too!

Ruth

Jan. 5, 2020, 8:53 a.m.

I don't think you can compare to someone else. One person's reality is different from another's. I was taught that I always had to hide my emotions or I would "be given something to cry for". I had to learn as an adult that it is OK to cry, in fact it is healthy. As for negativity, it is extremely difficult to "wade through the deep water" of depression and trying to be positive is impossible when you are in those depths. So sorry but I cannot agree, sometimes negativity is not avoidable.

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Sally

Jan. 5, 2020, 8:57 a.m.

Zenas, thank you , a very interesting and pertinent piece. I love your Canadian and his response ! I think it’s entirely right to be shown our good fortune when all we see are the negatives in our life. However, I’d also say that in deep depression, knowing how relatively fortunate we are doesn’t lift the depression. It adds to the guilt of not being able to find joy in the world. It’s all a question of where we are along the line and how “stuck” we feel.

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Liz

Jan. 5, 2020, 9:06 a.m.

Hi Zenas, I think it's someone else pointing out what you can't see when you are in that fog which sometimes seems destined to never lift. I was getting wound up about all the things yesterday that hadn't been completed that were kind of promised in our house and garden and my husband said to me... but think about what we actually have done. This year there is so much I want to achieve but I won't set deadlines or have timelines... it will be done in its own sweet time. My problem is wanting to get to the next stage without enjoying what I have now. I hadn't written for a while for my self employment and had a new idea for a potential new business and felt really quite stuck yesterday and sad mentally, and I just picked something else that was winding me up, like a sort of self-torture if you will. One of my friends practises daily gratitude and it helps her. I do think though that outside influences play a huge part in that feeling of helplessness such as the state of the world and the unfairness in life, things that are totally out of our control. I can see why some of us want to stay in a bubble that can't be burst by others. I know I go into my own bubble for my own sanity. Thank you for your blog. x

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Jul

Jan. 5, 2020, 9:33 a.m.

Hi Zenas. I'd love a hunky bearded Canadian as my therapist or maybe a big bearded Icelandic! I'm sure I'd feel better in an instant. What a great way of looking at life. Thank you for your blog Zenas. Nice to see you here and a very happy brimming 2020 to you. Jul x

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Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 5, 2020, 2:40 p.m.

You made I laugh out loud, Jul!!! Bear xx

Jul

Jan. 5, 2020, 4:35 p.m.

*** Jul xx

Molly

Jan. 5, 2020, 5:25 p.m.

Lol Jul, if you had disclosed when your birthday is, I would have sent you one xx

The Gardener

Jan. 5, 2020, 11:40 a.m.

Now positive a 'square' old lady who has not caught up with things. The phrases 'Glass half empty/full', 'The Elephant in the Room', 'Thinking outside the Box' seem to have missed me out. Where have I been? Just been to mass, the sun shone, we had the 'Galette des rois' (trad greetings for all organisations in France in January) endless kissing, good wishes, and, sadly, lots of people ill - but we are an aged congregation. My 'glass half full' may correspond with cont . . . .

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The Gardener

Jan. 5, 2020, 11:45 a.m.

There seems no way of coping with 'Time out' here in France. I have been criticized for not having enough 'empathy' with Leah. Had full report on the disaster today. But on glass half full/empty the story of the kindness of strangers, the community spirit, is heart warming. If ONLY it could continue after the 'media circus' has gone, and a 'new' community spirit can rise from the ashes. Most important (mind in turmoil here) to learn lessons and adhere to everything on 'climate change'. Thanks Zenas, you have left me with mind in a whirl.

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Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 5, 2020, 2:59 p.m.

'Hi TG, yesterday you wrote "Difficult to believe that 'This too shall pass'." I don’t think it was read correctly. After such devastation, it is difficult in Leah’s position, to believe this will pass, but time, family, communities and at some point the Australian government will be able to start rebuilding lives. Having looked back at the responses, TG, I don’t think you said anything out of turn. You do show empathy for everyone but at the same time you include snippets of life where you live....because life has to go on. Poor Nicco has recently lost her beloved brother and although we sent sympathies to her the day she let us know, it is hard for everyone to remember to ask after her every day, and maybe she wouldn’t want us to, who knows? I have been thinking about her and also cannot get Leah and her OH's plight out of my head. They all have so much to come to terms with and to get their heads around, but I know they are grateful that Moodscopers are thinking of them with love and compassion. Love and Bear hugs ***

The Gardener

Jan. 5, 2020, 3:27 p.m.

Thanks Bear, difficult, with this 'Time Out' not to give wrong impression. What I THINK I wanted to say is that if you do not BELIEVE there is a future, the present is too awful. And thinking plants and trees IS regeneration. Muddled Gardener x

Molly

Jan. 5, 2020, 5:22 p.m.

I’ve been thinking about Nicco too. She does tend to have breaks on here in usual circumstances but I’m sure she will update us when she feels like it. She knows we are here. I think also, it’s difficult when you are keeping many people informed, in these situations, having to go over the same things, it can be exhausting. I probably did misread gardeners words but it was all still a bit raw for me, still is to be honest. But I realise it’s difficult to know what to say and that misunderstandings often occur on text.

Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 5, 2020, 5:38 p.m.

Thank you Molly - good to get these things cleared up. It’s all raw and shocking for everyone and having just seen the latest news bulletins on Australia’s fires which then that gets followed by the Awards Season in America - I had to switch the ‘news’ off because I felt so sickened. But that’s life - stuff just carries on. Bear x

Orangeblossom

Jan. 5, 2020, 12:30 p.m.

Thanks for your thoughtful blog which is also stimulating Zenas.

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Valerie

Jan. 5, 2020, 2:20 p.m.

I think we all need to remind ourselves of the things we have to be grateful for.I know many people would think I have the life of Riley,and think I should be ashamed of feeling despondent.I can understand that.I think Sally is right,low mood alters and distorts our perception.You can rationalise all you like,but everything just seems so grim.You know you should be thankful but you can't fake it.That's depression for you.Thanks for this blog Zena.x

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Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 5, 2020, 3:15 p.m.

Good afternoon Zenas, Living with depression is horrid. Learning to look at my 'lot' in life and be grateful is so difficult when I am depressed. Normally, I am a glass half full or even full to bursting type of Bear, but when I’m low and just cannot stop tears springing to my eyes it is hard to see what’s in front of me. Harder still to try and get jobs done! Today, unfortunately, started badly with a low hanging over me: father's anniversary. Even though it’s been 24 years since he died) I miss him so much. We ate and drank with lovely friends last night, both of whom have lost their wives this last year so it was a bittersweet evening and as I’ve said above to TG, I cannot get Leah and Nicco out of my thoughts. But then, the day has changed, Mr. Bear took the doggits for a walk so I could get on and after a little weep it has become a full-to-bursting day. Christmas tree down and back in the garage; ornaments went back into boxes Friday. The last few things have been packaged away and I have felt ever so grateful for actually being able to do these mundane jobs whilst thinking of Moodscopers and knowing what others are going through. Cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming, opening windows to let in the fresh air has been cathartic, and today I am very grateful. Love and Bear hugs all round to all who need a liddle squish x x x

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Ach UK

Jan. 5, 2020, 3:51 p.m.

Hi Bear, Soundd good, You're a couple days ahead of me lol and I am going to piggyback off your brisk tone and pack up the remains of Xmas into the loft. A liddle squish would be great too. Thank you. Hope the doggies get (ssh! ) another walkies before we loose the sunshine. XX Ach.

The Gardener

Jan. 5, 2020, 4 p.m.

Hello Ach - French do not take decorations down till end January, so can have lights for a bit longer. Grey and gloomy here. I am still in 'suspended animation', no concentration. 'Faffing' need a good kick! xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 5, 2020, 5:44 p.m.

Ach ;)*. Ended up washing kitchen and hall floors too then Mr. Bear said he needed a little Sleepio so would I mind walking the doggits?!! So have been out and fed and watered them and they’re lucky happy doggits and Mr. Bear got his sleep! I’m pooped now so grateful we have an easy supper this evening! Squishy hugs winging their way to you ;) xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 5, 2020, 5:49 p.m.

TG - I’m not so superstitious anymore so would like to leave things up longer, but I need to clean properly whilst I’m ‘up’ and happy to get it done! Otherwise I may not feel like it another day!! Reminds me of the ‘don’t put off until tomorrow ‘ saying ;) xx ps - kitchen still has schparkly lights up as they are there all year round and they make me happy! Oh and I can’t believe I haven’t killed the poinsettia Baby Bear gave me for my hippo birdie!!! Lol ***

The Gardener

Jan. 5, 2020, 3:31 p.m.

Zenas, Bear and others. My glass is full in that I am not depressed. But around me? 1. Brexit, profoundly disquieting, the 100,000's in my situation have no idea what will happen. 2.France, violent demonstrations, disruption of transport, threat of general strike. 3. World, fires in Australia, planet warming, and Trump and Iran. In 1956, 11 years after end of one war, we drove across Salisbury plain. Coming the other way were convoys of desert camouflaged military vehicles going to Suez. Cont ...

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The Gardener

Jan. 5, 2020, 3:41 p.m.

I was 21, one little boy, pregnant with another child. It looked as though we were heading for a major conflagration in which my husband, then only 26, would probably be asked to serve (more men 'on the ground' in less technological times). Five grand-children live or work in London, train strikes and terrorist risks. One of their wives is pregnant, joy. Selfishly, I want there to be a world for this newcomer. So Zenas MY glass is very full - like your Canadian, what AM I worrying about? xx

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Molly

Jan. 5, 2020, 6:01 p.m.

Hi Zenas I agree with what others say here and explain so well. I do however try and look at positives as much as I can. There don’t seem to be many, but on general terms, and excluding depression in this (as said, impossible when depressed) just to try and keep sane I say to myself and husband (to keep his spirits up) “at least this, and at least that”. This is a really silly example because I don’t want to get too deep, but one could have a real physical ache or pain or a cut or bruise or an annoying itch or ten. We will be suffering with it, however small, and going on about it, ‘what a nuisance, fed up with this’. Then one day it stops and we barely notice. We perhaps don’t appreciate that it has now stopped. I’m not grateful for many things in life, but there is usually something to be grateful for. Molly xx

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Ach UK

Jan. 6, 2020, 4:36 a.m.

Hi Zenas,  Thank you for your blog of yesterday.   It has taken me several reads of it and all the replies and rounded off with a good sleep before I feel I can input with a reply.       I wondered if any of us remember seeing (or hearing) anyone playing music using a series of wine glasses ?  It involves lining up a large number of glasses of various sizes with some water inside and wetting the glass rim with water and lightly stroking a glass with one finger around its rim to make a musical note.   The variations in size of the glasses and amount of water therein can be adjusted to give one a what is often called a "glass harmonica". There are some very talented people who have harnessed this idea to make quite remarkable music.  Of course, it is difficult to keep such an instrument in tune, it is affected by temperature and air pressure, the quality of the glasses, the liquid therein and the steady Ness of the hands that play.  Sometimes there is a wrong note or a missed note if a glass has broken or one's fingers slip.   . . . There are many factors tha influence the liquid level in the glass,  but when in harmony glass and player will give a pleasing concert.  There will be music to suit every occasion, some will make you weep, some smile.  Some you will want to turn off or tune out or up or down.  Every concert will be different. . . . I will leave off now and add a link to a Utube excerpt from a glass harmonica --not necessarily to everyones taste,  but impressive.  See if you can round up 8 wine glasses . . . XX Ach. https://youtu.be/H_MNvX_cfL0 Robert Tiso

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Ach UK

Jan. 6, 2020, 4:39 a.m.

;--))) . .adding a little water to my non-alcoholic wine . . Glass now 55% full. XX Ach.

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