Meditations on water levels in a glass

I was at a lecture tonight about women and fatigue that was actually quite interesting. Being taught by a doctor, it was not at all what I expected, but rather about how we think about ourselves and our relationships with others affects what we do, which affects how tired we are. Gist for a later post – but at some point in the talk she used that old cliche about the glass being half empty or half full.

Immediately I could hear my mind objecting – no, it isn’t one or the other, it’s BOTH! I had to laugh – I’m so sick of that quote. A while back I did some internet dating, and you can’t imagine how often it comes up in profiles – guys describing themselves as a glass-half-full kinda guy, or wanting a glass-half-full woman. Why can’t they just say they’re looking for a woman who approaches the world with a consistently positive attitude? It got to be almost as bad as the “long romantic walks on the beach” – something that would make you cringe and quickly move on to the next profile :D

But on the drive home I was pondering why it is that I find this question impossible to answer. I truly can’t think of it one way or the other – it’s neither – or both. In actual fact, the water in the glass is at the exact midway point between the state of being empty and the state of being full. And, the two states aren’t different – they’re exactly the same.

Is this just me? Am I really so middle-of-the-road that I can’t see it one way or the other? Or is it the scientific side of me that insists on an accurate definition and the congruency of the two states? Or is the mediator side of me that can see it both ways simultaneously? Perhaps its that I know that anyone answering this question knows WHY they’re answering it, and I question anyone’s ability to be truly objective. I mean, who wants to be known as a glass-half-empty kind of gal?

What keeps popping into my head is that it’s really a matter of context. If someone’s pouring water into my glass, then it’s half full. If I’m drinking water out of it, it’s half empty. Context matters. Like my bank account these last six months – I’ve had a pretty scary run of contracts not starting up when they were supposed to, and having to deplete my savings well below the halfway point just to live. On the way down, my bank account was definitely half-empty. When I start earning back the money to replenish it again, it will be half-full.

It strikes me that being consistently one way or the other is really neither sensible nor normal. If you’re always optimistic (naively deluded, some might say) you may not protect yourself well enough by buying insurance, saving for retirement, wearing a seat-belt, etc. If you’re consistently pessimistic, you may be depressed enough to need counseling, and have low self-esteem and health problems.

I think I like being in the middle – prepare for the worst and hope for the best :) So I guess I’m a middle-of-the-glass kinda gal!

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2 thoughts on “Meditations on water levels in a glass

  1. Moonchild says:

    The glass is totally full–with half water, half air.

  2. Oh lovely, what a wonderful answer – why didn’t I think of that :))

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