Most days I try to be a glass half full girl. I think we all hope to be that way. From self-esteem to body image to counting our blessings, we try to focus on the good. But everyone hits a period where you’re functioning on a glass half empty.
Your to do list vastly eclipses the hours in a day. Your immune system is fighting your healthy body parts. Your kids have been possessed by alien monsters sent to destroy society (and they’re winning). Your budget has been annihilated by a pet-related poop emergency. You made silly mistakes at work. Your family member was diagnosed with cancer. Again. You’re tired. You’re failing. Your glass is half empty.
1. Step one: Acknowledge the glass.
I mean REALLY accept that the glass is there and that the stupid jerk keeps spilling everything you’re adding to fill it up. Curse it out. Tell the glass it’s a sloppy drunk. But be grateful you still HAVE a glass. Every day that you wake up you are blessed with that glass. Life is short. Your glass will crack, break, or disappear one day. You’re probably worried about a friend’s glass that is disappearing. (Eff cancer.) So accept that it’s not full, but be glad that it’s still there.
2. The chaos and the stress that you’re lamenting is someone else’s dream.
The crazy sounds of children running around the house like wild animals can drive you insane. But someone out there is dreaming of just this moment. At some point you dreamed of that moment. Sure you didn’t picture you’d be exhausted and sound-sensitive after listening to the Frozen sound track infinity times. But it’s YOUR moment. And that makes it a glass half full moment.
3. Sometimes you don’t have to nail everything all the time. YOU ARE NOT PINTEREST.
You just have to survive the moment. Pinterest drives me crazy. But I adore it. (This is clearly not a healthy relationship.) It’s basically everyone’s dream life. If I know anyone who actually does Pinterest-worthy mom stuff I will silently curse her free time. (Fun fact: most people are pinning stuff and not actually doing it, just like you!)
We start setting our expectations ridiculously high to fly through conflict and stress while looking and acting perfect. With children who look like a Target commercial and act like the AFTER of Super Nanny. That’s not how the real world works. You don’t have to handle everything gracefully. You will rarely ever handle it perfectly. Sometimes embracing the glass half empty means in the midst of a giant mess, staring at the heavens, saying a prayer, taking a breath and having the strength to sit through the moment. Nothing lasts forever. Including those awful, embarrassing, long moments where we’re failing. Eventually they’re replaced with joy.
4. Take a minute to commend your glass for holding ANYTHING.
Your glass may not be full, but it’s holding what it can. Did you realize you can fill it up or drain it based on how to treat yourself?
Do you start your day with Facebook and tons of self-talk about what a lazy lump you are? I start many days that way. They all usually get worse. If I take a moment to cheer myself on and say: “Today you’re going to do your best! You’re gonna try to get that never-ending to-do list done. You’ll win some, you’ll lose some. But you’re gonna try.” Those are the days I make it through with laughter intact. If you can sigh and laugh you will survive.
5. Forgive your glass for being a lousy jerk.
Go ahead. Bitch it out. Say you’re sorry. (You don’t have to mean it yet.) Forgive it. Then forgive yourself for over-scheduling your commitments, under-nourishing yourself, and then chiding yourself for not being super-freaking-human-bit-by-a-bloody-nuclear-spider. Seriously, do you want all the crap and GUILT that comes with super powers??! Forgive yourself. If a toddler got frustrated trying to accomplish a task that their little body just can’t encompass, you wouldn’t shame them. You’d give them a hug, tell them they’re enough, and that they can try again tomorrow.
Give yourself a hug. Tell yourself you ARE enough. Try again tomorrow. Maybe don’t curse the glass out first thing in the morning. Half-full or half-empty, you can handle your overwhelming life. Even if handling means getting through until tomorrow.