Monday, September 3, 2012

Let it pass

In the city you can tell when it's the first week of school even without a calendar, just by opening your window. Emotions run high. People yell. Kids melt down. It's unpleasant, but to be expected: the world is a bit off-balance as new schedules are established and new experiences processed. I remind myself that this is a two-week problem. It will pass.

The neediness factor around here has been running high, particularly in the wake of Eldest's return to college. Eldest is an outstanding big sister; all the kids love her, and love having her around. They miss her badly. I didn't expect the ache of her absence to be so sharp this year. But there's something about the fact that she's now 18, and knowing that this very well may have been her last summer living at home, that caught me off guard. I've been very sad. It will pass.

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I had a meltdown yesterday. It happens, occasionally. I became overwhelmed by a persistent and thorny problem, and gave in to being tired of coping. I allowed myself to feel like a complete and utter failure.

After a couple of hours I reminded myself that failing at something is not the same as being a failure. You're only a failure when you give up instead of pick yourself up. So I made my apologies to those who'd had to endure my not-silent tears, and forced myself back on track.

Even despair passes, if you let it. And work at it.

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The other day Little Guy noted, "The glass is always full. It may be half-full of water and half-full of air, but it's still full!"

Sometimes we ponder our half-glass of water without remembering the air, and conclude that our life is only half of what it should be. The truth is, something fills that space we think of as empty, whether we perceive it or not. I daresay we fill it with invisibilities of our own choosing: regret or guilt, gratitude or hope, ambition or envy or fear or joy. It's good to know what's in there, because if it's a good thing, it changes your perspective for the better. If it's not-so-good, you understand more about why there's only so much room for water.

We tend to assume that having a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full perspective is a permanent fixture in our lives. That isn't actually true. We can train ourselves to see both the water and the air, and can learn to let go of the way we habitually look at things.

Even bad habits can pass, if we don't hold on to them quite so fiercely.


  1. Great Blog.... especially the last two paragraphs.....THANK YOU!!!!! :0)

  2. Remember when all it took to fix life's problems was a big hug from your mom?