A few weeks ago, my dad and I were chatting after dinner. Nobody else was around, so we jumped into our usual habit of getting into deep conversations about the meaning of life. I don’t know how we got on the subject, but at one point he said:
“I’m not sure how we got to a place where the glass either has to be half full or half empty. The glass is as full as it is. And that’s enough.”
And just like that. Mind = Blown. How right is he about that?
Is it our nature as humans or have we evolved to need to label and compare everything? If I don’t see the glass as half full all the time, I must see the glass as half empty. If I’m not totally happy in my life, I must be totally unhappy. That’s a lot of pressure. The idea that the glass could just be exactly as full as it is feels liberating to me. It somehow removes the desire or need to compare with other people’s “glasses”. It is what it is. I am who I am. Life goes as life goes.
The other day, I went to lunch with some friends who are also busy mothers. One of the busy mom friends happens to be great at life. She sews, she helps people, she goes mushroom foraging, she built her own kayak, she takes that kayak out at night to see the bioluminescence, she pursues her passions and hobbies, she raises a lot of successful children, she’s incredibly kind, and so on and so on. So the rest of us were picking this super mom’s brain for tips and tricks on how to be better mothers, wives, women, humans, etc. At one point in the conversation it occurred to me that the biggest difference between the two of was that she does not seem to have the urge to compare herself (to others or to herself), the way that I do. Once again, what a liberating concept. And I realized how much time, and more importantly, emotional energy, I’d probably have if I just stopped agonizing over what I need to do to be better/happier/kinder/more productive.
I am who I am. My glass is as full as it is.
It’s subtle, but in the days since that lunch, I’ve felt the tightness release in my chest a bit. I’m still tired. I still have what feels like my entire world on my shoulders. But I’ve got this. And I feel like I’ve got the room and time (literally and emotionally) to pursue my own passions and hobbies, even in the midst of a stressful startup job, as we build a house and raise a toddler. In accepting that my life is what it is, I feel like I can stop holding my breath waiting for it to change or waiting for myself to change. And I could swear that glass suddenly became a little fuller than it was before.