Nick, Struggles

I’m positive the glass is half empty

Nick and I have a long-running debate in our house. It’s part of the oil-and-water, fire-and-ice dynamic we’ve functioned on for years.

His sunny-side-up brand of optimism strikes me as Pollyanna-ish and naive.

My glass-half-empty, pessimistic realistic approach to life grates on him.

But I might be close to winning this argument.

Hear me out. (And read this article in the New York Times about the power of negative thinking.)

Maybe sunshine and rainbows and silver linings aren’t all they are cracked up to be. I maintain that if you only think positive, you’ll be caught off guard when bad stuff does happen.

That’s not to say I dwell on the bad. But I do factor worst-case scenarios into all of my plans.

Some research is being conducted that shows positive thinking has its downsides. I’m not advocating that we swing the pendulum too far the other direction, either, although I tend to stay on the frowny-face side of the spectrum.

But positivity for the sake of it feels artificial and arbitrary, doesn’t it? Like forcing it doesn’t actually make the situation better and can distort reality to the point of ignoring serious problems. Sometimes mind doesn’t trump matter. That may sound defeatist, but I have some experience in this area.

Sometimes hot coals are stinging stones of pain.

Sometimes MS is a brooding cloud that has no silver lining.

Maybe sometimes negativity, as long as it isn’t depression, isn’t the worst thing.

I’m reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides right now. Without giving too much away, there is a character who manic-depressive. He tries to explain that depression is a different beast from being depressed. I wish more people understood that.


2 thoughts on “I’m positive the glass is half empty”

  1. The glass is always full. The other half is not seen. It’s air. I like to think that the air is the part of life that we have already lived and experienced. Be it for positive or negative. The lived air, keeps us going, knowing what we have been thru and what we have accomplished. Without the first half of the glass, we would not be prepaired for the rest.

    Keep going strong Our beautiful daughter. When the clouds come and the rains fall, we are here to catch you and sew that silver lining together.

    We LOVE YOU.

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