“Glass Half Full”

Let me be honest. Overly positive people drive me a little crazy. There is no way in the world that anyone can be that happy all of the time. I am talking about deliriously overjoyed, bubbling and oozing with udder joy. It is just too much for me. It’s a little unsettling. It’s Pleasantville, picket fences and prime time family shows with two parents with perfect professions, two darling little kids and a cute little puppy to complete the picture. Nothing terribly bad ever happens. The mother may forget to make the class cupcakes or the son may tell a little white lie to impress his friends. Nothing major. Everything remains perfect. That’s just not reality. When I am around someone like this, it seems like they are living in an imaginary world of faux and fiction. But then there is the opposite, everything is wrong and everyone is wrong and there is simply no looking up. Of course, our moods can fluctuate. No one has a good day every day and no one has a bad day, every single day. We have to find the sweet spot in life. The place where we accept the good and the bad, cue Facts of Life. If we add a little positivity to that balance, we end up with a glass half full. That’s really the best place to be. And like I said, it really is okay to be down, but don’t live there. Even if the worst of times, feel what you feel and then muster of the strength to look up. Fortunately, I had a really good friend when I was enduring the death of our family structure — divorce. I really did not know what to do from one minute to the next. I was lost. At work, I tried to stay in my room, away from people because I had no words and I really had no energy for small talk or deep conversations. But this one friend, she continued to come in my room every day at lunch. She talked. I listened. I had little to contribute to the conversation. She never gave up. She kept coming by. Every single day. One day she told me that if I went too far down, it may be too difficult to return to up. That resonated with me. I knew I had to try, I had to find something positive in every single day. It was a slow mind shift but the mind is remarkable. Research shows that positive thinking increases productivity and creativity. And negative thoughts are associated with memory loss and slower response times. It is imperative to think positive and see things from an entirely different perspective. Perspective is everything. I was reading the tributes about Melvin Van Peebles last week. His family and friends noted how he treasured every single second of his life and he knew, even at the end, that he mattered, that we all matter. The world needs our voice, our contribution. That’s a glass half full. I cling to the belief that we are all missing something that we want desperately. It could be a home, a child, a family, a job, respect, status, friends — it will always be something. It’s the thorn in our side. It’s the cross that we bear. If we didn’t have a yearning for what is missing, we wouldn’t need faith, family or friends. We progress in hope, despite not having every single thing that we want. Because it’s really not about our wants, it’s about using our gifts for good. It’s not only about the finish line, it’s about how we embrace the journey.

Tanesha Russell Yusuf

Tanesha Russell Yusuf

T.R.Y. Life learner, mother, daughter, poet, teacher, rights crusader. Always on a mission.