#cultivatecourageous · #write31days · Books · Family · Goodness · relationships

half empty or half full?

Along my way I saw this rooster.  You know, middle of nowhere stuff.  So I pulled over, like I do.

I don’t see loose chickens everyday, and I wanted to know what this one was up to. ¬†From my car I was snapping pictures when the farmer came out of the barn. ¬†She casually removed her work gloves and peered sideways at me.

“Explain yourself.” she seemed to say, as she checked my plates.

+MERCY, they say.

“I was just admiring your¬†chicken! ¬† He? ¬†He¬†is¬†so beautiful. ¬†Is he just wandering loose?” ¬†I said, fumbling.

“Oh yeah, he stays pretty close. ¬†Hasn’t attacked anyone in a while, so…”.

As she trailed off,¬†my¬†curiosity vaporized. ¬†The caption on my photo transformed in my mind from “Chicken on a back country road” to “Moments before her untimely death”.

Is the glass half empty or half full?

One person sees my back yard full of leaves as a full Saturday’s chore, another sees the same view as a wonderland of color.

A friend told me this week that she always pictures everything going wrong on the way through adventures, and I never would have guessed this from her playful demeanor.

In this episode of Hidden Brain, a favorite podcast of mine, the host explored the concept of whether a terrible event that has a silver lining becomes a blessing.

When things happen to us, we sift and resift information to shape how we see the world….it’s all in the framing. –¬†Shankar Vedantam

Asking our friends about their core optimism or pessimism is always fascinating.  You may think you have a handle on where she falls on the spectrum just from doing life together, but your opinion about her does not make it so.  The right amount of curiosity cracks open a doorway to deeper trust.


In the midst of terror and suffering, goodness is still stubbornly afoot. – Julia Cameron

I was at my father’s appointment today with the doctor¬†who is helping us process his Alzheimer’s. ¬† During the exploratory questions, I found myself reaching to comfort my Dad with a glance, and re-wording his stories to be sure he was understood. ¬†The volley¬†between daughter and shield. ¬†Dementia is a stranger we are learning, the irony of it is slow and sweet.

Driving away, I was shockingly happy. ¬†This diagnosis has given us something very special – the chance to show our value to each other in these small tap taps and urgent eye rescues. ¬†One glassy look that says, “Lynniethepooh, I’m glad you came.” makes all the data drift into a box I can open tomorrow. ¬†In the here and now, I’m not running the odds or outrunning chickens. ¬†I am special to my father and it fills up my glass.


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