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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Looking At the Glass Half Full

I'm a glass half empty kind of person by and large. I blame my parents for this because they're glass-half-full people and someone had to point out the pitfalls. They would look at the ocean and say, "it's so pretty." And I'd mention, well, yeah, it's pretty, but remember there are sharks beneath the surface and rocks and don't forget there are storms. Someone had to remind them, right?

Sometimes, though, I need a reminder to see the good things and not only think about the half-empty part. I got that reminder last week.

I had to swing by the clinic on my way home from work last Wednesday. In the waiting room was a younger couple. They both looked healthy and I didn't think much about it until I sat down and noticed there was a folded up walker between their chairs. Not very long after that, an elderly couple came through from the examining room side to the lab side. She shuffled along and he barely shuffled along with a walker.

If that wasn't enough to make me grateful, a family came in while I was waiting. It looked like a husband and wife, her mother, and their son. The wife had a walker with one of those fold-down seats and oxygen tubes coming out of her nose. The older woman who I took to be the wife's mother wheeled her oxygen canister behind her and the husband checked her in. I don't know what was wrong with her, if she had cancer or emphysema, or some other disease, but she looked as if she were in her 40s. Not that old to be hooked up to O2 and so weak she had to immediately put down her fold-down seat and sit.

And that's when it was driven home just how very lucky I am.

It hadn't been a great week. My tendonitis hurt really, really bad and so did the thumb that I'd injured in a car accident. I'd had allergy issues all week and headaches that left me crabby. Seeing this woman made me realize just how minor those complaints were.

Even my parents who are getting older and having health issues are lucky. My dad had his kidney out a couple of years ago, but he's still a little dynamo and very active. You have to be quick to keep up with him because he's always moving. My mom isn't that fast, and she's had several issues including a small stroke last December, but she can get around on her own, too.

When I drove out of the parking lot, all I could think was thank you. And I saw my glass was probably more than half full. :-)

I know that this reality check will fade in time. They always do. But it's good to be reminded that I have things pretty damn good and to be grateful for that.