Wednesday 5 January 2011

05.01. Half full or half empty

Do you know the expression “Are you a glass half full person or a glass half empty person?” I can still remember when my grandfather explained this expression to me and my younger sister and brother – I must have been about 8 or 9 years old at that time. The expression really appealed to my already rapidly growing practical sense back then, and I have referred to it many times over the years. It’s an expression one can hear used in many different circumstances, and I heard it just yesterday on the BBC1 TV series ‘Silent Witness’. It made me decide to use it as a topic for today’s post. So, what are you? Is your glass half full, or half empty? Of course, you might say like Bill Cosby is supposed to have said; “it depends on whether you're pouring, or drinking...!” Me, I consider myself a half full person, and for people who knows me and knows what has happened to me over the years, that might sound like a contradiction, but perhaps having a reasonable positive outlook in life is what’s keeping
me sane – and creative. I don’t doubt for a minute that being creative is keeping me sane, so we might go round in circles here, but this is a bit chicken and egg thing I guess. There is no doubt that I have managed to “attract more negative life experiences so far in life than most people manage in a whole life span”, as a psycho therapist once told me - and that was not including my medical problems, but I still have a half full outlook on life in general. I think this quote from Bette Midler is quite well said; "Shit happens, deal with it! "Well, I deal with it as and when, with one foot in front of the other... and so on and so on...but sometimes I feel that someone has divided the quotas up a bit unfairly. There is definitely more shit coming my way than to a lot of other people I know of!

So, we’re back to the creative bit then, going full circle, because I am convinced that being creative makes me happy and contributes to my ‘half full’ outlook on life. I have never been a sporty person, I hated PE in school, moving about was painful and no one understood why, so my pain was largely disregarded. But I know that jogging for example is said to release endorphins in your brain, powerful hormones that makes you happy. The so called "runner's high" is said to occur when strenuous exercise takes a person over a threshold that activates endorphin production. Research lately on the role of endorphins in producing runner's high questions the mechanisms at work though; their data possibly demonstrating that the "high" comes from completing a challenge rather than as a result of exertion. So what if being really creative on my computer makes me release endorphins and keeps me happy, and for every work I complete I get a rush of happy hormones?! Well, I’ve got absolutely no scientific proof for saying this, it is just a little theory of mine, but isn’t it a nice one? I really do feel less pain in my sore, aching joints when I am deeply buried in Photoshop on my computer :-)

OK, back to you, and your glass: half full or half empty? What gets your happy hormones flowing? Have you ever thought about it? Some people are miserable most of the time; I am sure you know someone too; those who blame the government, the council, the neighbour, the spouse, the kids, the dog....anyone, except themselves; it’s always everyone else’s fault and nothing is going to get them in a better mood until all their problems are solved, by anyone else but themselves. Definitely half empty people! I recommend some Creative Photoshop Therapy!

I haven’t included any photo here yet, this post looks a bit bland without any graphics, don’t you agree? What about a photo of one of the window boxes on the window sill in the front

garden? Why? Because I planted pansies and cyclamen there back in October, thinking we were going to get a normal, mild winter – after having had such a cold one last year, and in my usual, half-full-spirit I banked on them surviving the winter so I could replant them in my back garden in late spring. And what have we got so far?? The coldest winter in London since 1920! But, and this is why the photo is appropriate, the pansies are still alive!! This photo was taken 24th December, but they look just as healthy today. Note the pieces of ice on top of the soil, the window box is actually frozen solid! Must be one of the most opportunistic plants ever. I can understand that my roses are flowering; they are having their roots deeply buried in soil where it’s actually quite nice and warm. But this pansy is standing in 4 inches of solid frozen soil. And most of the cyclamen are still well and flowering too, those that the squirrel hasn’t dug up. 

Yes, I did say squirrel, I saw him the other day taking another plant again. I don’t think he eats them so I can’t for my life understand what he does with them. He comes here nearly every day with a packed lunch...well, he comes with a piece of coconut and a couple of nuts. A packed lunch. No, I am not kidding, I think someone is putting food out to the birds nearby, and the squirrels are very clever when it comes to getting the bird feed out of plastic cages and containers. For some reason this particular squirrel has found out that the post on my wall is an appropriate place to eat lunch, so he places his food on the wall, sits himself down and eats his food. And as he is leaving he sometimes rips out a cyclamen from one of my window boxes and takes it with him. No idea why. My cat is furious though for the cheekiness this squirrel displays, intruding on my cat’s territory, and he can go to great length in hissing and scraping on the inside of the window in order to scare the squirrel away. To no avail of course. The squirrel is hardly granting him a look in his direction.

OK, so I have digressed a bit...from outlook in life to squirrels...easy leap to make, if I may say so :-) but that’s what this blog is all about, it has really no set theme...and it can be about... just about anything, really. And since you are still reading – well, it must have been interesting then? Oh, and before I go...Someone asked me yesterday why I had left out the Schwarzenegger finale; I didn’t realise it had made such an impression!  So, without further ado, back by popular demand: bye for now... I’ll be back.

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