By Jay Kerner
Are you a glass half full, or a glass half empty kind of person? We’ve all heard those kinds of questions about one’s “outlook”.
A little self-reflection never hurts, right? But I think there’s more to it than that.
Like, sure, everybody’s naturally inclined certain ways. Some are boisterous, others morose. Most, somewhere in between. But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be a grinning idiot, any more than a sniveling whiner.
The beverage in everybody’s glass is a mixed drink. It’s a concoction made from a long list of ingredients. You start with DNA. Brain chemistry. Add in everything you’ve ever seen, heard and felt, before straining through a filter of geographical and socio-economic hoodoo.
And you drink. Slow sips and deep gulps. Sweet and salty, tart and savory all at the same time, it travels through your veins to the cellular level, and nourishes what you are.
And you’re something! You really are!
You’re just like everybody else in most ways, yet, entirely and uniquely your own in a number of others.
But maintaining your mix is a never ending operation. After all, new stuff is constantly coming in. You have to make decisions, one after the other, on what to ignore, and what to latch onto.
You have to replace what you consume.
So what are you putting in your glass?
Is it nourishing to your soul, or sweet, empty calories, rotting it away from the inside? If you’re like most of us, it’s some combination of both.
The trick is to fine-tune the mix just like the water in the shower. Neither, all-hot or all-cold is just right. Likewise, there is no doubt, some mix of light and dark, high-brow and low, the profound and the absurd, is just right for you.
What do you do for a living? Aside from the paycheck, does it do anything for you? Are you proud of what you do?
How about your relationships? Are you giving the people you care about, what they want and need? Are you getting what you want and need from them?
What are you adding to the glass yourself? You can’t gorge yourself on an unending diet of heart-wrenching sorrow and wonder why you’re sad all the time. Don’t wallow in it any more than you have to.
Of course you can take a pill. Millions do. Nothing wrong with it. Everybody should get whatever help they need.
But I wonder how many do, and don’t really need to. I have a hard time believing that every one of the wildly high number of people on anti-depressants, needs to be. Depression is a gazillion dollar industry.
It’s not wrong to be sad.
But at some point the level of sadness needs to be somewhat appropriate to the cause. Like, it’s ok to cry when your parakeet dies, but not because your TV show is a rerun. Like that.
So, here’s some unsolicited advice for you; shoot for keeping your glass around ¾ full. That’s a good target. It’s obvious at a glance to anybody looking, as way more full than empty.
Try to add good things to your glass at roughly the same rate you drain it.
If a smidge of bitters balances out your drink, then by all means, add them in moderation. A little goes a long way and adds complexity to the flavor. But remember, you can always add more, you can’t add less.
Figure out for yourself how full to fill your glass and what you want in it. Mix your personal cocktail to match your palate and drink up!