Half full–half empty is important

We have had a hot, dry summer—very hot and very dry.
We’ve seen our blackberries dry up before they were ripe and our flower gardens wilt. It has been so hot that our tomatoes and cucumbers didn’t “set on.”
And we had to deep water our tallest trees to make sure that they weren’t stressed by the drought.
The worst of it is that last summer was the same!
But, so far, September has been different. One day, the daytime high was 63 and the low was 47.
Much better than the high 90s and 100s we sometimes can expect.
And best of all, we have had RAIN!!
Not a lot, but actual, real, honest-to-goodness RAIN! One time we had three inches. And last week, we had an all-day gentle rain.
After the rain was done, my husband checked the rain gauge. He came in and announced disparagingly, “It was only a half inch.”
ONLY a half inch!
What kind of statement is that! After all, two half inches make one inch and six half inches make three inches.
This summer every drop of rain has been precious. And every drop of that gentle rain soaked in!
Why not say, “We had one half inch,” and forget the “only.”
It’s the old question: Is your glass half empty or half full?
My husband often sees the glass half empty. I, on the other hand, prefer to see the glass half full.
Of course, I know that he is only trying to be realistic.
But, I am also realistic. I know we are far behind on rainfall. But isn’t that all the more reason to exclaim, “We had a whole half inch of rain!”
It’s all in your perspective.
While I was working on this column, my long-time friend Audrey arrived for a visit.
I hadn’t seen Audrey, who lives almost 2,000 miles away, for six years. What a treat to have her come!
Since I was wrapped up in this topic, I soon raised the question of half empty versus half full.
Audrey’s first comment was that she always refers to me as her “optimistic” friend.
When anything bad happens, she said, I always see a bright side. And in a way, she’s right. My genes make me that way!
I’m fortunate, but you can’t just depend on your genes. You also have to work on it—always reminding yourself to be positive, because the difference between half full and half empty is more important than you think.
Research by Mayo Clinic found that attitude not only affects your quality of life, but also your longevity.
This study tracked people for 30 years and discovered that attitude impacted physical health outcomes, as well as mental health.
And the researchers found that optimists had a 19 percent higher chance of still being alive 30 years later. While pessimists had a one in five chance of dying prematurely.
Now a pessimist might say that perhaps the pessimists in the study were already ill. My optimistic response is—positive attitude heals!
Research tells us that it makes a difference whether you are a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty kind of person. So why not aim to be more positive today?
Copyright 2012 Marie Snider.
Write Snider at thisside60@cox.net