Do You Have Angst?: Is the Shot Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Is the Shot Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Whew! I mean really, whew! Yesterday was rough! I worked a half day in the morning for my day job before spending six hours with my dad and sister waiting for Mom to come out of surgery. I got home and played some Heroes of the Storm with my old friend (and beta-reader) Matt, for his birthday. Before we could finish, my wife got home from her workout and my daughter got home from work just as I got an emergency call from my job that took almost 3 hours to resolve. Yesterday was a lot. I could easily say the shot glass was half empty, or worse. It may have been broken and shattered, with tiny little pieces of glass everywhere.

This isn’t a bitch and whine post (well, maybe it is a little) but I’m actually grateful if not a little harried. There are two ways to look at that mess of a day. If the shot glass were half empty, I could start by bitching about my mom having fucking cancer! She’s 72 and shouldn’t have to deal with breast cancer at this point in her life, she should be on a beach getting served something with rum in it by a gorgeous young man who winks at her. She deserves that! I could complain about having to wait for 6 hours, about 3 hours longer than projected, in a cold waiting room at the hospital with uncomfortable chairs and poor communication. I could bitch about my gaming time with Matt being cut short by work (on his birthday), and barely getting to chat with my wife and daughter. I didn’t get to work on my fourth fantasy novel, nor any other projects that are weighing on me a lot these days. Yeah, it was that kind of day, a half empty shot glass kind of day, and I had every right to go to bed bitter. But, I actually felt pretty good.

Mom faced a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery like a champ. She’s been a cancer survivor once, and at 72 is going to do it again. (Moral of the story: don’t smoke, kids.) It was tough seeing her after surgery, but Mom is tough as nails and we had to talk her into accepting pain meds because she’s “got a high tolerance for pain.” I got to spend the better part of the day with my dad and sister. I was there for them as much as I was for my mom. Waiting was tense, my mom isn’t young, and it was easy to worry. But my family was there. We all have a pretty twisted sense of humor, so a few laughs helped us pass the time. (Thanks Crap Taxidermy!) I got to spend some time gaming with one of my oldest friends on his birthday, and it was a great reprieve from an otherwise stressful day. My wife and daughter had good days, they are safe and healthy. I helped resolve the work emergency, and I’d like to think much faster than if I hadn’t been there. (I even received some nice kudos.)

Is it half full or half empty? Often, I think it’s about outlook. It’s about my attitude. That’s not always the case. Some things aren’t surmountable. My friend losing her daughter to suicide last month? You don’t get over that, not completely. Cancer? Fuck cancer and stay away from my mom! (And everyone else while you’re at it!) But today, I’ll look at the bright side. Mom survived. My time was spent well with people I love. Crises were averted. My shot glass is full, probably of something tasty, and I’m going to drink deep. I deserve it!

I would be remiss not to share some links:

Please educate yourself on breast cancer, it affects 1 in 8 women. is a great place to start! There are a lot of organizations to donate to like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Also, this week is National Suicide Prevention Week! #StopSuicide #CelebrateSara

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