How Full is Your Glass?

a half full half empty glass

Our question of the week is one that I posed: “Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist? Why do you think you lean that way?”

My knee-jerk response to this question is that I’m an optimist. I guess I came up with this conclusion for a few reasons:

  1. Pessimists, in my experience, tend to have trouble finding things to be happy about. Their social media feeds are full of situations in which they (or someone they care strongly about) have been wronged. I do believe that injustices need to be aired, and I know there are parts of the world where people have very little to be happy about. But my own life is not like that. This past month, I participated in the Thankfulness Challenge on Facebook and easily identified people and situations for which I’m grateful on each of the 28 days of the challenge.
  2. I like people until they give me a good reason to dislike them. I would have a difficult time coming up with a dozen people from whom I’d steer clear. Well, maybe more if I included world leaders and celebrities with whom I’m not likely to cross paths. But why waste energy disliking them if they’ll never know or care?
  3. My life, in my opinion, hasn’t been riddled with setbacks. No, I’m not a world-famous actress like I’d hoped to be (okay, I was seven years old when I chose that as a future profession), and I’m not a professional orchestra musician (teenage dreams), but the path I did follow has been one that’s provided me with a lot of amazing memories, and I see no point in wishing my past was any different.
  4. It’s part of my health/beauty regimen. I read that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, so smiling conserves energy. Anger, fear, and distrust and constant sadness can take a toll on one’s health, so it’s definitely a health benefit to stay positive. And happy people beget happiness, which leads to a healthier, happier me.

Dad & meAs to HOW I became an optimist, I think I’ll say that’s due to my dad’s influence. He was a happy person, and one rarely saw him without a smile on his face. He grew up during the Great Depression, and his family suffered many hardships, especially since they were considered “foreign,” yet he emerged from it with a cheerful can-do attitude. Before he died, he and mom traveled all over the world, they volunteered with the local symphony and the theater, and he made sure all his grandkids got everything they wanted for birthdays and Christmases, yet he saw to it that Mom was well provided for. He was generous, never one to skimp on anything, yet when he passed away my brothers and I were stunned at all he left behind.

So this Christmas, as I’m happily working my way through my holiday to-do list, I’m raising a glass (of orange juice) to the man who taught me to work my way through life with a smile. Miss you, Dad.

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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13 Responses to How Full is Your Glass?

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    Very touching tribute to your dad… and it’s easy to see how his life-view has been inculcated to you.
    I love your approach to life, as detailed here. And — like you — I notice so many people (both on FB and in real life) who ONLY wail and moan about what they don’t have, who has hurt them, or other wrongs of life and the marketplace.
    Gosh… life is so short. Why spend most of it wallowing in misery?
    I have other thoughts on that matter. Maybe some of them will creep into my Hound Day blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Like I said when I posted this to my timeline, my glass may not be over the brim, but it’s full enough to make me happy. If there weren’t any setbacks or things to still desire in life, I might not be grateful for what I have. And what I have is far more than what I deserve. There are so many blessings I can think of that have been bestowed on me, who am I to be a pessimist. The positive things in life, and people, are what I like to focus on. And God has been so good to me.

    Like Jeff mentioned, people who are always looking on the problems, downside, their woes and ill health strike me as unhappy people. After a while, who wants to hang around that for fear it might rub off. We all have problems, but it’s far better to look at the good things in life.

    Your father, instilling those virtues in your life, is so good to hear. My mother did the same for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      That’s a good point about setbacks making you grateful for what you have! Thank goodness for parents like your mom and my dad who point out the good in life. And thanks for sharing my post!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful tribute to your dad. He sounds like he was an amazing man.
    I had heard that about smiles and frowns and that is just one reason to ge an optimist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks, Angela. Yes, my dad was certainly amazing. For me, it’s more difficult to think of things to be negative about!


  4. YOU have had many blessings,Patty, one of the biggest was your dad. Life is not easy for anyone, but making it harder by brooding or wanting more, especially when one has many blessing, is self-defeating.
    You are a wise lady.


  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Your dad sounds like a wonderful man.


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