Monday, August 2, 2010

Glass Half Empty

I had a "glass half empty" week. Nothing seemed to be going all. I wrote a depressing post about my karate training that never made it to the publish stage. The post remains in my draft folder. I spent a portion of my week watching the weather forecast. My family had tickets for the Pennsylvania 500 at the Pocono Raceway. We had tickets last year but did not see the race because it Rained and Rained. The forecast changed every three hours...20%, 60%, 40% , 80% chance of rain for August 1 in Long Pond Pennsylvania.

We woke up Sunday morning and it was raining with a 65% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Do we take the chance and drive to the race? Last year we spent 5 hours trying to leave the parking lot when the race was cancelled. This year we waited for the Speed Network to broadcast from Long Pond before we made our decision. The announcers were cheerful when they spoke about the weather. One announcer mentioned the 65% chance of thunderstorms. He continued to say that in racing they focus on the 35% chance! He was having a "glass half full" day. From a marketing perspective...he had too.

We decided to go to the race. It started to drizzle as we approached Allentown. By the time we were on the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike it was raining. I had to be at work on Monday so if the race was cancelled I knew I could not make the trip back to Long Pond. I asked my husband and daughter to promise me they would drive back to Pocono if the race was cancelled. I wanted them to see a race...especially my daughter who is a Jeff Gordon fan.

We were less than ten miles from the track and it was still raining. We took the back way to the track so we were winding around the back roads of the Poconos. The rain stopped as we made our last right hand turn towards the track. The sky was cloudy but there were patches of blue sky. It turned out to be a good day for racing.

Elliott Sadler #19 making a pit stop. On lap 165, Elliott Sadler crashed headfirst into an ARMCO barrier. Video. Thankfully, he was able to walk away from this frightening crash.

It was a tough week but I learned a lesson. I spent too much time thinking about things which I had no control over. I looked at my glass as "half empty" even though I want to view it as "half full".

I am looking forward to a better week!

What about half full or glass half empty?


Sis said...

I'm just a glass... it is what it is. No judgement.

Michele said...


Frank said...

A little detachment goes a long ways... If the glass is too big, that's alright. No matter what life throws at us, there's always a way to roll with the punch. We make plans, take steps toward a goal, work to accomplish something, but remain detached from the outcome, knowing that if our plans don't go the way we want, it won't crush us, and just as in martial arts, we are able to swiftly change direction and keep rolling on.

In any situation, the glass of water is the glass of water. The only thing we have any control over, is our perception and value judgment of that glass of water.

Two men lived on the side of a mountain. One enjoyed the natural beauty around him, the clean air, and the amazing view. The other hated constantly living on an incline, bemoaned how quickly the sun set every night, and spent his time fighting to clear the land and keep the pesky creatures from coming too close to his house.

Same mountain, two vastly different perspectives, and yet, the mountain continues just being the mountain. :-)

Michele said...

Thank you for your comments Frank!

I is all about perspective and recognizing that it is the only thing we can control.

Rick said...

If there's beer in the glass, it needs a refill.

Michele said...

Rick: That's one way to look at it! :)

Felicia said...

In the immortal words of Bruce Lee, "Be the water, my friend. Be the water."

Journeyman said...

There are those weeks that we feel our martial progress is a half empty glass. We struggle with everything, do things poorly we normally do well, forget techniques, etc. Sticking it out during these times can be challenging.

During a particularly half empty kind of training week, my training partner saw my frustration with a series of techniques. My hands were a mess. He merely pointed out how interesting it was that my foot position (something I had often struggled with) no longer seemed to be an issue. Sure the rest of my technique was a disaster, but all of a sudden my glass was half full. I realized I no longer had to think about my feet, they went instinctively where I needed them. I had improved a part of my technique. I needed to look for the good. Not always the easiest thing to do.

Perspective's an interesting thing. I enjoyed Franks example of the two men on the mountain.

Anonymous said...

I had a birthday party planned for my daughter for that exact day. Six nine year old girls heading to our house to swim all afternoon. I worried over the forecast, planned a Plan B and then even a Plan C. The day came and the sun broke through the clouds until the girls got into the pool at which point it started to pour. I thought the day was ruined until I heared cheers of laughter and several of the girls saying "I never swam in a pool in the rain before! This is AWESOME!" Who knew...they loved it and we let them swim (there was no thunder or lightning!) All that fretting and extra planning I did wasn't necessary at all...they made their own sunshine. Hope I learned my lesson! Thanks for a great post!

Michele said...

Thank you for your comments!

Journeyman: Thanks for sharing your experience!

Anon: Thank you for commenting and sharing your story. I like having a B and C too. I am glad the girls had fun at the party! "Made their own sunshine"...Nice!

Frank said...

Hahahaha... Reminds me of being on a dive trip to Cozumel, some years ago. There was a new diver with us, and as we ate breakfast, it started pouring! A real frog-strangler... The new diver looked glum and said, "Dang... There goes our dive plans." I looked at him and said, "What do you mean? It ain't raining underwater!" ;-)