by Lady Deane
Last night I had a dream that my grandmother and David Bowie were sharing a drink in Heaven. My Nana always was one of my very favorite people. Not because of any particular talent or skill she possessed. Quite the opposite. In a crowd, she would not have stood out much. Many would have found her somewhat ordinary. But they would have been very much mistaken. Because she had one absolutely sterling quality. She was unflinchingly positive. Even though her own life had been anything but easy, she somehow managed to be forever cheerful. She was a true “cup-half-full” person.
Why is this such a priceless gift? Because quite frankly, we need these people. Especially now. The words of the cup-half-full people simply weigh less. They buoy us up in life, by their very presence. They make us better people. They make life easier and more bearable. Now, notice, I did not say they were always right. Sometimes the unfailingly optimistic are simply pie-in-the-sky, delusional, self-foolers. Some may wonder at times if they are even capable of seeing the same reality the rest of us are dealing with down here on planet earth. But they’re still better than the alternative.
Because there IS an important difference between simply being “realistic” (the battle cry of the cup-half-empty people), and being such a downer that you suck the oxygen out of every lung in the room. Here’s a tip: if people begin to consider suicide as an acceptable alternative to their problems after they’ve chatted with you at a party, you might want to reevaluate your cup-half-empty position. True reality (which, sorry cup-half-empty’s, is not always negative) lies somewhere in-between. Some days we’re the “have’s” and some the “have-not’s.” La Fortuna goes up, La Fortuna goes down. And we ride the roller coaster of life.
Personally, if I have to pick a side….my cup is probably half-full. Of what, I won’t say (because some days it’s vodka). But hey, at least I got something in there to begin with. Do you? I think this year you are about to find out.
Right out of the gate, in January, 2019, there are two eclipses. We had one on January 6th and the second hits this weekend, January 21st. These eclipses have been exploring whether you are a half-full or half-empty type. They are testing the waters. Seeing if you mean what you say, if you’re ready to commit to your goals and New Year’s resolutions and dreams. The actual results of those tests will most likely come to us in July, when there will be two more eclipses. I call this “the summer of delivering the goods.”
But for right now, the cup-half-empty people are likely going to hit rock bottom. Hard. And that cup’s gonna look more empty than the Sahara at noon. And the cup-half-full people are going to be, well, let’s just say “challenged.” And by that I mean, “Well, gee! What would happen if your dreams all suddenly DID come true?”
For example, let’s say that you’ve been looking to expand your business. You’re hoping and wishing for this real hard. You just know that this is what would make your life complete.
You would truly be happy then! For sure! And suddenly, almost overnight, your business triples. You’re working around the clock. You haven’t slept, showered or had a hot meal that wasn’t in a take-out bag in weeks. You might still be wearing Monday’s underwear (and it’s Friday). Your computer system wasn’t designed to handle this kind of growth, so now you need a new system. Your tax accountant won’t stop calling (you handled your own books before the expansion just fine).
But it’s your dream, right? Your heart’s desire. So why aren’t you deliriously happy?
Get where I’m going with this? Even the cup-half-full people would have problems with this scenario. People are often surprised to find that success can bring a generous amount of discomfort. It’s called growing pains. The question is not CAN you make your dreams come true, but what are you willing to sacrifice for the dream? And how big should your dream be, anyway? When is it too big to enjoy anymore? In other words, when does the dream become a nightmare?
Let’s look at another example. This one’s personal. Up until a few months ago I lived in a 750 square-foot apartment. Not exactly a castle, but big enough to house a home office space (because I work from home) along with all my books, fabric, yarn, crafts, sewing machines, and all the other crap one accumulates after 60+ years on earth. Oh, and a 22-lb Maine Coon Cat named Olivander. Only one problem. My dream is to live near the sea, which my apartment was not. But through a strange set of circumstances (my apartment building was being sold), I suddenly had a chance to make my dream a reality.
So I moved and lived happily ever after with Neptune, right? Hardly. Turns out, the only apartments on the coast that I could afford were half the size I needed. That meant downsizing. A lot. Like half my stuff (don’t worry, I kept the cat. I’m not a monster). But books definitely had to go. I have spent a lifetime collecting metaphysical books and getting rid of them felt like loosing a limb. But I did it. Not all at once, of course. Some days I needed to just sit and cry. I did it slowly, book by book, in sad little phases. Because in the end I realized that I had to choose stuff or happiness.
So now I live 10 minutes from the beach in a teeny, tiny apartment with half the books (PS: the library is within walking distance) and all the sun, sand and surf I can handle.
Am I glad I moved? Yes. Yes, I am. But some days I still struggle a bit. Some of my furniture didn’t fit and I had to downsize several more times. I still get lost on some of the roads (although oddly enough, I can always seem to find the beach. I’m like a homing pigeon, but with water). And I’m still not sure how to operate my cable box. Also, I spend an unhealthy amount of time watching youtube videos about tiny homes and micro apartments to see how other people have managed (luckily, this is apparently a trend right now). In other words, I’m still processing the move. It may take me six months or more to really feel at home here. Let’s just say I look forward to summer and lots more beach time. But I do know I made the right decision. And my choice was definitely worth the struggle. That’s worth more than all the books in the world to me.
What these two examples have in common is the realization that dreams require action and often sacrifice. We decide what’s important and which things are worth the struggle. THEN WE HAVE TO ACT ON THOSE DECISIONS. When these eclipses hit, it’s going to become apparent very quickly that there can be no more fence-sitting. No more waffling. No more procrastination or excuses. Eclipses do move stuck energy. But you decide where you want to go with it.
When is expansion worth the price? When your life has become so tiny you’ve imprisoned your dreams in a self-made cage. When is downsizing worth the effort? When your “stuff” (and it may be emotional as well as physical) has narrowed your choices and weighed your life down.
If it’s Expand vs. Suffocate, then GROW.
If it’s the Stuff vs. the Life-You-Always-Wanted, then DITCH THE STUFF.
So, cup-half-full or cup-half-empty, DRINK WHAT’S IN THE CUP ALREADY! Because the secret to managing this year’s cosmic dance is to make actual choices in life. Get off the fence, get into the car (or boat) and start your engine.
Right now you have a very real chance to start over, to plot a new course in some important way. This is an excellent time to make decisions about where you want to be and what you want to be doing in your future life. Make your selection and then allow some processing time to assimilate the changes that follow. Acknowledge your dreams; be glad you still have them. And then learn what’s possible within the available time, talent and resources you have at your disposal. Let go of what’s not working in your life, to make room for what is.
Because if you don’t, come summer (and the next round of eclipses), you’ll need more than vodka to feel better.
So ask yourself what’s really, truly important to you? What would you do if your dreams suddenly came true? Which dreams would they be? And how would you handle that? That’s the dance you’re doing now. For most of us, there will be a lot of new steps to learn. And we’re learning them on-the-go.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to try and see the world (just for a moment) from the other cup’s point of view. And whether you see half-full or half-empty, share what you got. I mean, for Heaven’s sake. The cup was ALWAYS REFILLABLE!
OK, I gotta go. David and Nana are waiting. And that vodka isn’t going to drink itself.
The Ziggy Stardust:
4 parts vodka, 1 part violette liqueur, dash of orange bitter
½ part Goldschläger, ground cinnamon.
Pour vodka and liqueur together with the bitters over ice, then strain into a chilled glass. Light the Goldschläger in a separate glass and pour over drink. Dust with cinnamon.