Half full? Try three-quarters.

Refraction can mess with you. You can fill a cup with water but if you look at it at a funny angle, it might look less full than it is.

Look. We have a good life. A really good life, thanks to luck, hard work, and good decisions.

But we’re on this edge of… some word that defines the emotion between simmering anger and irrational rage. It’s really, really hard to keep a stiff upper lip, while smiling, when you don’t know where the hell you’ll be living in a few months. You do all these calculations in your head: what are the odds that we’ll be here in the fall? Should I just sign up for an officer position on the PTA? Should I just bow out? Should we invest in more improvements to our home?

Should I let myself get even closer to all these people in my life who are so kind, and fun, and smart? Do they know how much I’ll miss them if/when we move? More important, will they miss me back?

I’ve spent 18 months or so living in this limbo, and feeling kind of loose and airy. This could, I admit, be described in a more positive light: “relaxed,” for example. But in reality, for me? It’s just a dumb, dry feeling. It reminds me greatly of the one time I inhaled (it was 1989). I hated that feeling. I felt slow and pointless–two feelings I hate.

My light, my angle, has, for lack of a better word at the moment, sucked.

So, as I mentioned earlier, I planned the kids’ summer quite nicely, quite fully. And after last week, the rubber-ducker of all weeks when it comes to feeling less than safe and secure and stable in one’s environment, second only to the second week of September, 2001, I decided this: There is no point to doing or feeling anything if you’re not going forward with a g-d happy face, smiling, making everybody chuckle at least once while they’re in your presence. (Seriously: that is my goal. If you’re around me, I’m going to make you laugh, at least once.)

Because if you’re not doing all you can to improve whatever situation it is you find yourself in–which means being humble and being truthful and being helpful and being genuine and being a goofball, all of it–there is only slowness, and pointlessness, with an unbearable dryness.

My angle has changed. I sit up straighter, stand taller. I control the refraction, so all glasses appear nearly full.

And if they’re not? I’ve just been adding water.


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