Jaynehowarth’s Weblog

Journalist and writer

Time for the glass to be half full again

with 9 comments

I’ve noticed a change in me these past three weeks.

I’ve had a bit of a wake-up call, to coin a cliché.


I’ve decided that instead of worrying about the next bill that comes through my letterbox, demanding to be paid, or wishing I were a stone lighter and doing nothing about it, or worrying about work (the lack of it, the too-much-of-it), I’m going to take a step back and put everything in perspective. The glass will be half full. Again.

This was a promise I made myself in January – it was one of those New Year’s resolution that are always forgotten when the last of the Christmas decorations come down.

Every so often I remind myself of it and check myself to ensure I’m reacting to situations in a proportionate and appropriate way. If I read of a tragic or horrible event I remember the promise to myself. But usually I forget.

However, traipsing up and down to hospital six days out of seven for two weeks and driving to a care home for one week has brought home to me how short and precious life is.

Dad has suffered his third stroke. He is fortunate in that it hasn’t taken his speech and he is – thankfully – on the mend; he is slowly learning to walk properly again and is looking forward to recuperating at home.

Photo courtesy of PicApp

The nurses at Walsall Manor Hospital were marvellous, considering they were usually under-staffed, and the staff at the care home where he is receiving intermediate care before being allowed home are also fabulous (although he wishes they would serve tea later than 4.30pm because it’s a heck of a wait for breakfast at 9am the following day).

I’ve seen some poor souls over these past three weeks, once vibrant people with fascinating stories to tell. Many have been robbed of their speech or the use of their limbs and most need help with the most basic of tasks.

Seeing people like this has made me reaffirm my pledge to keep things in perspective. It’s time to stop worrying about the future and get on with living and enjoying my life and my family. The glass will be half full.

Just remind me, though, if I forget. Right?


Written by CommonPeople

June 13, 2010 at 4:22 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Well said indeed. A recent stay in hospital left me feeling the same.


    June 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dan Slee, Brownhills Bob. Brownhills Bob said: RT @danslee: This is brilliant. Put your worry in perspective. Spare a minute for this blog by @JayneHowarth http://bit.ly/cJv7MC […]

  3. Well said. I think that puts some of my issues into perspective.

    I think it’s time for me to take the same approach.


    June 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm

  4. Been there, done that with my wife so I know what you mean Jayne. I try and I hope succeed in keeping my glass half full and I take every opportunity to top the glass up just as you must do.


    John JAmes

    June 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm

  5. Hi Jayne, I hope it all works out OK. Having just been on a fabulous week’s holiday, I was looking forward to tackling an enormous ‘to do’ list tomorrow. But as it got closer, I got ever more nervous – and then I read your post. Onwards and upwards tomorrow, then!



    Martin Warrillow

    June 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm

  6. So true. I am a born worrier, I am going to take a leaf out of your book. Good luck and best wishes to your Dad x


    June 14, 2010 at 7:25 am

  7. So sorry to hear this Jayne. Have been going through something similar myself with my mum, though eight months on there is little sign of her ever getting back to the life she once enjoyed. Thank goodness your dad is OK.
    It’s an endless source of frustration to me that even knowing I’m the only one who can make a difference to how I feel by switching things around in my head, I spend more time stuck in anxiety. Good for you writing such an honest blog.

    Jane Matthews

    June 14, 2010 at 7:38 am

  8. Personally, I’m a glass half empty person.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate that in many ways I’m a very lucky person: It’s just I genuinely expect a certain amount of things to go wrong, a certain amount of frustration, upset, or genuine grief- from little, slightly annoying things up to genuine, life-altering unpleasantness like illnesses or deaths. This does mean that when things go well, it’s a pleasant surprise :-).

    Certainly I’d say to anyone that they should seize opportunities where they can, and value life and health (their own and their family/friends) above everything else, and that a sense of perspective is essential. I’ve known people make themselves ill over things that really don’t matter.

    Whatever. If optimism helps you, go for it, and I hope your Dad’s recovery continues.


    June 14, 2010 at 10:50 am

  9. Thank you all for reading and commenting.
    Jane – hope all goes well for you and your mum.
    Stymaster – I understand exactly what you are saying and I agree there would be no point in walking around with a permanent sunny disposition if it ignores the nasties in life that kick you in the face every now and then. For me, though, it is about how I react to them rather than anything else. I need to remind myself I’m damned lucky!
    Aardvark – *hugs* to you and your family.
    Onwards and upwards, indeed!


    June 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm

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