I learned a valuable lesson in the art of half-fullness this weekend. And because of that, today (as I intend for all days) is a half-full day. Right now, I have 5 days worth of work to complete and 3.5 days of actual work time within which to accomplish it. I have 30% of my front yard unearthed and weeded and 70% left to do. I have an ambitious list of personal goals that is my 30 by Thirty and just shy of 6 months to claim victory.
Like everyday, I must work twice as fast and deliberately as most people would like to. I accept that. But I’m tired of the half empty philosophy that most people walk around spouting. This past weekend as I spent hours undertaking back-breaking work in my front yard, I had no less than a dozen people comment on the status of my gardening work. Interestingly, over the 3 hour period during which I was weeding a yard with only weeds (with likely 15 years worth of roots), 85% of the comments were of the half-empty variety. “You have your work cut out for you.” “Oh that’s a big job.” They all shared some variation on that theme because they could only see the 70% of the yard left to complete. As the same comment continued to be made, I got a little less friendly and certainly a little less motivated. By the end of the day, I was nearly ready to tell them to go fly a freakin’ kite!
But there were 2 gentlemen, who had seen me start my work early in the afternoon and passed by again just before I was cleaning up. And what did they say? “Great work!” They could see that although it hadn’t been easy to do it, I had accomplished quite a bit over the course of 3 hours. It might have only been a fraction of the yard but their comments helped me realize that this task was not impossible and that I could continue to work at it and eventually weed everything. Half full. It was 2 out of 12 comments but those 2 comments helped remind me of an important reality. Furthermore, those 2 comments had the power to undo not only the 10 thoughtless and negative comments that came before but also help renew my commitment to finishing this front yard. Half full.