A glass sits on a table half-filled with water. Is it half full or half empty? If I've learned anything, I've learned that the only way to decide which end brings the most potential, is by accepting what is going on in your life and then making a decision to move forward in the midst of life's trials.
This is something I dealt with last week when my FIL underwent quadruple bypass. The odds were against him from the very beginning. Fate had already seen him undergo quadruple bypass a year ago, and with favorable outcome. What the doctors did not know before going in this time, however, was that the repaired areas of my FIL's heart had rapidly declined. So as the doctor's performed surgery to repair those same four arteries, they also struggled to repair a Mitral Valve that they had decided against replacing last year. Added to that procedure, my FIL's Tricuspid Valve needed a tweak. And so, as the doctors worked diligently on these risky tasks, a 5-6 hour surgery ended up taking 11-12 hours.
My FIL wasn't expected to live through the night, but he did. He'd beaten the odds before, surviving a boulder to the chest, kicks by bulls, and a front end collision with a tracker-trailer on ice. The family knew he could do it! We all prayed for healing. Friends prayed for it. And through it all, the man I knew for 31 years fought like a fighter unwilling to throw in the towel against a more talented foe. As our visits were minimal in the SICU, each one of us applauded his stubborn streak, willed him to fight yet again. He tried. He assured us he heard our voices. But his body grew weaker and by day two, his kidneys had failed. The third morning, his liver function declined and jaundice set in. As LTC and I rushed to the hospital, we received the unwelcome call that my FIL's struggle had ended.
Is our glass half empty or half full? As I sit and look at my glass, I am filled with peace. You see, the doctors said without surgery, my FIL wouldn't have lasted more than 4-6 months. With the surgery, at least he'd had a chance. Courageous and brave, he took that chance, hoping it would give him more time.
How many times do you take a chance, oftentimes knowing the outcome of your decisions might not measure up to what you'd originally planned? As a writer I take that chance every day I sit at my computer, taking dication from the muse. I don't know how the book will turn out in the end, though I know it will come to happy fruition. I have no idea if it will gain an agent or editor's attention while writing it or if it will sell, but I write. I challenge myself, knowing that unpublished writers can wait hours, months, even years, surviving rejection after rejection before realizing success. Still, there is that chance that I can do it. If I learned one thing last week, I learned that I need to be more diligent on taking a chance and I need to better prioritize my time.
My glass is half full. I choose to believe it. My FIL based his decision to have surgery upon that very concept. No matter the outcome, how can I, given the opportunity, deny myself the chance to achieve my goals of becoming a published writer? How can you deny yourself any goal you strive for? Life is a gamble but if you play the cards right, your glass will overflow.
Thanks to the voices of members of my local writing chapter and especially my blog sisters here, I push on. What helps you push on?