If you were to ask most people around me, more often than not, I'm a glass half full kinda guy. I tend to consider myself very lucky. I've been blessed with a lot of great things to this point in my life. I'm married to the love of my life, my immediate family is healthy and growing, I love what I do and where I work, and that's just a few. But the highs never seem quite as high without a little pain and suffering. It's been a rough start to the new year - an unexpected death in the family, cancelled vacations, and now a broken ankle - the doldrums of Winter and this string of bad news, have been taking their toll.
Being stuck inside, leg up, looking outside through a dirty window was finally getting old. Ask the Mrs., I was crabby and probably not much fun to be around. Over the last week, I've been making ankle has been improving and I've started physical therapy. During one of my recent therapy sessions, as I was hopping on the bike, a pretty boisterous gentleman burst through the door and loudly announced his arrival. First impressions had me thinking he was loud and obnoxious, trying to draw as much attention to himself as possible. He said "Hi!" to everyone that would listen and joked with the staff. As went to get started, they instructed him to join me over on the bikes. "Oh, great" I thought.
I hadn't really looked up or really paid much notice, but soon our physical therapist was introducing us, Willy, Brad. Brad, Willy. Willy was quick to take it from there, and used the intro to give me a run down of his last couple of years. He was in there not only rehabbing, but reeducating his limbs on how to work. He'd been paralyzed almost three years ago and was on his way to getting his legs to work consistently. He could get them to work more often than not, but sometimes they'd just shut down. He was in there three days a week, while at the same time trying to start his own business and manage a family. Mind you, to me my injury was a big deal. It was the inconvenience, more than anything. Not being able to do things for myself was frustrating. But in the end, this was a small bump in the road. Seeing what Willy was going through, telling me about how he was pushed out of his business after the accident, trouble at home - it was like a hard slap of reality across my face. Here this guy was, with plenty to be not only mad about, but something that could easily drive someone to depression, and he's making jokes about his legs not showing up for work, and laughing and playing with the staff. He was the breath of fresh air and the kick in rear I needed.
So often I, and we as a society, focus on the negative. We jump to the defensive so quickly, like everything is a personal attack. We struggle to see the positive in things and tend to focus only on complaining. I was a perfect example of the glass half empty mentality. I thought everyone was out to get me, life was terrible and there wouldn't be a tomorrow. Without the ability to fish, drive, walk, run, or do anything, life just wouldn't be the same. What would I do? And heck, it's only temporary for me.
Getting a dose of reality from meeting and hanging out with Willy for an hour knocked my life back on course. It's something I'll think back on when I need a good kick in the butt. As I begin to walk and soon get back on the water, it's going to be all about the time I spend hanging out with good friends, making good casts, whether they're rewarded or ignored. A chance to focus on photography, maybe a couple of short videos and finding some new water. We're often all so caught up in catching big fish by the hundred that the journey and adventure along the way can get lost. In everyday life, caught up in the hustle and bustle of what's going on, we don't look around to appreciate what we have.
Here's to drinking from a glass that's half full in all aspects of our lives.