We have done a lot of canning this year. Mostly tomatoes and various sauces, because we ridiculously-over-planted tomatoes, by about 40 plants. Yes. We have 48 tomato plants, and I wouldn’t be surprised if our skin tone took on a slight ruddiness after winter and all our put away tomato products!
We also did Blackberry Jam, which is easy. You can just turn the jar upside down and the heat of the jam will seal the jar. Makes for some interesting looking jars of jam if you end up with not a full jar to finish.
I had one of these at work, and my co-worker was nervous to eat it on toast, thinking something was horribly wrong with it to make it rise to the top like this.
Around the dinner table the other night, we got to talk about the concept of looking at something and either seeing it as half empty or half full. We used the Jam Jar as an example rather than the glass of water, because it seems to have a little more punch to it, and more relevance for where we are and what we do.
We specifically needed to practice the concept of gratitude for what we have, rather than looking at all that we may want, and feeling like we don’t have in comparison. I think the beginning of the holidays can be rough on kids. Everywhere we go, they are already seeing aisles in stores lined with every kind of half-baked idea of a toy you can imagine. What makes me sad is that lots of these toys will fall apart within the first week. We don’t want to give this sort of toy to our kids.
We want to instill in them an appreciation for all that we have living out here in the country, being able to ride bikes all the livelong day, instead of just with adult supervision out on a city street. They get to tear things apart out here, and put them back together, they can whip out a can of paint and do a mural on the side of the barn if they want, or build mini-bikes out of spare parts. They have so much they can do out here.
This year, we want to Make Gifts for our family. We will see how this goes, but the conversation of whether we see something and get sad over it, or see something and see potential in it, was exciting.
Until Scott turned it on me. I don’t tend to have a lot of patience with computers freezing on me or grinding to a halt in a frizzle. Computers don’t really keep up with me very well. I can get frustrated when things move slowly or just shut down for no reason. Scott came into the office while I was working on some accounting and bookkeeping to find me pulling out my hair at my computer and tense as all-get-out over something. He sat down calmly on the end of the bed, and referred me back to that lovely conversation we’d had with the kids recently about the jam half full or half empty.
I already knew I wasn’t going to like where this took us. I was on the verge of a freak-out, and he was going to give me a happiness lecture. Grrr.
But he reminded me about how hard we all work. There are so many things we do in a day. We start really early, we do our normal day jobs, plus all the things we are doing for the farm and our family and our tree business. He said that when things freeze up on the computer, I could do the half-empty thing and get tense and crazy, or I could do a half-full version and see it as a moment to sit back in my chair and breathe… take a little mini meditation moment in the time it takes my internet to get to a site.
I will have to say that in the days since we had this conversation, that advice has resonated with me many times at my office and here at home. My computer down-times in between tasks are becoming little zen moments for me. Half Full and getting fuller. Breathe!
What is your favorite way to see the jar half full in your life?