Once upon a time a precocious child approached his grandfather with a half glass of water. “Grandpa,” he asked, “is this glass of water half full or half empty?” The grandfather smiled gently and turned to the cupboard pulling out a new glass. “Let’s pour the water in this one and then decide.” As the child poured the water it filled the new glass to the rim. “Oh!” exclaimed the child, “a right-sized glass!”

I awoke early this morning. Also true is that I had a sleepless night and gave up trying just before dawn. Regardless, I found pen and paper and sat with early morning coffee watching the sun rise… and it was very good.

I wonder about the power of our stories for framing our experiences of today and even tomorrow.

Yesterday I lamented to my beloved, frightened by the prospect of my pending unemployment. “I’ve never been unemployed. What if I can’t find a job?” My dear one has been exceedingly patient in this time of transition and also grounding. She gently reminded me that I chose to leave this position, that together we made a conscious decision to step off the secure path, that there is no shame in taking time away from payroll earnings. Her voice is soothing and I realize that even greater than my financial concerns are concerns about identity. Who will I be without a professional role that has given my life shape and definition for literally decades?

Although my employment may cease, whether I am “unemployed” or taking time for spiritual renewal or retooling for a new career, the label I choose will affect how I experience these coming months. Awaking this morning, I had clarity that for today I choose to be honoring this time for personal/spiritual renewal.

And as I sit with this clarity in the shadow of the rising sun, my cup runneth over.