Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gaining Perspective



This morning I worried about paying myself, paying my bills, earning more clients, finishing my dissertation, getting some classes to teach, establishing credibility, and whether I should bother trying to publish my fiction at all.

This morning someone I know is sitting in the waiting room while her sister has surgery for cancer. Right now. She’s there, waiting, right now.

When I reminded myself of what she’s going through, I felt a new but familiar kind of space.

Perspective.

When I reminded myself that nothing is permanent and every moment is a gift,

When I reminded myself that there are people on this planet living separate but equally important lives,

When I reminded myself to get over myself, I felt space.


Space around my finances and my worries, space around my ever tightening waistband and my love of wine, space around all those things I let worry me: mommyhood and wifehood and writerhood and commitment and focus and work and achievement. (all links to this blog's greatest hits, FYI)

Space.

We’ve been beaten up this week with the arguments for and against the Zimmerman verdict. Some, like this one, talk about the ever present syndrome of fear. Others, like this one, discuss the importance of weighing both sides. One observes that the whole thing was just terrible. Many, like this one, are angry and want to teach others how to behave. Some are just honest, as heartbreaking as honesty can be.

We can pay so much attention to what we think and feel and we can pay so much attention to the wrong way others think and feel. We can obsess over those things we cannot change. We can refuse to change the things we know we should.

If, however, we get over ourselves, maybe there’s a bigger world. 

Maybe there’s space.

I told my writer friends last night I was going to write a new blog called: “Things I Do That You Do That Everyone Does So Get Over Yourself.”

First post title: Perspective.

Maybe in space your helmet fills with water unexpectedly and you have to be rescued by your fellow astronauts. And maybe that’s true in regular life, too. This over inflated sense of self-importance fueled by Facebook likes and re-Tweets is like water in our helmets.

Something like this simple phrase, “I’m in the hospital with my sister while she has surgery,” can be the equivalent of another astronaut helping us remove the helmet.

We’ve been treated to quite a few lessons on perspective this week. Has any particular one stuck out to you?

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