Saturday, August 22, 2009

Life Lessons...Perspective, Perspective

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Perspective, Perspective
by A.M. Homes

It's hard to know what came first, my desire to not worry or an overload of the worry systems---so much to worry about that I couldn't possibly do it all. Maybe it was a brush with death -or watching others die-and the birth of my child. I'm pretty sure it was right in there between death and birth...losing a parent I'd never known, a beloved grandmother, and a best friend...and watching the planes hit the World Trade Center from my window. After all that and my daughter's birth, following two miscarriages and years of fertility treatments, I like to think I've gained a certain perspective.

Maybe it was also the fractured disk I suffered seven months into my pregnancy, the two months I spent in a wheelchair and my accidental opportunity to experience the world and its flaws as a handicapped person...and then the back surgery four days after the baby was born, which left me wondering if I would walk again. I learned a lot -or more like I gave up a lot. Any ideas I had that one has control over one's life, surroundings, destiny all went out the window. And with that came freedom--I no longer care how great my hair looks or whether I have the right clothes for a party [Well, OK, I still care-but less than I used to]. Frankly, as a single working mom with a two-year old, I find just showing up a minor miracle.

Importantly, though, it wasn't as if this perspective just "happened". It was a decision I made to step back, to learn to wait, to pause before reacting. I meditate, I breathe, I remember to wait--if not necessarily to think--before acting: to feel and to note what I am feeling and to tell myself that it is just a feeling or a thought and that not everything needs to be acted on. I have taught myself to be mindful of small moments. And when I'm having a bad day, when I can't get a real person on the phone, when it feels as though all of life has been outsourced, I take inventory--beginning with the acknowledgment that I am in fact very lucky, I have a happy child, I am walking --and today, at least, no one I know has died. On good and bad days alike, I am also aware of what I can do for others--extending out of my own life and into someone else's, not just taking care of myself and my own but embracing the larger world. Maybe I knew that already--but it doesn't hurt to be reminded.

repost from Elle Magazine's "The Most Important Thing I've Learned"


elsiee said...

Gratitude covers a multitude of lifes annoyances for me too-sweet post!

Raven said...

Almost daily I notice a "check point" put in front of me to make me stop and think. Usually the ones that really stand out to me are people with disabilities or those who are mentally disabled. My eyes instantly tear up and I realise how great I really do have it in life... These check points usually happen when I'm having a "woe is me" moment.

The hubs and I were just talking yesterday about this and he mentioned that he thought these 'special angels' are here to make us realise these things.

I used to work with the mentally disabled, so I think for me it's also a gentle nudge telling me that I need to volunteer somewhere either with them or the elderly.

Notice the daily "check points" that are placed in front of YOU each day.
Stop and think...they really help to put your life into perspective.


Petra said...

Wow, this is a deep one. Meditating helps me to get all things more into perspective. I also agree with Elsiee's mention of gratitude--and I do notice the check points that you mention. It's weird how life works.

Renee said...

You have the most wonderful blog and I am glad to be here.

You are brave and I like that.

Renee xoxo

Torie Jayne said...

Great post x

Renee said...

Hi Raven thanks so much for giving me Jenna's name for the art piece.

I did a post explaining everything about the art on my blog back I think around February 20, 2009 called 'Art Heist'.

Long story short while receiving chemo for almost three years I just kept downloading pictures off the internet that I liked and at the time I never did a blog and never put any names, I just kept clicking save, save, save. It just took me away from being sick to stare at images.

So 90% of the pictures I have, I don't even know who did them, so I totally appreciate when someone knows and lets me know then I place it on the blog.

Jenna's name is now on the bottom of the post for her picture.

So thank you.

Love Renee xoxo

Papagaio Mudo said...

nice text, but I ask you

Elle from the US
or from UK
or neither?



Kristin said...

What a lovely thought provoking post!

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