Blog Project Day 51: It’s about perspective
It’s about perspective. Sitting here on the blue and white sofa, I can see the lighthouse PBN I thrifted during a wonderfully warm afternoon tooling around Bennington with Ann and Robin, the Holstee Manifesto poster that I bought for both Debbie and me for Christmas, the (still-not-steam-cleaned) tailored blue chair I garbage picked a few months ago, my collection of books by Colette and May Sarton, the photographs that the other Kimberly took of us all wearing her clothes when we were fellows at the Fine Art Works Center. I think what I’m getting at is that when I sit here, listening to a “mixed tape” I borrowed from my friend David, it’s pretty clear that I have a good life. I don’t have a perfect life, but I am sheltered, I am clothed, I am fed, and most important of all I am loved.
I was thinking today about how it’s easier to focus on the #fail, the lack. But I’m not actually motivated by failure. I’m too much of a closet perfectionist for that. If I look at the fact that I only exercised twice not three times last week—no matter the extenuating circumstances of feeling unwell—I think, “Oh, I’ll just never get it right. I’ll never be able to keep this up.” But when I celebrate and applaud each and every day I do get out of bed on time and I do sweat my way through a 45-minute tape, I am much more excited about doing it again.
I think that’s a true thing about life in general. It’s much harder to press forward if we only ever focus on the lack, if we’re constantly trying to plug a hole in our lives. Isn’t it much easier to build on what’s already there? And if we only focus on what we don’t have—no husband, no kids, no savings account to speak of—don’t we miss the wonderful friend who applauds on Facebook everytime you exercise (thanks Leah!) and the sister who introduced you to the Brit chick-lit author Jill Mansell and will spend an entire hour in the Life is Good store with you debating over which sweatshirt to buy (thanks Debbie!), and all of the many kindnesses and chuckles that make life worth living and give you traction when you need to pull yourself through a hard time? If I were going for the t-shirt or bumper sticker version of what I’m saying, I guess I’d say—if you don’t like the view from where you’re sitting, maybe you just need to change your perspective.