Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Changing Perspectives

A few years ago I realized that my life is about half over (well, if I live to be 106 anyway, as my husband points out.)

A funny thing happens when you crest a hill and start down the other side. Instead of looking the direction you’ve always looked, your entire life, you find yourself like a skier suddenly heading down the mountain, looking in a new direction, going faster than you have ever gone---or expected to go---carving out surprising new terrain and trying to maintain some semblance of control-- to avoid the scary parts, hold onto your stabilizing poles, and keep from landing on your fanny---or worse!

And in order to do that you can’t be looking in the direction you were up until then. You have to take in the new scenery. Look at the view from a fresh perspective.

If you want to keep going, that is. If you don’t, you can stubbornly look in the same direction, maintain the same perspective as before, but one way or another your remaining journey will probably be short. And you'll miss a lot of good stuff.

Let's hear it for new perspectives! I'm glad that just when I think I can't be surprised anymore, life/God/nature throws something amazing in my face that shakes me out of complacency. That happened when I saw a glacier lake for the first time...its unique beauty made me cry. I think the emotion came from a recognition that life always holds the potential to surprise us in wonderful ways. That's where hope comes from, I guess.

We climb mountains in one way or another throughout our lives. Maybe what we see during our journeys depends on how willing we are to change our perspectives along the way.

Go climb a mountain.


  1. Love this post. And I agree it is amazing that life (and people) can continue to surprise us.


  2. jeannette, you have a wonderful way of writing and thinking about life. you always have been so very insightful. it's a gift i have always appreciated about you.
    this photo looks like crater lake which none of our four sons have seen, although their uncle carl is driving up there today for the first time and he's 67.

  3. Thanks, Patti, your words mean a lot to me. I am loving the opportunity to write again after all these years (empty nest creativity at long last ;-), and feedback is so very helpful...and comforting. It's a little scary to put my stuff out there...I even removed the blog for a few days in a moment of insecurity. But...blazing ahead anyway now. And, yes, that is Crater Lake! We just saw it for the first time last month..and will probably go back this fall. What an amazing planet we live on!So much to see...