I'm certainly not the first person who has ever - or will ever - suggest a change in the way you are looking at something to help make things feel better. As a quote lover, there are many many quotes out there on this topic from some people much wiser than I am.
"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." - Abraham Lincoln
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss (and quite popular around this graduation time of year)
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau
"Most folks will be about as happy as they make their minds up to be" - Abraham Lincoln (again... would love to chat with that guy for a bit)
And the two that I have taped to my monitor in my office
"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with what happens to you" - adaptation of Chuck Swindoll quote
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - Winston Churchill
So why am I spouting off a bunch of quotes? (And there are LOTS more of them on this topic and others that I love!)
I have recently had my perspective changed at work with a literal change of scenery. And we are about to have a very nice change of pace and perspective as we take off for vacation next week. And then as I was thinking about this during one my to/from work commutes, I realized something else. These 3 things, have lead me to want to discuss how uplifting and important a change of perspective/view/scenery can be.
First of all the commute realization... commuting isn't fun. It's something I try to make the best of and I'm really lucky in that I'm able to work this 7-3 schedule to avoid the worst of the traffic. Particularly in the afternoons, even at 3:30, traffic can be rough and I really want to get home. And it's easy for me to fall into a trap, even with a good audio book going, to just get in line and stare at the car in front of me. And it's kind of a drag. And then for some reason, I'll look up. (Without putting myself in danger, of course.) And when I do I will often feel an immediate sense of increased peace. Cheesy, but true. There's almost always beauty in the clouds or the blue sky (or even a grey one) or the very lush green of Georgia. It's a reminder - a free one - that there's more to life than a commute and the car in front of me. So now I try to remind myself, whenever I'm on a road trip, to simply look up. To look around and to recognize all the stuff around me - not just the boring cars and hot, dusty roads.
Aside - I don't think it's an accident that it's a reminder to "look up".
The second of these things is my new view at work. I think I've complained about work enough recently that you are all probably sick of hearing about it. Honestly, I actually kind of like most of my job. It's just harder and more stressful than I've had to deal with in a very long time. If I were miserable, truly miserable, I would move on. The fact that I'm challenged is actually, oddly, nice. It's kind of fun to run into difficult situations and work hard to make them better. (For what it's worth, mean people - both colleagues and clients - still suck. I can't come up with a positive for mean people.) So work is work and I am thankful to have a good job. But my seat in the office was dismal. It's been several jobs since I've been in a cube. And while I told everyone (including myself) that I didn't mind going back to a cube when I started here, I probably wasn't being very authentic. I hated my cube. Not so much, honestly, because it was a cube as the fact that it was JUST off the lobby and you couldn't even SEE a window from where I sat. It wasn't awesome.
And then an opportunity came up for me to move to AT LEAST a better cube. This was so I could sit near a new engineering team that we just hired that I am working with on a new product. It's good for me to be near them and I jumped at the chance to get out of the lobby. This whole thing turned out WAY better than I could have expected when I scored an office. With a door. And a window. And even a guest table. It's also at the far end of our office space, so it's quiet. It's SOOO nice. Check out my new view. I've been in this office for less than a week and I can't even believe how much it has improved my mood. It's not a coincidence that I'm able to look up. To see sky. Life is bigger than a cubicle.
Next week we get to broaden our horizons a little more - and also those of our boys - with our summer vacation trip. We are heading back to the beach. And this year we've scored a great house. It's the first time in probably 30 years that we will be right on the ocean. And this house is fully booked 2 years in advance. No joke. We've had these reservations for 18 months. I'm ridiculously excited. We are down to 3 sleeps... Be on the lookout for fun vacation pictures next week!
In the meantime - LOOK UP! Change your view. Change your perspective. Find the beauty.