She walks around the house, wonder and amazement written all over her face, as if she’s never been here before. “Wow! Wow! Oh, wow!” She walks, arms outstretched, pointing here and there, running her hands along surfaces, brow furrowing should anyone impede her movements. Although she’s been in this house several times a week for a good portion of her life, it’s as if her surroundings are completely new to her. She squeals with delight as she rounds a corner, as if a whole new world has been opened up to her. Perhaps it’s the change in perspective she’s had recently.
As I watch her, I think to myself just how amazing, refreshing and helpful a change in perspective can be. Like when I’m having a bad day and then I have a conversation with someone whose life has just been turned upside-down and suddenly my day doesn’t seem so bad after all. Or when I choose to look at a mistake I made or loss I endured as a lesson learned instead of a tragic event. Perspective changes come in very handy when parenting as well - like when one of my children is in a bad mood and instead of feeding their mood with the frustration I tend to feel, I’m able to use humor and love to transform their attitude and our day.
One of the biggest changes in perspective I’ve had recently has centered on my need to slow down and learn how to live with my psoriatic arthritis, rather than fight my body to maintain an unreasonable level of activity. It’s been difficult to go from doing to being. Finding joy in stillness and slowness has had its challenges but has created a sense of balance and the ability to live in the moment. Physical slowness has allowed me to slow down my thoughts and perceptions so that I can move thoughtfully through my day and has transformed my world into one of beauty and relative peace. I notice more of the beauty of the world around me and in the people around me. I have more time to be thankful for the blessings in my life, to let go of the what-ifs and concentrate on the now.
It’s as if I’m allowing myself to see the world with new eyes – with the eyes of a young child who sees the splendor of the clouds moving across the blue sky, is curious about the ladybug on the windowpane, and revels in the feel of mud between their toes. And who delights in the newly gained perspective that going from crawling to walking offers – just like 14-month-old Maggie as she wanders through my house, face beaming with excitement at this new perspective on things.