I am writing this while sitting in a comfy, over-sized chair, my feet up on a matching ottoman, in a beautiful beach house owned and generously offered to us by friends. There are no bad seats in this house because water surrounds it on three sides, as do the spacious multi-level decks. From the minute my husband and I arrived, I have been marveling at the 180 degree water view because it feels so expansive, so open. After commenting for the umpteenth time about this grand setting, it dawned on me why this was more than mere aesthetics; the 180 degree view was the complete opposite of how necessarily narrow my life has been recently. My internal perspective has measured about 15 degrees, as if I had blinders on with no peripheral vision.
We all go through periods, good and bad, when we must focus like a laser on a single issue. Illnesses, births, final exams, moving, and marrying are examples of life events that require precise attention. Our world views appropriately narrow to a slighter angle. Everything that is not immediately applicable to our task at hand automatically gets bumped down the list of priorities. This narrow focus, this 15 degree awareness, serves us well when we are in the midst of a whirlwind.
Our challenge arises when it is again time to broaden our perspective and outlook once circumstances permit. The wedding and honeymoon end and then real married life begins. Buying a new house and selling your old one consumes a lot of energy, but then you move and settle into your new surroundings. Illnesses get resolved and the patient and caregiver move on.
This beautiful beach house, with its 180 degree view, reminds me it's time to resume living large. After intense focus for many months, there is space in my brain again to read books purely out of interest, to get back to crafting, when hours fly by in what feels like minutes, and to resume fighting for my political causes. Myopic attention is no longer required of me, and it is time to dive back into my bigger world.
How many degrees is your view of life? How narrow or wide is your perception of what you can accomplish, of what you can become? Do you have blinders on unnecessarily or is your view closer to 180 degrees?
My generous friends gave me more than the gift of a weekend retreat. The real present was my shift in focus from a narrow angle to a wider view. Not everyone is fortunate to have access to this beautiful beach house, but we can all pause, measure our life angles, and make necessary adjustments. It's just geometry.