This morning, I received a message from a dear friend who is now half way around the world, settling into her new life with her husband — not just with the beginning of a new chapter with living overseas, but because their children are now in college as well. Although she really doesn’t have a “routine” yet, she has begun patterns of sorts, including where she takes her walks. For whatever reason, she has walked at this park near her new home and found something that felt a little familiar and it quickly developed into the “way.” I remember when this happened with my walking route in my neighborhood over 5 years ago.
But today, she had an appointment that took her to the other side of the street. She shared with me, “As I was walking along the sidewalk on the opposite side , I was intrigued by the change of perspective. Sometimes, change doesn’t need to be big…simply walking on the other side is all it takes!”
Although the changes she has experienced over the last few months have been on a much bigger scale than you and I could ever imagine, what caught her attention the most today (long enough to reach out to a friend located over 4700 miles away) was changing her vantage point. Just an easy change of scenery did the trick for her.
So I started to wonder…
How many of us have gotten stuck in a routine?
Doing the same old thing, day after day, with no variations whatsoever?
We don’t recognize it as mundane until it gets changed…
…by something so little as walking on the opposite side of the street.
I know people who live by routine and unfortunately, they will also die by the same routine. It is the same thing for breakfast every day, their daily activities don’t change, and they attempt to control as much of life as they possibly can by never exposing themselves to it. They hole up in the same spot on the couch every night, watching the same pointless program that just seems to pass the time, never really engaging them to think or to act.
But no matter where these people live or what their “routines” are, they all see the world the same way…their way.
And only their way.
They don’t know how to look at life from a different angle. If they recognize something as different, they view it as bad instead of learning something new or taking advantage of an opportunity to grow.
Developing a new perspective does not require a move halfway around the world…in fact, it is usually something much smaller that gets our attention.
In most cases, something almost seemingly insignificant is what starts your mind heading in a new direction.
For me, those little triggers come at all hours of the day, no matter where I am. This weekend, I found simple joy in watching a toddler laugh as he playfully ran from his mother. He found happiness in the game of “Come chase me!” over and over, as I relived the memories of when my boys would do the same to me. But this time, I didn’t find it as frustrating as I did back then. I found amusement in the repetitiveness of how many times this young boy would take off running towards the same spot every time and how mom always caught up to him. From my point of view, his giggle was always loudest and most genuine when he knew mom was chasing after him — in some way, it actually made him “toddle” just a little bit faster.
I bet if you were to ask his mom what she thought about chasing her son repeatedly over and over for 10 minutes was like, she would tell me “exhausting and frustrating” while I find it all quite amusing.
The same situation, different perspectives.
[bctt tweet=”Change is apparent when we recognize a difference. “]
When was the last time you mixed it up a bit?
When was the last time you drove a different way to work?
When was the last time you fed the ducks on a lazy Saturday afternoon, just because you could?
When was the last time you tried some new food?
When was the last time you walked on the other side of the sidewalk?
Life can be anything we want…we can change it up anytime we choose. But most people pick easy and familiar instead of being excited about something new. Our lives change when we allow our viewpoints to lead us to experiences that otherwise would not occurred.
As we grow, we understand the variety of life is what makes it most sweet, not the sameness found in it.
Michelle A. Homme 2015 ©