I was sitting with a soon-to-be 4th grader and discussing the story she wrote about traveling to Vixet, a secret planet near the moon. In it, she described a bird that was red if you looked at it from one direction, but a brownish white from another. I thought it a very interesting descriptive detail from an eight year old—the recognition that we can see differently depending on where we are standing.
She could have had the aliens arguing over whether it was red or white. But she simply observed that it would be different depending on perspective. The parallels to the political and cultural “birds” are everywhere. But my brain can’t get into all those issues. So I’ll stick to my little corner of the world. Because it happens here too.
My life is very different today than the dizzying, packed, full on busy I had a couple years ago. From one direction, I can decide it’s a little empty. I didn’t “do” much that day. In the past, if I didn’t do much, it meant I was sick. It was the only way out of busy.
But today, I walk, garden, read, write, knit, cook, and other things I enjoy. And sometimes, at the end of the day, I conclude that I did “nothing.” When I’m aware, I try to change that conclusion because I really enjoy the slow pace of life these days. If I don’t catch myself, though, that feeling of not doing anything can feel heavy.
I am finding that if I change my perspective, I can change my reality. Heck, it’s MY narrative; I can tell the story of the whitish brown side, or I can move and talk about the vibrant red. From one direction, I did nothing. But from the other, I had the most productive day.
I let my body recharge because yesterday felt busy.
I recovered from a night I didn’t sleep well.
I gave my body some “medicine” and took a walk in the sun.
I meditated and gave myself some mental health support.
I read a book just for enjoyment.
I tapped into creativity by writing or knitting.
I nourished my family by cooking a healthy meal.
I fostered calmness with some deep breathing.
I poured some energy into my attitude by resting.
This is so much better than answering the “what did you do today” question with “absolutely nothing.” I have definitely given that answer. And I think I made my body a little sad each time I did.
So whether we are on the secret planet of Vixet or sitting in our own backyard, let’s remember that there are many angles to view a “bird.” Being I can choose the perspective, I’m going to choose the one that’s most helpful and beautiful to me. I’m not a big fan of brownish white, so I’m going to make sure I bring vibrant color to my view.
For anyone struggling with “doing nothing’ or coming up empty at the and of the day, maybe it’s time to see it differently. This is also important if we’re looking at the world through the media right now. It’s not all brown and white. Let’s find the color today. It’s out there.
Thank you Gracie, for reminding me that colors can change if I can change where I stand. Even here, on Planet Earth. Especially here.