Up or Down?

The red sky illuminated the morning in some sort of unknown celebration. It was Tuesday. Not much of a day to celebrate really. Monday could mean a brand new week – or the bottom rung of the ladder. I guess it would depend on what type of person you are. But Tuesday, well, it is just the day that follows Monday; the day before Wednesday, hump day, the middle of the week – ½ over! It is the beginning of March, but as my fingers typing these words remember,winter doesn’t always seem to want to give up its icy grip. The hope that March holds of spring weather and crocuses blooming is hard to believe in when you wake to 10 degrees!

Actually, the red sky in the morning means bad weather coming. At least that’s what the sailors said – you know, back before weather radios and satellites and dopplars. Red sky at night, sailors delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning. So now my celebration sky has become a warning. Interesting. Two perspectives. Life is full of those – perspectives. I try to keep on the positive side of them, but it is a challenge to do in these “tough economic times”. Aren’t you sick of hearing that term? I sure am. Maybe I just wish everyone would realize that all that the economy needs is a new perspective. Shift! Instead of focusing on the negative, they need to focus on the positive. And they need to redefine positive and negative. With such accelerated technology in the world today, it should only be expected that we would need to start redefining things. But sadly, I feel humans are hard learners. It has to hit them in the head hard before they get it. So I guess the key is, how am I going to hold on while this ride gets a little crazy?

I remember going to couple of amusement parks with my youngest son when he was too young to go with friends, and needed someone to go with. He would want to go on a ride, and rather than focus on whether or not I wanted to go, I would just go, because I didn’t want my fears to hold him back. One particular ride looked rather mild and non-threatening. But the truth was that I just hadn’t watched it long enough. It consisted of a circle of hanging umbrella chairs that went around and around. The only problem was that once they got going, the whole thing tilted and then you were going around and up and down, not to mention that the whole thing gave you the perspective of hanging over the adjacent body of water. I closed my eyes tight and just prayed for the ride to end quickly. In that treacherous moment of desperation, my Catholic upbringing came back to me, and I just began chanting the same prayer over and over in my head. Needless to say, I survived it. It wasn’t fun for me, although my son loved it! Talk about perspectives. I saw my life threatened, while he felt exhilarated with adventure. When I was safely on the ground, I have to admit, I felt a little more alive than I had before the ride. But I am still not going to seek out those thrilling rides in the future.

Riding the storm out seems to be one of the surest ways toward growth and becoming a larger person. It would be great if things came easily and life was a lazy river ride. But I guess there is some universal force that feels the lesson will not stick unless it is inserted with a sharp point. But as the point is inserted, I sometimes remember that even pain is a perspective. So I guess that is the key, to get up each day and consciously choose. Choose the perspective that you wish to live from that day.

Today, my body is crying out. My muscles ache from my diligent daily workouts – my attempt to undo seven hours of sitting at a computer earning my paycheck every day. My head feels as if sleep has yet to leave all the corners of my brain. The sky is a dismal gray. I guess you could say that I have a challenge ahead of me – mind over matter? So here goes – my body is letting me know that I am making a difference with my workouts, my foggy head is telling me to wake it up – take it on a ride. And that gray outside is accompanied by warmer temperatures that promise of spring sunshine, new growth and longer days – a new beginning. Okay, I think I am getting it now. And my spirits are lifting, my muscles relaxing, my hope revived. My focus changed. A new perspective. Yes!


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