Just home from our annual camping trip in Lake Tahoe and thought the timing was perfect to publish a previously written post as it applies as much today as it did two years ago when I wrote it.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
You see, the “master” bathroom in our 50+ year old home is not usually my favorite place to be. While I dream of having a large beautiful bathroom complete with a jacuzzi tub, a huge waterfall type shower with a place to sit down to shave, “his & her” sinks and a self enclosed tiolet (so I can still get to my stuff when dear darling hubby has taken the sports page into his favorite reading place)….what I actually have in reality is:
- a teeny tiny bathroom (I can touch all four walls when I stand in the middle of the room!)
- with a door that hits my knees when the 4 year old barges in to ask Mommy something vitally important
- what I call an “ugly gas station” sink (with a hole the size of my fist in the porcelin)
- and then a shower that if you bend down and attempt to wash your feet you bang both your head and your tail end on the tile wall.
- To top it off it was built with poor ventilation resulting in a regular battle against mold and the water damage beneath the linoleum is so scary that I joke with my girls that someday they will awake in the morning to find that Mommy has fallen thru the floor of the shower and is screaming as she fights off all the vermin that live below our foundation.
Yet even with all its complexities and problems, when I returned home last night covered with layers & layers of “magnetic Camp Richardson dirt” (if you have ever camped in South Lake Tahoe…you know exactly what I am talking about if not – see photo to the left of Daniel’s dirty face while camping this past week!), my bathroom turned into the most desired room in our house! As we unpacked the car, began the mountain of laundry, cleaned all the camping gear, restocked & put it away for the next adventure all I could think about was getting into that bathroom. It became the center of my focus and I wasn’t thinking about all its flaws…I was only thinking that it was my bathroom(complete with my germs & mold…which somehow seem cleaner than in public bathrooms). I looked forward with joy to getting into that small shower and just standing there letting the steaming hot water pour over my entire body. I relished the thought of every part of my bathroom experience! It became my oasis!
What changed? Not my bathroom….it was exactly the same as it has always been. No, what changed was me and my perspective! Isn’t it amazing how if we simply adjust our perspective and choose to change the way we see things we can go from disgruntled and unhappy with something….to satisfied, content and even possibly excited about it?
Perhaps you are not particularly thrilled with a piece of your life right now. What can you do to change your perspective? How can you begin to look at the situation, circumstance or person through a different lens?
If you are unhappy in a relationship with a family member, spouse, child or friend….how can you begin to look at that person in a new way? Can you overlook their faults and flaws and choose to concentrate on and look at the good things they add to your life?
If you are a stressed out Mommy of many little ones and feeling overwhelmed & exhausted….what can you do to look at this short time of your life and savor the moments instead of wishing them away? (they will be gone sooner than you want!) Can you forget the “to do list” or the desire for perfection and just play with and enjoy your children in the midst of all the undone things?
If you are struggling with the work load at home or in the office (even if your office is just steps from your kitchen!)….what can you do to change your perspective? Can you appreciate the fact that you have a home that requires lots of hard work and that you have a job that pays the bills…think of what life would be like without your home or work. Can you begin to “whistle while you work” or remember Mary Poppins advice..”In every job that must be done there is an element of fun”?
If everything you own seems to be old, falling apart, breaking down or in need of major repair….can you begin to look at your many blessings (even if they are “tattered & torn”) through the eyes of those who have nothing? (if that’s hard for you…perhaps a missions trip to the slums of Mexico may help you..it certainly has worked for us!)
If you are heavy laden & burdened by financial strain….can you take one day at a time and trust that the God who feeds the creatures of the earth & dresses the flowers in the fields will certainly provide for your needs? Can you choose to be content in all circumstances?
If you are facing major health issues or other overwhelming circumstances in your life that are causing you to be sad, scared or depressed….can you think on the positive purpose these things will perhaps potentially add to your life. Can you focus on the little joys in life (like the laughter of a new baby, smell of a fresh pot of coffee brewing, beauty in a flower, hug from a dear friend, a breathtaking sunset, clean smelling bed sheets…the list goes on & on) even when it is compromised by crisis?
Changing your perspective will not necessarily change the “facts” of your life! Many of us will still have problems in our relationships, stresses in our lives, overwhelming circumstances and things we wish would change even if we choose to look at them differently. I still have a tiny, moldy, flawed bathroom….yet today I see it differently and I am a happier, more contented person because of it.
Changing your perspective will change you!