Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Baby It's Cold Outside
Baby, it's cold outside.
That song has been going through my mind since I first opened the door this morning to let Piper out to do his business. The front door was ice-encrusted and the bitterness of the air massaged my foot before I even opened the door--just from being beside the door.
It's gonna be a cold one today.
But inside? It's toasty. I'm wrapped up in my fluffy robe with a cup of chai beside me. I have the decorative lights that hang in my living room turned on so that it's not too bright, bringing a sense of coziness to the room.
It's a little piece of perfect.
I was reading yesterday how people are born with a positive outlook...or not. It isn't something you can teach yourself; it just is. So if a person with a positive outlook got in a car wreck, lost the use of both legs, they would say, "I am so lucky to be alive!"
But if a person with a more Debbie-downer outlook got in that same car wreck and lost the use of both legs, they would say, "Curse the day I got in that car!"
It made me stop and think...which one am I?
The truth is, do we really know ourselves? It's kind of like a walking by a mirror and realizing that our hair is a mess, or that our shoulders are slumped. We don't really know what we look like. We don't really know what we're like from others' perspectives.
I find that baffling.
How is it that I am me, have always been me, with my feelings and habits and idiosyncrasies and yet...I am still surprised when people tell me their perceptions of me? Still surprised when I learn something new about myself? Like...That's not how I feel on the inside at all! Or...gosh, I didn't know that!
Years ago, when we lived in Wisconsin, I had a friend who didn't really like me. I suppose you would say they weren't really my friend, but the truth is, we socialized together all of the time. From my perspective we were friends; but the friendship wasn't reciprocated. In fact, one time somebody close tho this person told me that the problem was this friend found me intimidating.
That baffled me. I feel like I am probably the least intimidating person on the planet.
And then the other day I read a blog by a dear friend who claimed she's never felt like she's cool. Yet when I met her, my first thought was She would never like me; she's too cool.
So I guess the point is, how do we really know whether we see life from eyes that are upbeat and positive or through shades of blue? What is factual and what is perspective? Where does truth lie in the midst of judgment?
I'm not really sure.
But this is what I do know:
I want eyes that find the good in others.
I want eyes that are filled with compassion and kindness.
I want eyes that, when life deals me a bad hand, find the goodness somewhere, even if I have to look in crevices to find it.
I want eyes that, when I feel misjudged, choose a better way.
Life is short and my journey, if all goes well, is just about half-way over. I find that baffling too. How does life go by so fast? But I still have much to look forward to: milestones to conquer; seasons to enjoy; holidays to experience that leave me filled with wonder; people to meet and stand awestruck at their stories of survival; places to visit; and so much more. The list is endless and it brings excitement to my heart to think of all the possibilities that are in front of me.
Life is what we make it. We aren't powerless--simply pawns in the winds of time that blow us whatever direction fate chooses.
We have choices; we can choose a better way...
Baby, it's cold outside.
I could choose to stay inside and dream of summer, wish that winter would get over already.
But instead? I'm going to bundle up. I am going to throw on my hat, my wool coat. I'm going to tie a scarf around my neck and put on my fleece-lined gloves.
I'm going to step outside the comfort of my home.
Regardless of perception, regardless of my messed up hair and unanswered questions about Really...who am I?...
I'm going to embrace life and all that it encompasses.
I'm going to live, eyes wide with wonder.
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