Boy have I gotten some new perspective these last few months. It has come to school me and reshape my thinking on things both big and small. This shift in perspective has come mainly because I was open to it, expecting it due to the choices I have made recently. As you may already know, these choices have been physical, intellectual and spiritual.
I've found myself thinking a lot lately about things related to exercise. Mainly this is due to the fact that I have actually been exercising lately. THIS JUST IN: I've decided I need to buy an armband for my iPod. I formerly thought this was sporty flamboyance when I saw people with those contraptions strapped about their arms. However, I've discovered when you actually sweat vis-à-vis exercise, your hands get too sweaty to hold an iPod. Similarly, between your collarbone and bra strap is no good either. Let's not mention any other crevices in that area that could seriously short circuit your electronics if you sweat profusely enough.
Another formerly ridiculous notion is that of getting some type of treadmill or exercise device. I was thinking of putting it in the attic. You know, for the winter months when it is too inclement to exercise outside. Yes Gentle Reader, I have now come to realize that you probably can actually exert yourself in the wintertime rather than lumbering about in fleecy nightclothes eating as though hibernation was nigh. Should my ship fail to come in and prohibit such a purchase, I will make do, but still exercise throughout the cold season.
On to things less carnal now. I recently finished reading Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. See the link for in-depth details. However, the book chronicles the journey of a young Sierra Leonean boy as he goes from a 12-year-old trying to outrun the war, to a boy soldier (under duress), to a rehabilitated young adult. It is a choice book for the 10th grade summer reading so I had to read it to prepare for the fall. As I read it, I came to tears and winced more than once and felt strongly that EVERY American should read this book. The luxury of boredom, the apathy regarding our freedom and the general lack of gratitude for the goodness of living in America are my reasons for saying so. The unimaginable horrors Beah experienced, and the simple, eloquently heartbreaking way in which he conveys his story truly moved me. It shifted my own perspective about how grateful I should be to live in a place where I only have to read about someone else's account of such misery. I really have so very much more to be grateful for than I had previously been conscious of.
This naturally brings me to my final area of perspective, the spiritual. I have been faithfully (no pun intended) taking time to read from devotionals and the Bible at least 5-6 days a week in order to get a deeper understanding of who God is and in turn, who I am in Christ Jesus. I read a chapter from Psalms and Proverbs a day, along with working on the book of Acts at present. I find that my spirit and attitude is more reflective and grateful, and my interactions with those around me more pleasant and understanding as a result. When I was simply attending church services and then leaving God in his little Sunday/Wednesday box, I was limiting the transformative power He so freely gives if we only seek Him. I want to get to 7 days a week without fail, though life and responsibilities sometimes cause the day to run away from me. I'm still working on that.
This habit, as well as those of good eating, exercise and reading vs. television are ones I desperately desire to maintain once I return to the full time grind in September. With great excitement and interest I look forward to how these habits will impact my effectiveness on the job and at home. Here's hoping all of these habits together will give me enough of a shift in perspective to overlook or laugh off the inevitable frustrations and challenges of working full time and being a mom. I am savoring these last weeks of "freedom" and am so very grateful to God that my circumstances allow me the time and luxury of self-development and improvement.
Perspective is indeed, a beautiful thing.