My son has fallen in love with puzzles.
Until I bought him a “big-boy” puzzle, I thought he was pretty good at putting them together. (Confession: I thoroughly enjoyed finishing the 300-piece Peanuts project all by myself.)
As I was working on Charlie Brown’s iconic yellow shirt all by myself, I kept thinking about perspective. I guess a puzzle has a way of emphasizing that. Every time I got “stuck” with a certain puzzle piece, I’d flip it and rotate it – looking at it a completely different way.
In all honesty, perspective has been consuming lately. I think about it all the time. Even before I started putting Snoopy’s doghouse together, I was realizing the importance of perspective.
One of my last blog posts even touched on it. I stressed the impact of perspective as it pertains to my “Live the List” project, and decided that was the fastest way to reach contentment and start living with a grateful heart.
I’ve recently been doing speeches on “Live the List” as well. My favorite part of these inspirational talks revolves around how we look at life.
I throw out general examples regarding perspective:
Do you think you’re stressed?
Talk to the single mom of three, holding down two jobs so she can put food on the table.
Does your life feel hopeless?
Talk to the addict who has relapsed and been abandoned by his family.
Do you hate going to work every morning?
Talk to the person who can’t find a job.
The groups that I’m talking to usually get it – the glass can be half full OR half empty. It’s their choice.
Then I share personal examples, specifically about having 11 jobs in the 11 years since graduating college. While most people look at this as a monumental failure or consider me a loser, I look at my professional run as a victory.
I wouldn’t be where I am today – doing what I love to do – without going on that crazy 11-year ride. I wouldn’t have finally embraced my God-given ability to write and inspire others if I would have stayed in an unhappy situation.
Without those 11 jobs, I wouldn’t be living a bold and adventurous life right now.
– – –
As I ceremoniously let The Boy insert the last piece of the Peanuts puzzle, I started thinking about perspective in the rest of my life, which is currently consumed by the following facets:
• A 3-month-old daughter who refuses to sleep through the night and goes through diapers like she owns stock in Huggies;
• A house that won’t sell (and allow us to build our legacy house in the country);
• A 3-year-old son who refuses to show me any form of affection.
While some people might look for something dull to stick in their eye, I simply take a step to the right or a step to the left and look at each situation with a different…perspective.
Sleepless in Fort Worth
It doesn’t take long for me to forget about my comfy bed.
As I pat her swaddled butt and keep her from spitting her pacifier across the room, I think back to the night she was born and count my blessings. As she fights sleep with all her might – squirming and fussing in my arms – I’m just thankful that I get to whisper, “Shhhh, sweet girl. Go to sleep.”
Reminder: We thought something tragic happened to our unborn daughter in the delivery room.
When I think back to that nightmare, her cries aren’t so loud and sleep is not that important.
– – –
When Ily Belle fills a brand new diaper with her iconic yellow poop, I NEVER say: “I just changed you, Sister!”
I count my blessings that I don’t have runny, mustard-colored poop all over me. I’m more than happy to change her again if that fresh diaper does its job. (Even if she wore it for all of 42 seconds.)
– – –
No Place Like Home
Our house has been on the market a lot longer than I ever imagined. I joke with people that I should fire my real estate agent, which is me.
To get the house ready to sell, we did a lot of renovations. It looks better than it ever did the 7 ½ years we lived there before.
So when we don’t get an offer after a showing, I imagine God whispering, “Enjoy your house. Enjoy the fresh paint. Enjoy the new floors. Enjoy the updated shower. It. Will. Sell.”
– – –
Hug it Out?
I wrote a controversial blog post about a year ago, declaring: “No more kisses when my son turns 3 years old.”
The one comment that really stuck with me: “Kiss him as long as you can. There will come a day when he won’t want to kiss YOU.”
Well, we’re officially there.
The same guy that said, “I think it’s weird when parents kiss their school-aged children on the lips,” would do anything for a sweet peck from The Boy.
I can barely get a bro hug these days. I guess he’s too cool.
I’m sure you’re saying, “Let’s see you spin this, Mr. Perspective.”
My new-found perspective is two-fold:
• Crash has simply started a new chapter of life. While I might not get “baby kisses” anymore, we can now play a legitimate game of catch in the backyard, do a puzzle together and talk about putting God first and others second.
• When Crash does throw his arms around my neck or plants a sloppy kiss on my cheek, it’s powerful. It’s definitely quality over quantity for The Boy’s moments of affection.
Example: The other morning, he climbed into bed with me and then proceeded to lay on top of me.
ME (still asleep): “What. Are. You. Doing?!?!?!?”
CRASH: “I luuuuuuvvvvv you, daddy!”