Perspective Taking

IMG_2459webWe often don’t take the time to consider the many opportunities that arise each day, opportunities to look at something in a different way. My drive to work this morning gave me the chance to see the beauty created by cold and fog… pogonip…pogo meaning beard and nip meaning sharp or biting frost. It turns ordinary trees, bushes, even weeds, into something beautiful. It also derives from the Shoshone word for a dense winter fog containing ice particles. As you can imagine, this was quite dangerous to settlers and Native Americans who did not have sufficient shelter. One element – two results – beauty and danger.

I have recently had a few opportunities to look at events in my life from a different angle. Some of what I have seen disturbs me. Other aspects leave me feeling hopeful and even joyful. I have watched people I care about struggle with life lessons, continuing to try to swim while sinking in quicksand. I have been grateful to see another begin to move past some very difficult issues and enjoy more pleasurable and rewarding pursuits. For me, while my aneurysm repair surgery was unexpected and unpleasant, it has given me a new schema, a new way to see my world.

That reminds me…I never indicated what big, distressing decision I made earlier this month. I had been supervisor of a large mental health clinic that grew from three staff including me to 15-16 with a few more on the way. Upon returning from my surgery, I realized pretty quickly that the expectations (significant overtime with no additional pay, high stress, etc.) of the job were not in line with my desires and wishes. I also realized that my health was more important than the role I was playing. So, I stepped down as supervisor. I did not lose pay; extra pay never came with the position. What I lost was a great deal of stress. What once seemed the only possible direction for my career had become an unhappy burden and my new perspective finally allowed me to see it clearly.

So what now? I will be developing an expertise in disordered eating and disrupted body image. This will help me begin the path I intend to take upon retirement into private practice in just under six years. It may even include seeking ACSM certification.

For now, I plan to take advantage of every opportunity that arises and try to view each event, interaction, and person from every point of view…perspective.

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