I read something recently that struck me and stuck with me, at least, for the last 2 days or so. It wasn't anything original or that I probably haven't heard before.
It was something like this, "Look at everything as if you were seeing it for the first time or the last time."
I guess that goes along with "live each day as if it were your last", but that absolutely does NOT work for me. After all, if it were my last day, my husband wouldn't be golfing and I wouldn't be sitting on my porch alternating between reading, facebooking, and eating cherries. Not that this isn't a perfectly nice day, but I think I'd behave quite differently. And each day can't be lived as if it were my last, because I'd never go to work, I'd tell off certain people, and I'd spend all of my money and then have none for the next last day... anyway, it doesn't hold up in court.
But looking at things as if I'd just seen them for the first time, or am seeing them for the last time, that is something I can make use of.
Running yesterday through the hot, mosquitoey woods, I looked more carefully at the green, veined, sun-dappled leaves above me. I actually smiled at them. Watching my husband putting plants back on the deck yesterday after waterproofing it, I looked at him in this new way, and being unsure whether he was more tempting to me the first time I saw him, or if it were the last, I still found myself giving him a rare kiss and smile that is usually reserved for less ordinary moments than that one. And it made him happy. This morning I am being guarded by a barn swallow which sits above me on the hummingbird feeder whistling softly to its mate as they take turns feeding the babies. It is a joy and a wonder to me to see this small, wild thing trusting me so close. I see it every day, and every day it is amazing to me.
At 5 in the morning I had so many thoughts and ideas tumbling about and even flowing nicely and I knew I should get up and write, but when sleep is elusive, I chase it doggedly rather than let it go.
I remember appreciating the feel of our sheets and the smell of the cool, summer air through the open window.
It is probable that I will not hold onto this new perspective; it's not my nature to be so dreamily and simplistically pleased. But if I can do it even once a day, that would be satisfying. I am certain to return to my sarcasm, anxiety, endless worrying, and general angst that I can't fix everything and everyone.
Which reminds me of an epiphany I had in the 5 o'clock hour. I am aware that my friends and foe alike probably think I am "too opinionated" or that I want them to change and be like me, using natural products, recycling, turning off unnecessary electric items, spending more time in nature, turning off the tv and videos, reading intelligent books, exercising, freeing themselves from the guilt and control of organized religion, eating healthy... all the activites and labels that I've had applied to me, whether I actually am a poster child or not for this lifestyle. Here is what I think. I DO want people to experience these things. Everyone, not just people I love. But it's definitely NOT out of a need for control or a lack of appreciation or respect for who they already choose to be. It's because I have always found that the joys in my life are multiplied when I can share them with others. I am not a loner; I am not content with just enjoying something by myself. Rarely can I just experience a beautiful full moon, or a fabulous wild animal encounter, or even a good meal, without looking about for someone with whom I can share it. My own experiences do not seem to have the merit they deserve without a witness, and are best when said witness can also enjoy them. I want everyone else to experience what I have so, quite simply, they will be happier than they are. There is a quote in my friendship book that says something like, "To have the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with." That's why I probably seem to "push" my experiences on others, though I have never viewed it that way. I have never encountered a friend and wished her to be different than she is, or not loved her for who she is entirely. There is no disapproval, only the wish to share the gifts I have been given with others.
Could this could be compared to people who have experienced spiritual joy and want to share it? But then, I DO feel it pushed on me, and I dig in my heels most emphatically and turn away. Those I respect most for their need to share their joy are the ones who just live it, or try to, without talking about it all the time.
Perhaps I need to take a lesson from this, and just live my joys and hope that someone will want to share them with me.