Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lessons Learned From the Backyard

My office window looks over the entire backyard...pretty much.  It is a second story view so, I can see quite a ways and it is a beautiful. I haven't always appreciated the view. When we first moved to this rental house I was laser focused on a building that needed to be torn down. I later found out from a granddaughter of the original owners that the building was where the small livestock were kept. The actual part of that building that was so very offensive to me was the very first outhouse… interesting but still ugly.  Our first family visitors to this house/home were our first born child, his wife and two children, our beloved grandchildren. I made a big dinner for us and it was a lovely fall evening so...I suggested we have dinner outdoors on the deck. My son looked off into the backyard and remarked "There's the million dollar view!"  I thought he was being sarcastic. He wasn't. It wasn't until I looked beyond what I had considered an eyesore...and saw a breathtaking view. Now, I look beyond the building that STILL needs to be torn down...and see the view because my lesson is:

You should look beyond shortcomings because usually there is something beautiful just past what you are seeing.

We have a beautiful deck on the back of this house to go with that beautiful view. In fact...most of the houses on the street have back decks, or back porches, or even wrap around the whole house porches to accommodate this view! At first when my husband and I would take our dogs outside in the backyard, we would notice the house next door and that everyone indoors would be outdoors in the evening. They would sit on the porch, rocking in the rocking chairs, rockin’ and starin' at us. Bob and I finally pulled up two chairs and faced it in neighbor’s direction and stared right back...thinking... How rude? Two can play this dumb game!  They should come over and welcome us into the neighborhood! We are the new ones but instead...they are just rockin' and starin'. About fifteen minutes into this fruitless endeavor ...Bob looked behind him. He then suggested we turn our chairs around and appreciate the view...that our neighbors were enjoying. Our neighbors never did welcome us into the neighborhood although after I went and introduced myself, they do throw up their hands now and wave at us. But...we sit out on that deck and enjoy the view, a glass of wine and each others company most evenings. The lesson for me was…

To take my joy in what is happening around me, Life is too short for petty grievances and it is rarely about me anyway!

Recently I was talking with a friend and she remarked about how deep I was. I was a very thoughtful thinker...she thought. As a drove home on Cloud nine, I was thinking ...what a lovely thing for her to say and what a wonderful thing for me to be. I came upstairs to my computer and I then opened an email to this blog... and there...was a comment. A person was commenting about what a shallow so and so I was. I immediately left Cloud nine and felt defeated. I hadn't changed. I was still me. the space of a half an hour my mood and my self esteem had changed.
 The thing is I am neither deep nor shallow. My lesson in this...

People will see you based on their perspectives. You be yourself. Be authentic. Show up. Ponder praise and criticism ...and gain what wisdom you can. But remember...beyond the Outhouse is a million dollar view. And when people stare sometimes it has nothing to do with you... it is just their view beyond you!

I want to be the person looking for the million dollar view. I want to be the person who will turn my chair to see the other person's point of view. But...mostly I want to sit on the porch in the evenings in the back yard, drink in hand, beside the guy I love and ponder!

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