I need some perspective. Every day.
Standing at my dining table and frantically sorting papers, I came across an article about focused and unfocused attention. I sat down to read it. Research shows that our minds need a break from focused work, attention to computers and phones and TVs and written words, lists and chores and even our day to day rituals.
We need to be unfocused.
Which could be an accusation—Don’t be so unfocused! As if stopping for a pause will cause irreparable harm to our entire lives, entering some sort of Universal Permanent Record as a black mark against us.
Instead, I was so happy to hear what I really already knew—we are fed by daydream time, walks without talking, letting thoughts drift like fall leaves on a creek.
Why are we so anxious? Yes, there are damned good reasons for deep concern in our world, but we also get fixated on actions and doing, and so spiral around and around and around without relief. I have been reminded: Let go, for at least a little while, regularly.
I look at this photo of Lake George Village from a Prospect Mountain overlook, and first I see the fall hues, rolling on curvy mountainside. The colors are distributed unevenly—evergreens at the top and bottom, bunches of golden clumped in the center, rust and orange here and there. With a deep breath, I see these are all individual, multi-story trees that usually tower over me. A couple of bright red trees glow down at the bottom, which leads my eye to Million Dollar Beach and its building and parking lot.
—And the bathhouse and roofs of houses there, and tiny cars and all of a sudden I realize how big what I am looking at is, how small I am.
Spying from up high, I remember summer sand time, snow on the bike path down to Queensbury, walking on Lake George one January when it was frozen hard, and then somehow appreciation for all the experiences and people I’ve had there. Like the raptors and crows, my thoughts glide and wheel smoothly in the air over Lake George. I feel happily unfocused and with shifted perspective, able to move back into my (yes busy) life with more ease.
As snow falls over us today here in the Capital Region, how can you let go, unfocus, for at least a little while, and refresh yourself?