I knew one day I’d look back a the “old me” with a new lens, but I didn’t think I’d witness the actual shift of old me to newer me.
At first, I didn’t think I learned much today, but I think it’s because it’s all happening right before my eyes, and it all relates to how my perspective is shifting on so many things.
Perspective Shift #1
I took my kids to the zoo today. For anyone that lives in my county, you can get free admission to the zoo on Mondays. I used to avoid the zoo like the plague on Mondays. A zoo crowded with poor people. No thanks.
Guess what? It’s Monday. My kids are already going stir crazy from being home together. And its a lovely sunny day. Oh, and we’re currently the poorest we’ve ever been, well, ever. So I took my kids to the free zoo. We ran into my son’s babysitter, and she made a comment about the crowded zoo “on a Monday.” Which meant: “the crowded zoo full of poor questionable walks of life”.
I had no words. I normally would have nodded with her in agreement and laughed. Not today. Today I was speechless because I was one of those people and I wasn’t the type of person I thought of when it came to Free Zoo Mondays. I now saw this as an opportunity rather than an annoyance.
Perspective Shift #2
Tomorrow is bulk trash day around here in the city. I never used to pay much attention to it. I’ve always known you can put out extra trash once a month, and I’ve taken advantage of it here and there, but I’ve been looking forward to it lately. I’ve had more time on my hands to clean out old stuff, and I can’t help but want to purge crap that has been in my way for more than 10 years.
I’ve had a half broken table and four chairs (from the 1970s) in my basement collecting dust for more than a decade. The table and chairs aren’t even mine – they were given to me from a roommate I lived with right after college. I didn’t have a table and chairs when I moved out, so she just let me take it. They are so ugly, but they were functional and I was broke.
They followed me to my “adult” house after I got married. I used the table to fold laundry on in the basement, and the chairs sometimes served as drying racks back in the day when I used to buy clothes that were in no way tumble dry friendly.
As I lugged the chairs out to the curb, a nosy neighbor lady asked me why I was getting rid of the chairs. She said “What if you have people over and need extra seating?”
Um, no. I have plenty of seating. In fact, I have too much.
I used to get annoyed by this lady. In the past, I may have just answered “No,” and then been agitated about her questioning me. Today I smiled and offered her first dibs on the chairs if she wanted them. She declined. That is what I thought. I went about my business disposing of the broken garden hose wheel that has been uselessly laying in my driveway.
I now actually love that she is nosy – her nosiness once scared off some people attempting to break into my garage. I’ve embraced her nosiness as a gift ever since.
Perspective Shift #3
As I rolled out the recycle bin to the curb, the trash pickers appeared. These folks cherish the night before bulk trash day like Christmas Eve. They make their rounds in their rickety old pick-up trucks and they have no shame. I used to be both perplexed and annoyed by the trash pickers. Like why in the hell would anyone want to pick up someone else’s garbage off the street?
I now love these guys. You know why? 1) They are creative souls that will figure out how to either sell or reuse whatever it is that they pick up, and 2) They enable me to put out more extra trash than the city allows. You get to set out up to three extra items. If they pick up even one of those items, I can get rid of more of my junk!
Those trash pickers picked up all four chairs within five minutes and they were off. I thanked them. I got to thank them! Thank you for taking my junk!
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
This whole day went by and I didn’t I didn’t think I learned anything. But I’m realizing that my whole perspective is shifting in a different direction on many things right in front of me.
New perspectives are like little lights that go off and you see more of what you couldn’t before. It’s very intriguing.
Stifle Me Not