Spilled Milk and Zooming Out

Have you ever noticed that the more difficult the day or more trying the season, the more narrow our perspective shifts? Slow drivers in the fast lane, glitchy internet and casual disruptions become colossal frustrations. Minutia unrails momentum. 

I struggle with it a lot. When I'm zoomed in too much on me and mine, and when my expectation of a given day is far too granular, everything goes haywire - sort of existential even. I lose sight of where I came from and where I'm headed. I even forget why I'm doing whatever's at hand. And when I'm looking at life through a microscope, it all compounds. 

Last week, for instance: 

1) Driver violently cuts me off on the freeway after I've had all-day meetings that didn't exactly go perfect

2) I blow a breaker plugging in humidifiers for my (sick) kids and kill electricity to half my house

3) Frustration blindsides logic, and I check every switch except the proper

4) I get up from my dark living room to grab food out of the microwave and knock over my drink on the floor my wife just mopped

5) I'm fuming over spilled milk

6) A stiff drink starts to sound very friendly

7) The weekend feels further than ever before

A trivial example, sure, but I think chronic negativity starts with the little things. The barbs grab hold and we get stuck. Negativity captures our perspective and transcends speech, encounters and would-be relationships. 

But what if we had the ability to zoom out and fly at an altitude just a bit higher? 


Perhaps we'd recognize challenges as proponents of positive change. Maybe relationships that drive us nuts benefit both parties in the end. Maybe everyone is a teacher. Maybe your next adventure is one step away. Maybe this is the last lesson you need to learn on the road to success. Hindsight is 20/20, yeah? Why does it have it to be hindsight? Why can't we approach every adversity with sincere curiosity and the eager expectation that it will reveal something new? Why do we default to doubt?

I'm doing my best to do life from a different angle. The "woe is me" thing isn't working and it never has. I'm trying to fixate on possibilities rather than complexities. I'm trying to see chaos as a launching pad for great ideas, beautiful relationships and a venue for honest exploration and self-improvement. 

I'm trying to zoom out to remember that in the grand scheme of things, things are pretty awesome and the best is yet to come.

You in?