August 6, 2008

My Perspective on Perspective

Let me begin by removing the most obvious & pointed spiritual answer to the question, "What is the meaning of life?". Of course, it's Jesus. Period. If you don't know that or haven't discovered it yet, call me and we'll talk. Acknowledging that, I think you can have a conversation about hundreds of other little events, awakenings, and epiphanies in life that reveal hidden truths and wisdom that bring even more beauty to the ultimate truth. 

So it is there that I begin on this glorious 36th birthday. I think I'm realizing that much of the point of this life is a constant change in perspective. It's learning that someone else always has another viewpoint or way of looking at something or feeling about it. It's discovering that your own viewpoint & perspective are going to constantly be changing...your whole life! Just when you think you feel a certain way about something or that you've got it all figured out, BOOM. Something happens and it's as though you're in someone else's shoes. And usually, their shoes don't fit you.

What brings me here is that as I woke up this morning - not remembering it was my date of birth until I was going to the bathroom - I was hovering above myself, eavesdropping on my own ridiculous thoughts. I wasn't thinking, "Man, I sure feel older" or "Wow, does my back ache". I was stuck on, "I wonder how my Mom feels today?" Uhhhh, yeah. What? Why am I being awakened this morning with this? Is this some kind of weird, middle age transition I haven't read about? This is a new one for me. And then it hit me...........

Perspective. It's all about perspective. You see, I no longer have birthdays as Brian, the man whose life revolves around himself. I am now Brian, Libby and Nathan's Dad. The Libby that just turned "6" for cryin out loud. I know that every time she has a birthday, mine's coming. Everything that happens in my life now goes through this filter. Every birthday my kids have make me feel way older than my own birthdays. My aging and mortality are one thing, but my kids? No way. They have to stay this age. In 6 months my daughter is halfway to "teenager"! Excuse me while I take some Excedrin.

So YES, I woke up this morning and immediately pondered, "How does my Mom feel about all this? Her firstborn getting older? Probably remembering today what SHE was doing at age 36. Is she remembering that her hair was the same color as mine at that age? Has she been waxing nostalgic all morning, looking at pictures of my long lost childhood? she wouldn' know...forget. My own mother...FORGET my birthday!? No way."

No. My Mom didn't forget my birthday. But last December she had a birthday. It was the big "60". So, understanding all this changing perspective stuff, it could be that she woke up today, remembered that it was my birthday, and thought, "36. He's still a baby! He thinks he's a big man, knows everything. But I know different. Big whiner!"

Because you see, it's all about perspective. And if you just give it a little bit of time, like mine, yours will change. And your best way to prepare for this? Just start thinking of perspective like underwear: If yours doesn't change pretty soon, it's going to start stinking and will probably stick to you. And when that happens, it won't matter how old you are.

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