Sunday, July 17, 2016

     



















     It's All In the POV (Point of View)

     When you look at the photo above, what is your focus? Do you admire the color in the sofa? Do you like the room arrangement? Do you wonder why there is nothing on the wall? Do you wish you had a grand piano like this? Do you wonder why there are no drapes on the windows? Do you focus on the carpet and thank goodness you have hardwood? We all bring our own personal perspective and experience to every scene. Each of us has a different filter depending on our backgrounds. No one POV is correct; it's just different. This brings me to today's reflection on perspective.

    I always find it amusing to listen to couples describe a particular experience. The wife has one version, and the husband often has a much different one. If you were to ask Mr. Wonderful and I about the transition to our new home and community, you might get two different perspectives. For example, yesterday, I was anxiously waiting for him to hang some art work on our very bare walls. I have been waiting for several days, not very patiently, so I was all psyched to see a room or two come to life with some color and charm. Just as he was about to hang the first three pieces in the master bedroom, he decided to go check the new landline voicemail. Why at this particular time, I don’t know, but he did. Over an hour later, he was still on the phone with the internet/phone company trying to figure out why the landline didn’t work. Meanwhile, I am pacing the floor stewing about my bare walls. 

    
     With nothing else I felt like doing at that moment other than wondering the obvious, I sat down poolside and began my new novel. The sun was shining, a gentle breeze ruffled my too-long frocks, and I settled into a story about a guy on death row who was now given a last-minute reprieve. Point:  I am lost in fantasy basking in the sun while Mr. Wonderful is “on hold” for 25 minutes waiting for some 12-year-old in India to fix our phone problem. 

     Another example of a difference in stories might be the evening we spent last night with our new neighbors. I was deeply enthralled with a story told by the woman who described her experience as Director of Nutrition for a New York hospital while Mr. Wonderful was straining to hear her husband talk while a large table of 20-somethings was chattering loudly in his ear behind him. If you asked us about the ambiance of that restaurant, you would have heard this:

Moi:  Lovely place, excellent food and service and a lively upscale crowd.
Mr. W:  A dim, noisy venue with too many tables and bad acoustics.

     I am not criticizing Mr. W’s response, just making the point that we all have different perspectives when we are in exactly the same place.  

     We talked about many subjects with our delightful neighbors last night, and it was interesting to consider the perspective we all share about where we live in our “golden years.” We are all done with the big, impressive custom homes and their responsibilities. We are happy with “small,” and have adjusted to “same-as-everyone-else-on-the-block.” Well, almost. Even downsizing over 800 square feet, I still wish I had someone to help clean. I still don’t like front garages with tiny houses on the side, but such as it is, I am grateful that all the 20 or more people we’ve met who live in our immediate circle here are perfectly fine with the adjustment. They are all professionals who are highly educated, looking to kick back and do whatever whenever and who are focused on nature, staying active and fit and talking about the next play or concert downtown or their next tennis match or round of golf.

     Final point:  Are you very different from one or more of your siblings? As you both had the same parents, consider how you each saw your world depending on your birth order, your parents’ situations when you were born and the state of the world at the time. My sister and I have completely opposite opinions of our upbringing. You would have thought we had different parents. We did. When I was born, World War II was affecting the lives of all young couples. When my sister was born, the war was over, and my parents were focused on recovering and living the best life they could make. Parenting was definitely affected by our birth orders and by the state of the world. How about you?