Unanticipated Improvement

Sometimes unexpected changes to plans can be the source of lasting memories.

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A few weekends ago, Tee and I traveled out to New Mexico to visit my brother’s family. My parents were also gonna be out that way, so we figured it would be a good chance to get the whole family together in one place, a feat that is incredibly rare these days. So months before the trip, Tee and I made plans, booked flights, and got excited.

About a month before the trip, the airline we had booked with changed our flight in to New Mexico. Instead of a short layover in Denver and an arrival time of mid afternoon on Friday, we instead had a 6 HOUR layover in Denver and wouldn’t be arriving until late that night, effectively killing an entire day’s worth of time I could spend with my family. I decided to cancel the flight and find something new, which ultimately resulted in us having to pay almost double for tickets. During that struggle, I had an idea: What if we JUST flew to Denver, rented a small car and drove the 6 hours down to Albuquerque? I found a super cheap flight to Denver on Thursday night and an equally cheap hotel in the area. It felt like a crazy idea and a somewhat illogical work around. Why not just pony up the larger ticket price and fly in? Why add a six hour drive to an already long day of travel (we have to fly out of Orlando since the Gainesville airport is literally the most expensive airport in the state).

I can tell you right now, it was the best choice ever.
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Lately, I’ve been looking up.

That’s not a metaphor, I’ve just honestly been trying to look up more.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I spend a lot of time looking down, even if just slightly. I’ve seen plenty of ground and floor. Watched my feet kick things around. Seen dust collected at the corners of rooms, stains on carpets. Observed bugs dancing across lines of asphalt.

It’s when I’m not immediately focused on something. If I’m waiting somewhere or walking. When I’m talking on the phone or bopping around to different projects at work. Whatever it is, my eyes tend to be either straight forward or down. A 90 degree field of vision  encompassing mostly floor. Maybe not 90 degrees, per se, because walking around looking straight down would be odd, but you get my point.

Recently, I’ve been changing that. If I’m idle, I’ve been trying to raise my head, look at what’s above me. I’ve especially been enjoying this when walking around outside, even just to go get the mail or through my parking lot at work. Trees I’ve seen every single day are suddenly a lot more majestic. I’ve been able to notice details about buildings that I otherwise wouldn’t, subtle flaws or hard to reach imperfections. I’ve watched birds zipping to and fro. I’ve observed weather building or dissipating at different times of day. Seen the light dance across the sky in different colors throughout the day.

All in all, looking up more just makes the world feel larger. When you set your gaze on a downward path, your line of site has a definitive end. You build a definable space where your mind and reality can exist, a bubble constrained by the presence of the ground and the edges of your vision. Only things in that bubble exist for you: a limited world of your  creation, made larger or smaller by a simple tilt of the head, but always confined. Directing things upward opens up the world immensely. A vast band of vision stretches out, encompassing so much more color and light. It seems like such a simple change, but it just adds so much more depth to the world, so much more life. Suddenly your world is rich and full of possibility. It’s vibrant and dynamic. All with a simple change of perspective.

Maybe it is a metaphor.

~C