Seeing With Fresh Eyes

The 'Glasses Apostle' in the altarpiece of the...
Time for a new vision? Definitely! Image via Wikipedia

I returned home a few weeks ago after a three-week absence, the longest I had been away for a few years in one stretch.

I suddenly saw the bedroom, robin’s egg blue, with fresh eyes, and I wanted a change, a big one.

Now it’s soft, warm gray — the same color we’ve had in our small dining room for a few years. It’s the exact shade of cigarette ash, soothing yet clean and crisp without being cold. (It’s called Modern Gray from Sherwin-Williams and the owners of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie [one of my favorite stores] have the exact same color in their country home.)

One of the great challenges of everyday life is being able to see things with fresh eyes. It all starts to blur after a while into a haze of comforting, familiar, routine sameness.

Putting my mother into a nursing home jolted me — hard — out of this stupor.

I sat with her at dinner, a silent room filled with nodding gray heads, and came home desperately grateful for my sweetie’s laughter and loud music and even the noisy small baby downstairs.

We sorted through boxes of her belongings, lovely things she had acquired from all over the world, from hand-embroidered dresses from India to a folk art wooden animal she bought in London. I came home determined to toss everything without meaning or serious value to me, from my old wedding ring to the armoire that’s been in the garage for three years.

The cost of her care every month is as much as we, combined, earn. Now we’re looking into long-term care insurance.

What has sharpened your vision lately?

9 thoughts on “Seeing With Fresh Eyes

  1. I got crystal clear on how I had been holding others accountable for my happiness (my pet peeve listing last week, victim mentality, was a visceral response to my own new insights). Thank goodness I now see that I had succumbed to the insidious lure of my ego to blame others and now I can be free.

  2. It’s a tempting and popular role — that of victim. It’s a terrible shock when you realize most (not all) people are wayyyyyy too busy being wrapped up in their own dramas to want to play in ours.

  3. Maribeth

    My bathroom is that same color. It is a very peaceful color. I have to admit, I have been feeling a bit lost lately, inspiration has not been hitting me. After having a full ms rejected a full months back I felt like I slipped down that mountain I have been climbing (Thanks by the way for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment). I am trying to regroup. I haven’t been in a funk like this in years. It might be a bit of the Winter Blues as well. I am ready to get back up.

    Nice post.

    Maribeth 🙂

    1. Thanks.

      I’m spending the day doing nothing income-producing but moving furniture and photos and art around the apartment, trying to find a new arrangement that makes me happy.

      Having a full ms. rejected is the pits. No wonder you feel lousy!! I hope you can get (if you did not) some constructive and helpful feedback to improve it.

  4. Last summer I woke up one morning with a backache. Nine months later–after doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, massage therapy and lots of exercises–I still have it.

    I was never so shocked in my life. I have been doing yoga for more than 30 years and never had a backache before. I thought I never would. Ha–silly me. Age happens, even when you exercise and take care of yourself. And when you suddenly become aware of your age, it does interesting things to your vision.

    1. Ouch! Poor you!

      I now walk like a 90 year old because of dead bone in my hip; which needs to be replaced. There is no greater shock, if you’re active and athletic, than when your body fails you.

  5. johnlmalone

    I have written a blog very similar to this which answers your question. If you get a chance visit my Home Page and scroll down to ‘Architecture in Poetry’ on March 19 and ‘The Six-Fold Path to Writing Success’on March 12. I’d be really interested in what you think: whether I have got it right or not. Either way I like your stuff and have added your blog to my list of Favourites

  6. One thing I have learned to remember about travelling through this world
    “Its nothing personal”
    We make the mistake so often of saying to ourselves “why me?” When the answer really is why not?

    Change happens so quickly sometimes, We have sold our house and are moving, while the house we are moving to has not yet been finished. We shall be camping out for a while while I finish building. Fun times, but my wife now wants a house to live in – not a project.


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