Seeing Clearly

Every day I walked in, I noted them. They were impossible to miss and yet I couldn’t do anything about it; the office windows. They were dingy, dirty, and covered with a greyish film consisting of years of dirt, rain, pollution, salt spray and whatever else floated by and stuck. The large windows provided much needed light but the dirtiness muted the light, the view, and the mood.

Then it happened….. I heard the beeping and saw the cherry picker raise up, bringing a crew of window cleaners. In about 10 minutes, they cleaned the entire span of windows; years and years of dirt and grime gone in just 10 minutes.

Wow, I what a difference!! I just stood there soaking it all in. Gone was all the years of dirt, dinge, and just ick. I had forgotten what it was like to have a clear view. The deep blue sky, dotted with white clouds actually looked inviting. The distractions we had grown accustomed too, were now gone. The natural daylight fills the office unfettered, making it bright and cheery. The mood instantly is better.

At times my life can be like those dirty, dingy windows. Things are going along, then something happens. Some dirt gets stuck if you will. Then more dirt sticks to it and soon, my vision is cloudy. For whatever reason, I do not, will not, or cannot address whatever the “dirt” is. Maybe the dirt is fear; fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of being judged. Maybe the dirt is pain, emotional or physical, or both. Could be anything, but I don’t like it and I know it, but “I’ll change it later”. Day after day goes by. Days turn into months, months into years and the dirt is still there. By this time, I’m used to the dirt, have accepted it as normal and have totally forgotten what its like to see clearly. I lose the clear vision.

Then it happens; an unexpected, but much needed change occurs. Someone or something appears at the perfect time and all that old “dirt” is cleared. Wow!! I can’t believe how much dirt there was and how much clearer things are. I am glad the dirt is gone, but at the same time, I am grateful for it because now I truly appreciate being able to see clearly. What a blessing it is to have the distractions removed, to see the light brightly and to see clearly.

Experiences make us Rich

I’m watching a dear friend pack up and head off to a small town in the mountains. She doesn’t have a job yet, just family members there. She’s telling me all the cool things she’ll be doing, which ironically are the same things I’d like to be doing.

The difference is I’m not willing to give up my good paying job to go do it. Yeah, I’m not thrilled with what I do, in fact most of the time I’m totally bored. I hold on because the money is good. She’s letting go and embarking on a life of her dreams.

As I was sulking around the house feeling quite a bit envious, a thought immediately popped into my head. Riches are measured in experiences, not how much money you have. Say what? Where’d that come from?

Okay, going with that thought, I looked back at the things I remember the most: climbing a fourteener, hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim, camping at the Great Sand Dunes, climbing Klingmon’s Dome, having lunch in Cades Cove, waiting for the clouds to clear at Mt. St. Helens, walking through the redwood forests in Northern California, whale watching in Monterrey Bay, flying co-pilot on a skydiver jump run, 4wheeling Blanca Peak, and the list goes on. Every time I think about any of those, I smile and remember good times.

Now I think about the raises I received, the occasional bonus, etc. Hmmm, I remember a few of them, but most are forgotten. I do remember the promotions and how exciting that was. Why? Because I had more money to spend on trips!

Think about when you sit around with friends. What makes a memorable evening? The sharing of stories that make you laugh, cry, and touch your soul. That is what makes us truly rich.

I’m not ready to quit my job just yet, but a change of focus is definitely in order from this side of the keyboard. A little shorter work day and more focus on enjoying life because a life well lived is the best riches ever.