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.

Making it a Priority

“I got the job!!” Mary exclaimed. She was really happy and for the first time in months, I actually saw her smile. The new position was everything she wanted; close to home, better pay, room for growth, a solid company, and only 40 hours vs. 60.

In the past year I’ve known her, she’s stated numerous times how she hates her job and hates the long commute. Those statements weren’t just idle words. I could tell by the emotion that it was something she felt deep inside.

As we talked about all the advantages of her new position I could visibly see her countenance improve. Mary commented that as soon as she gave her notice, her entire neck and shoulder area just relaxed. “I knew I was feeling this, but didn’t realize how much till I yesterday. I remember this feeling; THIS is normal”.

Mary went on to explain that at some point, you just realize this HAS to change. You can’t take it anymore. Once that happens, you have to make that change a priority. Finding a new job didn’t just happen. She looked diligently, searched online during the bus ride to/from work, stayed up late sending resumes…whatever it took.

The ride home was lively as we discussed how people often think “this” is all there is. “This” being commuting an hour to work, working weekends, not having any money, and being treated wrongly. It was refreshing to talk with someone else who realized there had to be more than just getting by and accepting what was. She knew there was something better; there had to be and she worked diligently to find it.

Most of the people I commute with complain about their job, their pay, and then go to sleep. Day after day, week after week, month after month, it’s the same old story. They have two hours a day to read a book, read about a new skill, revise their resume, or look for a job on their smartphone. Instead, they complain and sleep. “This” is all there is for them.

Mary is different. She didn’t accept this as being all there was. She had enough, made it a priority to change and persevered till it happened. Thank you Mary for stepping up, breaking the status quo, and sharing some great insights. Good luck in your new position!!