Day 1,565 – Thankful for More Eyeholes In the Shoebox Diorama of Life

This morning I went through my new ritual as I have for much of the past week. I started with reading a stoic passage – this one was focused on remembering what’s truly in my control and what’s outside of my control. The one page contained enough wisdom to help point my day in the right direction. Afterwards I moved on to reading my 2021 goals and framework. This reminded me of the direction I want to stay focused. It started my morning with a deep seated level of serenity and purpose.

After doing some weekend stuff around the house we dropped off Dominic at Mount La Crosse for some snowboarding while Becky, Gavin and I went for a hike. We went to a trail not very far from the ski hill. Surprisingly, it was a trail I’d never been on before. I’ve lived here for over 20 years and done a lot of hiking but somehow I’d never ended up on this trail.

As I’ve written about often over the past months the peace of being in the woods is nothing short of awesome. One step into the snow covered forest valley and I felt at home. The quiet stillness of the woods had me wide eyed and smiling in awe. Sharing the experience with my family made it all the better.

Walking along the ridge provided astonishing vistas on both sides. One side was overlooking the forested valley. My eyes scanned the woods for signs of movement to catch a glimpse of wildlife like the few deer last weekend. This side looked like it was straight out of a painting and was exactly the view I’d love to have from my backyard each day (minus the winter wonderland).

The other side was a panoramic view of La Crosse and the Mississippi River Valley. We could see the majority of the city and multiple rows of bluffs in the distant background. The view was simply breathtaking.

What really caught my attention was that this was a new view of the same valley I spend the majority of my life in. It took a moment for me to re-orient myself as the view was different than I’d seen in the past. The valley was the same, the city was the same, it was my perspective that had changed. Seeing it from a different angle allowed me to see different parts and to observe the landscape from vantages I’d never used before. I was grateful for the opportunity to see the “same old” differently.

That got me thinking to the way my morning started. I am still living the same life I always have. I am still me. That said, the change to my morning routine has allowed me a different vantage point to view my life from.

In August of 2016 I wrote a blog post about the metaphor of a shoebox diorama (you can read it here). I love the metaphor of having a shoebox diorama with an entire scene put into it. When new eyeholes are put in I can look in on the same scene from a different angle and I’m able to enjoy the new view. It provides the opportunity to catch new details never seen before and to gain a deeper meaning based on the additional view.

While looking at the city from a new perspective on the trail I thought about that shoebox diorama. Then I thought of the diorama of my life. The new eye holes I’ve recently punched in to view my life – daily reminders of my values, daily reminders of my goals, living intentionally – have allowed me the opportunity to view my life from a different perspective and I’m very grateful for that.


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