A Jolt of Perspective
For today’s post, I had grand plans of covering Tabata (a high intensity training method from Japan that I’ve been trying out). But after hearing about this morning’s incomprehensible shooting in Connecticut, writing about interval training just doesn’t feel quite right. Tragedies like this are impossible to make sense of; my brain can barely even process what actually happened, and as a parent, I have to work hard to resist spiraling into “what if” scenarios involving my own kids. With acts that are this senseless, it’s difficult to extract any sort of wisdom or lessons. It’s pretty tough to even move beyond the heartbreak. But for me there is one meaningful thing this situation does offer: a jolt of perspective.
As we go through our lives, in our little magical bubbles, it’s easy to lose sight of what truly matters. Far too often, we get stuck obsessing about first world problems. “Why isn’t the milk in my latte organic?” “I don’t have time to get to yoga class today!” “My commute ruined my morning.” “My kid won’t go to sleep.” And the list goes on. We spend our precious time worrying about “problems” that are, well, quite luxurious. Situations like what happened today are a solemn and important reminder that there are a lot of unknowns in this world. There are a lot of things that we can’t predict, and we never know when our life circumstances might change dramatically. For me, this abrupt dose of perspective is an important reminder to make the most of what I have. It heightens my desire to manifest what I’ve outlined in my wellfesto…to live within the guideposts I’ve set for myself…to run not because I want to run faster, but simply, because I’m able to run…to nourish my body not to attempt to look perfect, but because it’s a gift to eat foods that give me strength…and to tell the people around me that I love them because I’m able to see and hear and touch them.
This theme — the relationship of a sense of perspective with overall well-being is fascinating — and I’m going to do a bit of research on it and report back in a future post. For example, would kids work harder in school if they knew what a privilege it was to go to school? Would people be more successful in sticking to diets if they had a stronger sense of how lucky they are to be able to make healthy choices? Would pregnancy be easier for women if they realized their birth is more likely to be successful just because they live in the developed world?
In the meantime, I’m sending strength and peace to all of the families who are dealing with the unthinkable today. I hope today’s tragedy makes each person in this country think about what really matters and ensure they’re living their lives with these things in mind. How do you maintain a sense of perspective? How do you live differently when you have life in perspective versus being stuck in your microcosm?