How I learned to pivot and pause.
I started going outside and better appreciating my surroundings due to the pandemic. At first I didn’t leave my house at all, concerned for not only myself but also my family.
After some time, I would work on the property around the house, then started walking the neighborhood. I later took out my bike and went a couple of miles in each direction.
Then I would finally drive but only within 5-10 miles . . . the concentric circles slowly continued to get bigger over time but there was so much to find within.
While I went mostly to places I had been or passed by before, now I paused since I wasn’t going any further. I felt so happy when I would see something beautiful within such close proximity and yet it had always been there. I had missed it before.
I found horse farms, preserves, gardens, waterfalls, markets, ponds, and even a forest-focused scavenger hunt.
I now remind myself to take more time to look around and take a breath as I do. As I take in the air I more intentionally think about what I see around me and how the environment smells and how the wind feels. I learned to appreciate the currents in the water which I can now sit and watch for quite a while.
I no longer just look straight at what’s in front of me and think about that problem that I need to solve – that’s the obvious and easy.
I now intentionally pivot and pause and suddenly I see the unexpected and I learn something new.
When working from home with only a few minutes to spare, I decided to take a moment to go outside where I have walked for over 25 years. On this day, however, I paused and this time I looked up!
I laughed to myself as in 25 years I don’t think I ever just looked up. I had not realized the differences between the trees and their complementary transitional colors. I enjoyed the way the shadows danced down the trunk to better capture its height. The trees appeared to gather at the top chatting in the wind and looking down at me to say, now finally you see.
I did venture out on a small hiking vacation, but cautiously, to take pictures of the harvest moon rising in Maine. But having taught myself to pivot and pause, I turned around and saw the onlookers silhouetted by the sun setting from the other side of the mountain – each shadow its own story captured in that moment.
It’s one of my favorite pictures as it would have previously gone unnoticed had I only focused on the obvious moon rising (I did capture the moon too 🙂
I love finding opportunities to look through my new eyes – places I may have been before but I barely recall as I wasn’t truly present.
It took me so many years to learn such a simple thing that I now seek it out almost every day no matter if I have been there before- after all, I just need to face a different direction and to be honest I probably didn’t really see it. Now with the second wave of the pandemic starting, I need to stay close to home again. But that’s ok as I still have so much to find with my new eyes.
I hope you have found this simple joy – pivot and pause and suddenly you’ll see!
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