The Long View

This is where I grew up ~ near the top of a hill, overlooking a small, industrial city. 

I spent the weekend at my parents’ house and had some free time on Sunday afternoon.  It was one of those picture-perfect days.  Warm sun.  Cool breeze.  Perfect day for a walk.  So, I put on my Nikes and headed out. 

I’m a little goal-oriented obsessive, even when I go on walks.  I usually set a time goal or a destination goal.  Today, it was all about destination viewing platform.  It’s one of my favorite spots in town.  On the platform, you can always find locals as well as new visitors.  And if the ice cream shop is open, a few kids with messy faces and sticky fingers.  This day was no different.

No matter how many times I’ve looked over the edge and down on the city, I’m captivated by the view.  You can see how the buildings relate to each other, the street grid, the river, the railroad tracks, and the surrounding hillsides.  Together, it all makes the city look interesting and amazing.  Some call it a birds-eye-view.  I call it The Long View.

Sadly, many locals don’t spend much time downtown.  They say that the buildings are old and show their age.  Or, that they’re annoyed by parallel parking.  Or, that there isn’t enough excitement.  One small detail or another holds them back from enjoying the city, and also holds the city back from thriving.  When I go downtown, I always remember the view from the top and the small details of the city’s imperfections don’t seem to matter so much anymore.  I also look up at the platform and wave – just because I can. 

With most things in life, stepping back from the details lets you see and appreciate the total package.  It works with home life.  It works with jobs.  It also works with people….especially the ones you live with.  Honey…if you leave your 8-iron in the middle of the living room.  One. More. Time.  I’m gonna  %*(#%&!!!   Small details and annoyances will always be there – it’s how you view them that matters.  Mr. Backbone is an excellent golfer and being competitive is part of his total package, which I love.  So, now I just smile when I see the occasional club sharing our sofa with the pillows and remote control. 

If details and annoyances tend to ruin your day, your work, or your relationships, take a step back.  Remember the whole package.  Take the long view.

Do you tend to focus on details, or do you see the longer view?  Are there any details or annoyances bothering you right now?

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Renee on August 30, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Thanks – I do believe I needed that one!


  2. Love this post! I am very detail-oriented, and often have trouble reminding myself about the bigger picture. But it’s so true that when I do, I’m not nearly as annoyed or overwhelmed by the little stuff that really doesn’t matter anyway.


  3. Posted by moradomariposa on August 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    is that from the Star in Roanoke, VA?! my aunt and uncle live there and i’ve been up that mountain many a time in my life. i love the long view. it also reminds me of that prayer/reflection attributed to Oscar Romero.


  4. I love looking at cities from above. For me when I fly and I look down at the farmers fields it reminds me of home. Big blocks of squares somehow seem to comfort me at times.

    This is a wonderful post that so many of my girlfriends could stand to read right now. Just today I had to remind a friend of the big picture.

    So loved the way you drew this all together!


  5. […] If you liked this post, you may also like The Long View. […]


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