5.05.2014

PERSPECTIVE


would you look at that gray sky? it's pretty spectacular.

right, so i have been thinking about perspective. do you know what i think is the trick about spring? i think the trick is perspective. also realistic expectations. but mostly perspective. spring is the most erratic season. it's always rainy, and cold, and kind of awful. but where did i get the idea that spring is supposed to be all mid 70's and mild anyway? i'm hearing this a lot when we're out and about running errands and hitting all the important playgrounds on our to-do list. i hear it from strangers on the street, employees at the post office, my dry cleaner guy... they say, "it was such a long winter!" and "i can't wait for spring to get here!" meanwhile it's 55 and blustery outside, the trees are beginning to bud, and there are blossom petals littering the sidewalks like confetti. so hey, guess what. this is it! i mean, it's still cold and it sucks, but it must be spring if the trees are agreeing it's spring and the daffodils are on board and even the tulips are going along with it.

i'm just as guilty of this as everyone else is, i've said the same thing myself. when is spring going to get here? i hope we don't blow right past spring and go straight into summer! (summer in the city will melt your face off along with your will to live) (we're talking swamp city) (like, SWAMP CITY). but that greenish halo around increasingly less-naked trees, and weather that changes from sunny + warm to raining sideways with a single gust of wind, well, maybe that's what spring is supposed to be like? once i thought of it that way, suddenly i felt like, well yeah! this is spring and it's pretty great, now you mention it.


i typically feel hit and miss about spring. i'm much more of a fall girl, myself (says every girl on planet earth), but this year, i don't know, this year spring is really doing something for me. my benadryl-as-sleeping-aid bit has kept the allergies at bay (also minimizes the puffy eyes come morning--you should try it!), somehow my wardrobe has been supportive of things and i haven't felt over- or under-dressed for the weather just yet, i feel like i'm getting my fill of spring-appropriate blossoms, and the level of tulip in the city has been just about perfect... what more could you need, really? spring, i am satisfied with you. slow claps. maybe this is because i have developed for myself some startling low expectations about things, but also i think it mostly has to do with perspective.


like, here is some perspective for you: my two boys have the exact same hair color. but what's red on brandon's lovely head looks pretty darn blonde on huck most of the time. how does that work? 


some more perspective for you: my husband is going gray. it's really, really good. those gray temples make me exceedingly happy. isn't he devastatingly handsome? stop gushing. my point is, brandon is old. he is an old man. when my dad was brandon's age, i was.... 15. fifteeeeeeeen. that weirds me out if i think about it, so i won't.

but somewhere along those lines is this, too: i am still pretty infertile these days. i feel really behind on things. as far as the career quota of motherhood is concerned, i am a depressingly low-output employee. but when i was huck's age, my next sister amanda was only just barely here. so, i'm really only just slightly behind my mother in this manner, for now, anyway. and that's been really comforting. (though, at my age, my mom already had three kids, sooooo.)


how about that silly new-fangled skyscraper next to the monuments at columbus circle? those monuments are pretty old school, as far as monuments go. huck + brandon + i sat at those fountains a few weekends ago and invested about forty-five cents worth of wishes into it while people-watching. huck wished for a bicycle, three whole times.


or how about that this place exists at all in this city, just a few subway stops into brooklyn? drive ways and all!


so, perspective. age helps with perspective. parenthood adds a whole different level of perspective. and taking a step out of normalcy for a period of time to experience all sorts of new, odd emotions adds a ton of perspective. my thirties so far have been this weirdly amazing, wonderfully defining time. i've been accidentally but pretty consistently sorting through all the things and habits and beliefs of my first bit of life, deciding what should and shouldn't be kept, and reframing what stays for my next bit of life. it's been really neat to experience. things like faith, love, worth, value, and all the different roles i take on as life comes and goes, it's all changing. sometimes slowly, like a budding tree, unfurling gradually until one day the brown has become green, sometimes quickly, like a strong gust of wind, bringing in rain. 

i like spring. i think i get it.

related: you should watch this. serious.

32 comments :

  1. When my mom was my age, she had four kids. Due to my own stubborn uterus, I just had my second in November, and the wee babe is five and a half years younger than his older sister. It's taken a lot of perspective to not feel like a spectacular failure in the mother department, but you know what, this huge distance between my kids is turning out amazing so far. Huck is going to make the best older brother some day.
    I'm just a couple years behind you, and I have to say, you are making the thirties look so appealing.

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  2. Oh this was beautiful. Thank you for it. It's 80 degrees here in provo, but it will be 65 tomorrow, and people will have a fit. But hey, that's Spring for you! Perspective, people!

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  3. ok. you are the most magnificent writer that has ever graced the blog world. WOW- it's just amazing. I know you wrote a book and i have no earthly idea what it is about but i want to read it just because your way with words is something very very special.

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  4. That's one thing people of all stripes can get behind... complaining about the weather. Good stuff right there. But seriously, I love your thoughts on perspective. It's so elusive but you've seemed to have pinned it down

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  5. Your perspective is one I could get used to! I love reading what you have to say about things because by the end of your posts I am basically salivating over everything. Pictures and words! I'm reading this way too late in the evening (or early in the morning) because now I feel inspired but too tired to do anything about it. Thank you for always writing such interesting thoughts!

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  6. I'm quite pleased that I'm two children and 13 years behind my mother in terms of fertile achievements, but my uterine desires are the polar opposite of hers and yours. (And that's good. People who want babies should have them. Lots of them.) You've asserted that THIS was the year of the Second Great Hope, so I have no doubt that you'll do everything in your power to make it happen.

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  7. I loved reading this. Perspective is a hard to grasp -Hanna Lei

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  8. I love to read posts like this. So incredibly thoughtful and heartfelt. I so appreciate you opening up and letting us in. It makes me want to be more honest and real in my writing.

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  9. Glad to hear spring tidings are so cheerful in your neck of the woods, both internally and externally! Thanks for sharing, definitely brought a smile to my face...

    http://thatumamilife.wordpress.com - a clean eating bento blog. Japanese or Asian-inspired!

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  10. your thoughts on perspective, change, and refocusing yourself are inspiring. sometimes it helps to just take a step back and make sure i'm moving in the right direction. i appreciate you sharing so much of yourself with us.

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  11. so beautifully written! i agree that somehow we get it confused that spring should be the stark opposite of winter, but really it's a little winter but with some flowers. that also gives you perspective on life too. sometimes in the winter of your life you feel super miserable, but then a flower blooms and trees are changing and you feel a little better but the seasons haven't really changed. you know what i mean? :) any who, beautiful post.

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  12. By the time I had my first baby, my mom had 3. But she's not me and comparison is the thief of joy. That lesson I have to keep relearning.

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  13. Not that I'm the authority but. You nailed it. This post is awesome. Thanks!

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  14. I feel like I'm failing at this motherhood stuff all the time. I also have an under productive uterus. I have one son Sebastian who is 3. But, I've felt the majority of my married life has been trying to get pregnant. I try not to think about it much anymore.

    Love spring. It's still cool here in Scotland but I'm enjoying it.

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  15. love this so much. i love spring bc it's erratic and when i'm feeling stormy inside, there's nothing like a good stormy day to cuddle me up to the grey outside, and ya just don't get that in summer, yet i always have some of those days in summer.

    in things of baby having nature: we did clomid for our first two kids, then with my third baby i took this disgusting taking liquid probiotic. i left a comment about it and you emailed me back, but this was years ago so you might have forgotten. anyway, it worked for me and fertiled me right up. as if you don't have enough people telling you all of their home grown have a baby methods.

    perspective for me this morning as i burst into tears, not sad ones, frustrated ones, while buttering bread for my 4 yr old that has literally been crying for 6 months straight. apparently 4 yr old girls=PMS for years straight. and she and i oldest 6yr old fight every morning before school while we try to bribe them into eating. it's not pretty, and today i just couldn't muster through it. and have this idea {see i'm an only child so this siblings thing is all foreign to me} that everyone else's kids don't do this in the mornings and it must just be my shortcomings in motherhood that are not guiding my children to happy smiling people that fill their bellies over scripture reading and sunshine every morning. so after reading your essay this morning my perspective is that we're all fighting the good fight, and it's a damn good thing the internet helps us know we're not fighting it alone:)

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  16. Great, thought-provoking post. Now I feel guilty about bitching my way through spring in Chicago (which is also sort of terrible, even if it is super flowery). Would you consider blogging about the bits and pieces of your old life you're keeping and which you're discarding? I think that'd be fascinating. I sense a kindred rebellious yet faithful Mormon spirit in you, which might be completely off-base, but even if it is, I'd love to hear more about if and how your religious beliefs have changed over time. I know that's a touchy area that you may wisely be steering clear of with your huge readership, but I suspect that it's something a lot of people find interesting.

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  17. Could you add your outfit details? You look adorable!

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  18. Be careful taking benadryl too many days in a row!! It can cause crazy dreams and insomnia after about 5 days in a row. It's really freaky until you realize what is going on!

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  19. what weirds me out is that I've outlived my dad by 5 years. as in, I'm 5 years older than he was when he died of cancer.

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  20. Natalie, you are awesome! That video...woah. Talk about perspective. I was sucked in. I feel like we are season kindred spirits. I remember you writing about November (and how we're all just waiting for Christmas) and it was exactly exactly my thoughts and here you are writing about spring and I'm like yes! That's the thing! So good.

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  21. This was my favourite read of the day and the photos are pretty fab too. I know what you mean about all of it - perspective, spring, grey hairs on your man... well said. x

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  22. Ha! Is that Ditmas Park? My boyfriend and I wandered around that neighborhood for the first time on Sunday. My inner monologue was kind of like, "Wait... Brooklyn? So... we're still in New York City? But the expansive roads! The yards! The houses! This exists!? Did we cross a wrinkle in the time-space continuum??" So, yeah. Crazy beautiful neighb so close!

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  24. isn't brandon only 34? that's not old at all! but that means your dad was 19 when you were born and most would say that is so, so young to be a dad. if huck follows in his grandfather's footsteps, that would make you a grandmother in 15 years!

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  25. I'm in love with that video! How funny that after not reading your blog in so long, I come back to find this. So stunning. It's been my dream to go into space since I was a little girl, and it's one dream that's never gone away. In fact, my whole education and chosen career revolves around space, haha. And the whole perspective thing...yes. Anytime I have to listen to someone rant about politics or traffic, I like to show them a picture of the earth/solar system/galaxy and ask them how much that really matters in the grand scheme of things. Because so many things that upset us, or that people fight over, really really don't matter that much! I'm just a dreamer though, and it's not fun...sigh. lol

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  26. Love this post!! Perspective really is everything. I feel you on the children area my son is 6 and we are just barely prego with our second. It took us a lonnng time for this to happen. Some days I feel sad that they wont be super close in age but then I think about how each of them will get that time to be the baby. So that's what I'm going with from now on :) Perspective can change everything. Love your blog, its honestly a breath of fresh air in the blog world these days.

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  27. i totally agree about perspective. i hate the heat and we had it ALL SUMMER FALL AND WINTER. and now here we are in the middle of a 99 degree spring too. but when i wake up and just embrace shorts and a tank top and take a blanket to the park with me so i can sit in the sun, i realize it's not sooo bad. i should stop being annoyed that it's hot and just enjoy it.
    good way of looking at things.
    www.thismomsgonnansnap.com

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  28. Just lovely. I recently started following your blog...thank you for being so open about your life. I can connect with a lot of things you wrote about here; mostly about this spring and thoughts on having babies. Cheers from Wisconsin!
    http://anchored-souls.blogspot.com

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