Big Picture Living

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Getting surgery is a really weird thing. A couple of days ago, I convinced my mom to treat me to a pedicure because, you know, the doctors would see my feet, so naturally I wanted to have them looking good. Fast forward to the day of the surgery, and not even 10 minutes after I get called back, they put socks on me. Sorry, ma.

You know what else is weird? Hospital gowns. You’d think after years of fashion innovation, someone would design a better hospital gown. Honestly. They gave me two gowns to wear, one covering my back side, one covering my front side. The nurses got a chuckle out of me when I walked out into the hall wearing these two ugly gowns completely wrong. That’s right, I’m the idiot patient who doesn’t know the correct way to put on the hospital gowns (side note: is there even a right way to wear them because the way I see it, you look terrible and are feeling drafty whichever way you put it on).

Anyway, after my fashion catastrophe, and lots of waiting, I was escorted back to the operating room. This room is terrifying, in case you were wondering. It’s cold and cramped and filled with scary-looking machines. I walked in to a bunch of doctors, none of them acknowledging me, which I thought was kind of strange considering I should be the center of attention (not always, just in that moment, I thought). I laid down on this skinny bed table, as one of the nurses straps me down. Everyone starts to crowd around me, staring at me, like I’m some kind of rare creature. Yeah, I was super uncomfortable, and beyond nervous. A man from behind the table leans over and places a mask on my face.

“It’s gonna smell like plastic and nail polish, but breathe it in deep, and you won’t remember a thing until you wake up.”

Okay, weird. But I really want to fall asleep at this point. So I breathed in. And again. And again, until the quiet chatter of the doctor’s faded, and everything around me goes white, and my mind becomes light, and my breathing slow.

In what seems to be both five minutes and a million years later, I begin to wake up. My mind is the first thing to awake, trying to comprehend what I’m hearing and where I am. Then my eyes. I search the room, noticing nurses and patients, and poorly designed curtains. I can’t move my body, so I just stare at the ceiling. Well this is weird and incredibly boring.

My body feels like it got run over by a truck. Everything hurts, everything is sore. And when I tell the nurse this, she pumps something into my veins, and I can feel it reach every inch of my body. It makes everything hurt more, and then not at all.

Fast forward again, a couple days later. The surgery didn’t solve the problem that it was supposed to fix, and it crushes me. Why did I just go through a day of surgery if it didn’t even do the thing I wanted it to? I thought it would be a quick fix, but turns out it’s a deeper, more involved problem. And that sucks.

I think a lot of times when I have a problem, I wish for a quick fix. But seldom is that the case.

I find it incredibly hard to not focus on a problem area in my life. Once I know the problem is there, I want to focus all my attention on it. My attitude is effected, along with my view on myself, and the life I’m living.

Someone very wise and very close to me told me recently that, we have the power to choose to be the creative directors of our life. We choose what makes the shot. We are on set, looking at the scene, and we can choose whether to zoom all the way in on a subject, or zoom out and get the full picture.

I have, and still am, zooming in on this specific problem in my life. I give it way more time and attention and power than it deserves. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I have the power to choose to zoom out, to see the big picture.

I think we all struggle with this to some degree, giving something in our life too much power. Power over our thinking, power over our attitude, power over the way we view the life we are living.

Last night, I sat out on my parent’s back deck with them, staring up at the stars. I can’t remember the last time I just sat and looked up the way I did. As a gazed up, I saw the most stunning shooting star dance across the sky, leaving sparkly dust behind the falling asteroid. Seeing that star made me realize how small I am, and how there is much more to life than I think, or can even comprehend. I can’t control the circumstances of my life. But what I can control is the way I crop the picture, what I focus my attention on.

As I write this, I still haven’t taken this advice, but I’m advising both you and I to zoom out and see the big picture. See life for what it is supposed to be seen as, not zoomed in to a troubled area. Zooming into an issue is easy to do, but zooming out is much more beneficial.

Let’s zoom out, and live a big picture life.



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