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What a Sight to Behold

I was standing under this tree last week when I snapped this picture. Changing your viewpoint leads to appreciating the present, especially as a new year beckons.

Most times when you see pictures of trees, the angle is straight on or at times looking down at them from high above the canopy. Very few times is the angle from the bottom looking up. As I sit here at my desk, writing this piece for the next day, I pause now and then to look at this particular picture.

When we change our viewpoint, we do not just understand others better—we understand ourselves more completely, and in ways we never thought possible.

As 2022 comes to an end, we prepare ourselves for the onslaught of resolutions, self-improvement, and whatever wellness trends happen to be in vogue. The video clips and articles about organizing, diets, and exercise are preparing for battle. They have value, these things. We should always seek to improve ourselves, but I wonder if these things do not in some way reinforce the idea that we are somehow…lacking. In a very superficial way, at that.

Stop looking at yourself and the world through the prescribed camera lens angle. Look up and around. Enjoy things as they are right now. If we are always focused on the next task, the next challenge, the next…whatever, we lose the ability to appreciate the present. And when we lose that ability, my friends, we chase an ideal that will never be attained.

Time is the most precious asset we have, and how we spend it defines our priorities and values.

  • Chase your passions, your fleeting fancies, the things you never thought possible. You have a gift, a reason for being, beyond the monotony of the everyday.

  • Share in the joy of others. See their attainment as one step forward for all of society. Goodness and progress do not occur in a single transitory frame. It happens every day, in the simplest of households.

  • Live in the moment. Put the phone away. The things that matter are showing up, holding a hand, wiping a tear, talking things through, and just plain being there. The calls, texts, emails, social media, and work can wait.

  • Do not idolize a plan. When you build your life around a plan, we find out that the most important part of that plan—time—is a variable and not a constant. Do not squander time, as regret is a potent filler.

  • Hard days are inevitable. You are not less than because of your current situation. We all struggle, regardless of how one’s Facebook or Instagram pages may appear. Be kind, be open, and know that this too shall pass. Even in the darkest night. (Read Joy Comes in the Morning for more on this).

Make today the best version of yourself. Every morning, ask yourself over the past twenty-four hours what is one thing you did really well and one thing you did not. It may not always be large things, but every day there is always something to continue doing and something to improve on. I guarantee when you reflect, you start to carry yourself differently, and slowly but surely improve yourself. Hint—this exercise is not about work products. A really great spreadsheet is not what you should be listing under something you did well. (Even if spreadsheets are vastly underappreciated.)

Interconnectedness is the building block of nature, society, and life itself. We are all branches of a tree and are never more at peace than when we stand supportive of everyone’s path, basking in the sunlight of the day--together. What a sight to behold we are then.

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Charlotte A. Cason
Charlotte A. Cason
Dec 29, 2022

Excellent advice for the New Year. We should never let our lives get bogged down to where we get what is called tunnel vision, and can't see the forest for the trees. You gave your readers some things to think about as we approach a new year.

Holly Bills
Holly Bills
Dec 29, 2022
Replying to

Agreed! Reflection and appreciation of the present is a better resolution than the more typical prescribed resolutions. We can never get back yesterday, and sometimes we don't realize how good yesterday was until tomorrow comes.

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