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A Matter of Perspective - 11/29/2020

Tonight there is a brilliant full moon bathing the mountains and the desert in its soft glow. I love the moon in the desert, especially here in Tucson because the skies are so dark compared to those in most cities. This is due to the policy of intentionally keeping street lighting low so that we can better see the stars. I was working my delivery job tonight, and enjoying the changing light as the sun set and the moon rose. And I was reminded of the quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet implores her Romeo to "swear not by the moon, th' inconstant moon, that monthly changes in her circle orb, lest that thy love prove likewise variable." In other words, she didn't want him to swear by the moon which is constantly changing, because she didn't want his love for her to be as changeable as the moon.

But is the moon really inconstant? It's true that it looks different to us from Earth as the Sun illuminates different parts of the moon as it revolves around Earth. But the moon itself does not change; it is the light that changes. The moon reflects the light; it does not produce a glow of its own. So our perspective is really what changes - the light in which we see it makes all the difference. It is thus with most situations in life. The light in which we view them, or our perspective, can completely change the way we respond to circumstances.

Not to be too much of a PollyAnna, but if we change the perspective in which we view the ongoing pandemic, it can make our situation easier to bear. Those living in cities that are about to undergo a new shutdown due to the second wave of the virus that we are currently in can choose to view this as a blessing or a curse. Yes, it's very hard to stay home all the time. We have a voluntary curfew now in Tucson from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., and even that can feel like an imposition. But it's also a reprieve from driving, and affords us the opportunity to work, rest, or pursue leisure activities in peace without feeling guilty about it. We are doing our patriotic duty by staying home! And thank God, there are so many entertainment options for home, like streaming TV, movies, or concerts, video gaming, or video conferencing with loved ones. The technology that allows all this to happen is affordable and widely available, and the information providers that use it have responded by offering us an abundance of riches. Or if technological solutions don't appeal to you, there is always reading - I have gone through my entire home library since the pandemic began, and am just now trading in a lot of books at the used book store for new ones to read. And for those of us who are creators, the time at home is perfect for writing (like me) or pursuing other activities like crafting, sewing, or baking, to name a few. It's also a great time for home improvements that you are able to do yourself.

Of course, we've been dealing with this pandemic for months now, and I realize most of us are getting pretty tired of it. But again, a shift in perspective reminds us that all most of us are being asked to do is stay home (and work from home whenever possible), wear a mask in public, and keep our hands as clean as possible. It's hardly a major imposition, although it can be tough, I know, for parents who work and are now in some cases being asked to take on home-schooling again. But again, we've adapted - schools are taking precautions like social distancing, mandatory mask-wearing, and temperature checks so that they may remain open. And many schools are offering distance learning to take the teaching burden off of parents. I have been really encouraged by the creative ways in which institutions and the public are responding to the crisis, for the most part.

For me personally, since my various gigs are considered "essential work," I have never had to stay at home full-time except when I was ill with what my doctor believes was a mild case of COVID in April. Even then, it was only for two weeks, and I was able to have groceries delivered and take my dog for walks daily, so it didn't feel too confining (although it was lonely). I started this blog in April as a way of recording my thoughts about the way the virus was changing our lives and how we were responding to it. Over time, as painful events occurred both in my life and in public life in the USA, writing this blog has helped me to process the various emotions brought up by events. So it has served a dual purpose: a written record, and an emotional catharsis. The other gift of the pandemic is having the time to spend with my pug puppy, Timmy. He frequently accompanies me on my deliveries, although he doesn't like it very much. And he sleeps at my feet while I write.

So during all of the crazy events that have happened this year, I have enjoyed the different perspective provided by slowing down and staying home that most of us have been forced to do. I consider myself blessed to be able to work a flexible job that keeps me outdoors (mostly driving) in such a beautiful area. I have driven to gated communities that I would not have been able to enter unless I was making a delivery, and seen some incredibly beautiful homes that blend into the desert so cleverly that they could have been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Because I'm now driving for one restaurant, I've developed a work family there that I have missed having for many years. And I get to watch the changing light that produces glorious sunsets and what we call the phases of the moon. The inconstant moon? Only if you let your perspective cloud your thinking. Sorry, Juliet.

#RomeoAndJuliet #FullMoon #PollyAnna #GladGame #ChangeYourThoughtsChangeYourLife

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