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A Seasonal Change of Perspectacles

It's the season for gratitude! This is the time of year when I revisit the article by Glennon Doyle Melton that coined the silly word "perspectacles."

I've had a frustrating week as I've rushed to finish The Grove (108K words and not quite done... still... but it's turning out so good, like if Game of Thrones were a Spanish soap opera. Everyone should read it, someday, when I finally get to type 'The End'). When I'm impatient about one big thing, I notice that the feeling bleeds out into other areas of my life and makes it worse. I've been "too busy" to exercise for weeks, which my body doesn't really show on the outside, but on the inside, I feel like I'm going mushy from my lungs out. Ugh! That can't be good for my brain, right?

All of this heightens my sensitivity to my surroundings as well. While I'm loving the autumn colors and mists and architectural storm clouds outside, I just had a relapse of irritation that I can't yet afford to remodel my worn-out 1980s-style kitchen. But I went ahead and re-read Glennon's article about her own shabby 1980s kitchen and got inspired.

Here's how I fixed it:


I started by changing my perspectacles. I baked some cookies with children, transforming the "outdated" into the "nostalgic" as I focused on reliving some of my favorite childhood memories with my daughter and a couple of neighborhood kids.

I transformed the "shabby" into the "fun" by taping my daughter's preschool and kindergarten crafts all over the walls and commissioning a mural for the stained and scuffed kitchen island. I handed my daughter a mega-pack of colored Sharpies and asked her to go wild.


She is still working on the piece. I hope it turns out something like her multi-wall, fairy-tale-themed bedroom wall illustrations depicting nature scenes (such as "bees drinking nectar just before the rain") and some characters from Rapunzel. (Below is the part I always end up staring at as I cuddle her to sleep--"a magic toad chasing Mother Gothel."


As I make time to mow the lawn with an old-fashioned, self-powered mower and watch my daughter draw an apartment building with 57 windows, my patience is restored.

And as my daughter suddenly acquires neighborhood and bus friends who come exploding through our door on a regular basis, I realize I could still use a few more years of letting joyful children run wild in my house without having to worry that they will scratch or chip something.

I remember that I have many decades of life ahead of me to paint walls that might not end up with muddy footprints and pencil marks on them. So here's to fresh perspectacles! (Which, incidentally, are also essential to editing one's own manuscript.)

And also thanks to my dear husband for hanging a gigantic retro mirror to enhance the "nostalgia" of our kitchen and dining area and double the autumn light that comes in through the lilacs.

We had friends over for dinner last night, and I wasn't embarrassed about my house or anxious about my manuscript at all. And now, after a good night's sleep, I might just reach 'The End' before my Pigasus Pen pal Meika finishes her solo tour of Europe--which I am so inspired by following with the virtual perspectacles she's lending us through social media!

...and also living vicariously through another single lady friend, Esperanzita, who has taken up a mission of becoming the Midwest's greatest groupie for Ghost. It's all good for my book, I swear.

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