Jackie Suis is a writer who shares stories of life and offers her perspective as a single woman while dating in midlife. We hope you’ll enjoy this story.
Imagine, if you will, two rooms at the end of a hallway. (Let me guess, there is a horror movie that starts this way.) There is only one object in each room. One holds a microscope and the other a telescope. For just a few minutes, let’s step into each one.
The Microscope Room
The purpose of the microscope is to detect and investigate objects that are invisible to the human eye. It is used with great success for detecting maladies or inconsistencies that, if caught in time, can be fixed, cured or eradicated. Tiny slivers are encased in slides and viewed and logged with great care. My initial thought was to suggest avoiding this room altogether. That would have been ill advised.
It is true, however; that so many of us, especially women, spend way too much time in this room. But for all the wrong reasons. We go in there to dissect our bodies, our weight, our appearance, our worth. Very little good, if any, can come from that. Men and women alike also use this microscope to pick out the minute differences in one other; status, finances, family, etc. We get caught up in categorizing insignificant details on these life ‘slides’ and store them away to be pulled out and viewed again. That is the most damaging use of the Microscope Room. Collectively we need to agree to end all these behaviors and destroy those ‘slides’ that label and divide us.
I do not want us to padlock that room just yet though. There are a few things worthy of a closer look.
For one, I believe it is a good idea to run certain attitudes through life’s microscope. Victim, reactionary, doomsday, cynicism, arrogance, self-destruction. If any of these storylines play out in your daily life, slap them under that microscope. Try and pinpoint the originating cell and figure out a way to destroy it.
Believe me, I understand I only have the right to speak for myself here. But I am willing to bet that many of you reading this are greatly blessed. Can you imagine the effect on our community and our world, if each of us were just 10% more grateful? Attitude is one of the first things noticed in the initial 15 minutes of meeting and having a conversation with someone. Let yours be delightful!
I can think of at least one other thing we should consistently put under the microscope. Decisions. I am confident most of us have made it to the point in life where we understand the ramifications of certain choices. However, at times we are still motivated. By fear. Or greed. Or maybe simply the inability to say ‘No’. I also do not feel our age ever precludes us from certain peer pressures. So let’s try to mentally examine our decisions.
Now, please, don’t hold up the Chick Fil A Drive Thru contemplating your lunch. That will only cause someone else to resurrect an attitude from the preceding paragraph. Just make sure the life option you go with fits in line with your ideals and goals. Your comfort level and values. You do not owe an explanation to the world; just to yourself.
Now let’s move next door.
The Telescope Room
A telescope is used to see remote objects. (Not your neighbor!) Its purpose is to help the viewer see past what is directly in front of them and explore the possibilities beyond. We all need to try a little more of that. Sometimes we tend to get stuck in the small box/world we have created for ourselves. We construct barriers and limits. I am new to writing. I struggle with the ‘what ifs’. What if I had started earlier, tried harder, etc. But that is me standing in the wrong room. By moving just one door down to the Telescope Room and I can look outward and dream. We all can. Just walking up to the telescope takes a certain amount of bravery. It involves trusting ourselves enough to believe we are all meant for better things with still room to grow.
Another truth about the Telescope Room is that the objects, in reality, truly are currently beyond our reach. They are not a given, or guaranteed. It takes effort and determination to reach them. But just knowing they are out there can be just the right amount of push to motivate and inspire us to stretch ourselves. Get beyond ourselves and our current circumstances. I do not know what you might see in your Telescope Room, but know this. If you can see it, you can get there. (I’m channeling Field of Dreams.)
And so as not to appear too self-centered and narcissistic, we should also use the Telescope Room to help us see beyond our comfortable lives to realize there are others out there who need our help. Not necessarily with money, even though that might factor in. Consider time. Kindness. Even a strong back occasionally. Sometimes when you look outward, you can identify ways to make a positive impact on someone outside of your inner circle. I have some amazing friends that regularly work with Habitat for Humanity. They understand the Telescope Room!
And there you have it. Two very different views of your life. There is a time for introspection and then a time for launching. I encourage you to stroll through both rooms today. The key though is to not stay in either one very long. There’s a big, bright, beautiful world out there. Go forth and be spectacular!