five benefits of being uppity

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Okay, so maybe it’s another of my odd habits, but when I walk into a library, hotel lobby or museum, I typically look up. Come to think of it, I look up on walks through the woods. Or when I’m outside on a cloudless night.

Photo by Vicky Lorencen Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan

Photo by Vicky Lorencen
Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan

(Yes, I’ve had a few near head-on collisions, but it’s almost always worth it.) I like to see what’s up there, not just what’s straight in front of me. Looking up gives me a different perspective, both in the physical realm and that weird world that exists between my ears.

Photo by Vicky Lorencen Navy Pier, Chicago

Photo by Vicky Lorencen
Navy Pier, Chicago

Here’s one of my favorite “uppity” quotes: “The gloom of this world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy.” ~ Fra Giovanni

I love this quote because it reminds me I have a choice. I can look down and focus on what’s painful or scary or I can look up to focus on what’s possible.

Photo by Vicky Lorencen Mackinaw Bridge, Michigan

Photo by Vicky Lorencen
Mackinaw Bridge, Michigan

For me, looking up doesn’t involve donning rose-tinted shades and pretending everything’s perfect. I think it means, given the choice, why not be positive? Having an upbeat attitude does not have the power to influence reality. In other words, my looking up will not equate to a polished manuscript, a publishing contract or calls from agents. (It’s never that simple, but you know that already.) But looking up does reorient my point of view, my perceptions and how I choose to respond to my reality.

Photo by Vicky Lorencen Grand Central Station, Manhattan

Photo by Vicky Lorencen
Grand Central Station, Manhattan

So, while it may not be magic, shifting my perspective upward . . .

1. Infuses me with hope.
2. Energizes me when my reserves are on E.
3. Takes my eyes off the immediate and helps me see the bigger picture.
4. Gives me buoyancy.
5. Makes me slightly more tolerable to be around. (And that right there is the price of admission, I’d say.)

Photo by Vicky Lorencen Chandelier, Grand Hyatt, Manhattan

Photo by Vicky Lorencen
Chandelier, Grand Hyatt, Manhattan

I’d be a pimple-faced liar if I told you I manage to keep my head up every single day. As I’ve shared in early posts, some days I full body hug the berber. It is not pretty. I get overwhelmed with pessimism, break out in envy pox and become enveloped in self-doubt (which by the way, I am convinced is the leading cause of cellulite). When I’m looking down I become paralyzed, unproductive, and kinda pitiful. And I’m stuck with my own company. Bleh.

Thankfully, a lot of my days, with the help of encouraging friends and some stern self-talk, I can rise above that compost heap of negative glop.

Let me encourage you to remember you have a choice. I hope you choose to look up. You might like what you see when you become “uppity” too.

Photo by Vicky Lorencen Shedd Aquarium, Chicago

Photo by Vicky Lorencen
Shedd Aquarium, Chicago

Photo by Vicky Lorencen John Hancock Building, Chicago

Photo by Vicky Lorencen
John Hancock Building, Chicago

Photo by Vicky Lorencen New York Public Library

Photo by Vicky Lorencen
New York Public Library

Photo by Vicky Lorencen Giordano's Pizza, Chicago

Photo by Vicky Lorencen
Giordano’s Pizza, Chicago

Photo by Vicky Lorencen Hidden Lake Gardens  Tipton, Michigan

Photo by Vicky Lorencen
Hidden Lake Gardens
Tipton, Michigan

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