I'm a big-picture girl. I do understand the importance of details - and if I set my mind to it, I can do a half-decent job of dealing with them - but they're not what I'm about. Liam's good at details, so we're a good team. I'm the "What if...?" one; he's the "What about...?" one. Generally.
It's good to have both.
There are occasions where a big picture perspective is awesome. When you're parenting a child and they're being all strong-willed about something and you're trying to stand your ground, it's a huge help to zoom out - to pause, look at the big picture, and remember why you're doing what you're doing.
There are also occasions where a closer look is awesome. When you're in the middle of a busy day and the kids are dawdling and you're trying to get to the next item on your to-do list, it can be so important to zoom in - to pause, see your little ones enjoying themselves in that moment, and remember why you're doing what you're doing.
Zoom out. Zoom in.
We need both.
I'm well aware of the drawbacks to focusing too long on the big picture. It's so easy for the little day-to-day things to slip by unnoticed as we work towards The Greater Good, whatever that may be. Little jobs that need to be done, little troubles that need to be attended to, little victories that need to be celebrated. Little moments that need to be cherished. When the pressure of the big picture gets too much: Zoom in. How's your week looking? Zoom in. What's important today? Zoom in. What's happening, right at this moment? Find a focus that helps lift the weight of the bigger picture.
There are downsides to too much time spent in the minutae, too. We find our direction when we go bigger; focus in close for too long, and we find ourselves wandering aimlessly and wondering why we don't feel like we have a clue what we're doing. When the distractions of the little picture get too confusing: Zoom out. What's important today? Zoom out. How's your week looking? Zoom out. What are you working towards? Find a focus that helps you find your direction through the smaller picture.
Zoom in. Zoom out.
We need both.
As adults, we need an awareness of the future. Our kids are PEOPLE who are going to be GROWNUPS. What's happening right now is so TEMPORARY.
It's good to spend time in the big picture sometimes. Step back, and feel a sense of What It's All About. It's encouraging. It's inspiring. And it gives us direction.
Kids live in the moment. Two days away is AGES. What's happening right now is EVERYTHING.
It's good to join them there sometimes. Get closer, and feel connected to their Now. It's refreshing. It's fun. And it gives our direction meaning.
Feeling lost, or stuck, or frustrated, or confused? Go bigger. Go smaller.
Zoom in, zoom out.
What do we need?
**And a new word, because "both" doesn't look like a real word now I've used it so many times. Sorry about that.