April 30, 2014

A Matter of Perspective

By Mary Huebbe
Marketing Consultant
Ridgecrest Village

I am a Mother of four, and I believe sometimes I’m just plain crazy. I am going to share with you a story that might just prove that. I hope that my “moment of crazy” will help everyone else with their own moments of crazy and realize we all have them. Truthfully, it is actually just our perception playing tricks on us.

I had taken my children on a vacation, and we were in an area I had never been before. It was a dark evening, and I had stopped at a red light. The children were having a basic travel conversation, you know the story… I hope we get to do this, and see this, and so on. As I said it was dark. I was the first person at the traffic light, but other cars had pulled up behind me. I looked up and saw headlights coming right at me. It seemed like the vehicle was traveling very fast and had no intentions of stopping.

I started panicking, trying to back up, but other cars were in my way. I honked my horn, and no one moved (this all happened within seconds, but it felt like hours). I was yelling at the children to brace themselves and be prepared for a head-on collision. It was then that I noticed the lights went right above me. I didn’t even notice that there was a highway that hooked around the town I was in, and it was above the regular city streets. I’m sure the people behind me thought I was on something, and my children were all just staring at me like I was insane!

The truth is my perspective was off. What I thought would happen, wasn’t what did happen. Yes a car was heading towards me, but safely above me. I could have focused more, saved my children and the car behind me some grief, but I believed I was right at the time. My children noticed it was a by-pass in front of us, but my brain was sleep deprived from the drive and life itself. We were all in the same situation but had very different perspectives.

I give you this story for yet another reason: When Bob, one of my new residents at Ridgecrest, was coming to find out about our retirement village, he had in his mind that we were a place where people go because they are old and feeble. When his son brought him here, he was angry and very upset. He felt annoyed his son didn’t want to be burdened with him anymore. (That was his misguided perception).

Actually, Jerry (his son) had been to our campus with his daughter for one of her music programs. Jerry liked the activities we offered and talked about how this would be a great opportunity for his dad. Jerry had been worrying about his dad being alone too much, since his mom passed away two years ago. He wanted him to start enjoying his life more, instead of being trapped at home alone all the time. While Jerry was here, he had talked with other residents. The common response from them was, “Don’t let him wait too long!” They told him about the friendships they had made and the caring community our campus had to offer. This eye opener for Jerry drove him to insist that his Dad should see it as well.

Jerry brought his Dad in for the initial visit the following week. We decided to do a lunch tour, so he could try the food and see the friendly atmosphere Ridgecrest has to offer. The conversation was about all the things that are important to him in his own house, and what we are able to do to meet his standards here.

Jerry remembered sitting at his breakfast bar and watching the birds. Our team was able to build a breakfast bar in Bob’s new apartment. It happened to have a courtyard, so he put bird seed out in feeders outside along his patio. Bob was so pleased with his apartment, he told people about how carefree his life is now. Bob is able to still do the things he loves and yet not have the hassle of being a homeowner. If something breaks he isn’t responsible to replace it. He has made more friends here than he did in his own neighborhood. Bob is able to go to all the places he normally went to, plus others, and just enjoy life.

Filed Under: Family, Personal Growth