Lee and a curious calico crisscross the country in a RV, living simply and sustainably.

Whine and Cheese

The twisty curvy road led to the top of a mountain with a breathtaking view. I made the 50 mile round trip in order to interview for a part-time job. After 20 minutes of getting to know the interviewer a bit, I had two problems with the situation. The first was that although this position was advertised as an office job, it would require me to set out wine and cheese during the cocktail hour. While I enjoy the occasional Marguerita, I draw the line at providing others with alcohol. So many people dear to me over the years have struggled with addictions to alcohol and other substances that I’m quite conscious about not enabling those behaviors. When friends come over to party they know the house drink is herbal tea. I’m so proud of my friends in recovery, to have witnessed their transition back towards healthy lifestyles. Yay, you!

The second dilemma I faced at the interview was the attitude displayed by the owner of the establishment. After going through 6 employees in 6 weeks, he admitted to being down on people. I could relate, having recently lost faith in humanity at different points of my life. Yet there was no incentive for me to want to work alongside him. I learned that the hours were sporadic, the pay meager, the benefits non-existent, yet much was expected. As I related my expertise and ways I could benefit his business, my words were shot down as “he’d heard it all before”. I was reminded of a sign I read recently “Thou Shalt Not Whine!”

We wished each other luck and parted ways. Making the best of things, I stopped to admire the long view across the valley on the drive home. The mountains, woods and rivers surrounding my area of the country are so glorious! They truly feel like home, and continually renew my spirits. “As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens” – Stephen Graham “The Gentle Art of Tramping.”

From the top of a mountain, we can see life displayed below us in miniature. Our perspective shifts, and the interconnectivity of life is more readily apparent. Having seen the bigger picture, narrowly held views of life fall away. Consciousness deepens. Our vision clears. The great door opens.


Think: When have you faced a negative situation and been pulled down? When have you turned a molehill into a mountain? When have you turned a negative situation into a positive outcome?

Say: Journal about a situation in the past that appeared negative at its onset, yet later turned into a blessing. Note what shift in perspective took place within you to make that turnaround. Note any attitudes you hold that are no longer helpful.

Do: Identify a current situation that appears to be negative in nature. Consider that your view of it is too narrow. Consciously shift your way of thinking in order to take in the bigger picture. Note how your attitude shift influences those around you.

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