Notice all that’s around you

I wore odd socks the other day and didn’t realise until bedtime. They were actually reasonably similar shades of brown, but nevertheless I was surprised that their failure to match each other had quite passed me by that morning.

Actually I know I’m slightly colour blind, but this excuses nothing in this particular case. It’s blue and black I generally struggle with, just as my Dad did before me.

The average human eye is anything but average though. Extraordinarily it’s been estimated that your eye can probably distinguish between something like ten million different colours, which makes your vision an incredibly rich sense. It probably also explains why there are so many choices when it comes to selecting the paint when you decorate.

Evolution moves on slower than you may think, and one school of thought suggests that you’ve still got the super-efficient eyes which were a big advantage to your ancient ancestors as they scanned the horizon for prey when hunting, or when they wished to avoid predators or enemies. Good eyesight was certainly an evolutionary advantage.

I’m pretty sure, however, that you and I make much less use than we could of these astonishingly powerful organs. Like a Maserati hidden away under dust-sheets in a garage, we often fail to use the full strength of our vision, especially if we’re going through one of those rough mood patches where everything seems painted in shades of grey.

And yet we have so much to gain from drinking in the world about us, especially when life deals us a duff hand. Properly noticing your world can be a fantastic way of giving your spirits a lift, but it’s worth recognising that we all have a tendency to be less observant when our surroundings are over-familiar.

So here’s a tip. If you can see the mood-boosting virtues of paying better attention to all that’s around you, why not deliberately put yourself in a different place? Sit in a different chair, take a different route, do your grocery shopping somewhere you don’t normally go.

Boosting your levels of observation can work wonders for your mood. And very likely prevent you going out in odd socks.

Mind you I did discover the following morning that I had another pair exactly like the ones I’d worn the day before.

Odd, that.

7 thoughts on “Notice all that’s around you

  1. Thank Goodness you didn’t notice until bedtime – otherwise it would have bugged you all day!

  2. I wish I could post a meme here that I recently put on my son’s facebook page: a picture of feet in mismatched socks (the usual for Sam, who’s 22 and at uni) with the words, “life is too short to find matching socks.” You can certainly give yourself credit for having noticed that you didn’t notice. hugs and thanks!

  3. Lovely writing Jon, thank you. It is so good to have your thoughts popping into my inbox once more. I wish you all the best with your new venture and your life in California; nothing better than blue skies and sunshine for helping you to feel truly alive! 🙂

  4. I actually only came here to comment that I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing mismatched socks. It’s actually other people’s reactions that deters us from doing so. I, like, Alex, also purposely wear mismatched socks at time (small rebellions!). Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  5. Yay for mismatched socks!

    I do that all the time, sometimes on purpose and sometimes because I don’t feel like looking for matched ones!

    If people ask me why, I tell them I want to feel like Pippi Longstocking!

    I also try to wear bright colored socks that people actually notice because I feel people are wearing too many dark or neutral colors around me. Black, grey, dark blue, brown….. 🙁

    And wearing something odd helps the people around me develop their own powers of observation right 🙂 ?

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