It was a classic case of not being able to see the forest for the trees. My perspective needed perspective and that's mainly because I recently started taking yoga and frequently get stuck in the chair pose, but I also get stuck in real chairs - like the driver's seat of my car and my desk chair and waiting room chairs and conference room chairs.

But good news! There is a cure for finding perspective and it involves doing something new. You could go to a new cafe for lunch, you could talk to the new mom at soccer practice, you could even go to Costa Rica. Did I mention that I went to Costa Rica?

Something weird happens when writers travel: everything is an opportunity for more words; for fresh ideas; for inspiration. There's nothing like being in a tropical dry forest to make you appreciate both the trees in front you and the trees at home.

 Can't see the forest for the trees? Climb higher. Use the branches.

Can't see the forest for the trees? Climb higher. Use the branches.

Yes, the trees at home take the form of sick days and cooking dinner and all of the daily stuff, but they also have branches. Here's what branches do: they let you extend, move, climb. Get to the top of the tree - what do you see? Move to another tree, preferably one that doesn't have the flu virus. Access your inner monkey. I'm telling you, I was hanging with the monkeys all day in Costa Rica. I named one Anne Lamott. Instead of "Bird By Bird," it was more "Branch By Branch."

What I loved best about Costa Rica was their unofficial national motto: Pura Vida. Go beyond the literal translation ("pure life") and ignore all of the commercialism - the t-shirts, tote bags and coffee mugs - and pare it down to the core of what it means: a phrase that encapsulates the culture of Costa Rica, that can be used to answer any question, as a farewell and a greeting, as a way of giving thanks and showing appreciation (thanks, Wikipedia). It is literally a way of life and a life perspective. It embodies optimism. People do not use it in a "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" no worries, dude kind of optimism, they say it earnestly and honestly.

And that is the kind of perspective that my perspective needs.

 Coconut water! Not just in the Whole Foods beverage aisle!

Coconut water! Not just in the Whole Foods beverage aisle!

In other news, I recently wrote a piece that's featured on Medium called "The Expat's Dilemma: How To Tell My Son Where He's From." I hope you'll hope on over and give it a couple of claps. I'm not sure what that means either.

Here's to finding perspective,

Tarja