This weekend, I had friends in town visiting St. Louis, one of them for the very first time. So I did what every good host would do: took my friends out for a very old-school St. Louis weekend. We walked along the riverfront, we went down to the Arch, we waited in line for over an hour to go up in the Arch, we spent 5 minutes up in the Arch, we went to the Hill for Italian food (including Italian "salad" and toasted ravioli), and we went to Ted Drewes. And somewhere along the way, I dropped my "host" hat and put on my own "visitor" hat and experienced St. Louis as if I myself had not been here for so many years.

The excitement of seeing the Mississippi River, the taste of the toasted ravioli, the extraordinary building of the Arch, the trip to the Top, the sweetness of Ted Drewes, made me open my eyes to what was around me rather than just walking through the weekend as I usually do. I think it's this re-opening of our eyes to what's around us that helps us get out of the rut we are in. It doesn't take a lot, it just takes looking at what we already have, but really appreciating it in a new way.

There are plenty of times when I feel like I am living the same day over and over again, just with slightly different variations on the same theme; and it's that feeling of routine that lulls me into feeling bored and restless. I think the answer to that may not lie in doing something outlandish, but rather in trying to appreciate what it is that surrounds me. Maybe it's in looking with new perspective, in getting outside of ourselves, that we can try to live our life better today, rather than taking what we have for granted. Maybe it's when we look as visitors into our lives that we can be more content and fulfilled. Maybe it's when we look at our lives as others see it that we can be grateful for what's in it, and focus less on what is not.

After all, this is the life.