Perception or reality?
Yesterday, on the “The Early Show,” CBS weather guy Dave Price was live from Aspen. It was part of the “Great American Vacation” series of features that the show is doing on places like Key West, Fla.; Mackinac Island, Mich.; and Bar Harbor, Maine.Anyway, Price, and co-host Emily Proctor, who plays the hot forensic investigator with ice running through her veins on “CSI: Miami,” camped out at dawn in Wagner Park. There they ran a series of clips that depicted Aspen in all its summer splendor. Dave rode horses at the T-Lazy-7 (though he forgot the “T”), went on a rafting trip, rode the gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain, and interviewed Joshua Bell at the music tent. In short, he had a grand old time. Or, what we here in town call a typical day.For Americans getting up and flipping on “The Early Show” for a daily dose of weather and news, it had to look like paradise. A place that has everything you hope heaven has. Folks no doubt thought, as they picked up their keys and purses and headed out to wage war with the morning commute, “If I could just live there everything would be great!”Is that perception, or is it reality?And then, on the other hand, our local papers have recently been filled with signs of contentiousness. People are upset at Division of Wildlife officer Kevin Wright for saying it’s our fault that the bears are being euthanized. A letter writer bemoans the Mexicans who urinate outdoors. The Aspen City Council chambers are in an uproar over new development. In Basalt people are ripping the sheriff and the agitator who got fired by 7-Eleven and continues to rock the boat. On the streets, people fight for position in the merging lanes on Main Street. In the bars, folks get testy about local politics and lambaste fellow diners for “not getting it” and “following Mick straight to ruin.”Perception, or reality?Personally, I believe, as Paul E. Anna, that your perception defines what your reality is. Life is all in how you look at it.Both of the above characterizations are accurate. We live in an other-world paradise – a place where the sun shines most every day, the rivers run clear, and the grass is green until around the time we feel like we need a change, and then we get pristine snow.But we also live in a place where we have bears, we have Mexicans who, like all of us, occasionally need to empty their bladders. We have developers, environmentalists, cops and robbers, people who occasionally drink too much, and politicians who can be polarizing.The way I see it, that mix is part of life’s spice. We are so fortunate that our reality includes all of the things above. I love the bears, though I fear for both their safety and ours. I’m grateful that we have people who have come here to work in our valley and am happy to share with them as they try to make a life, just like I’m trying to make a life. I guess I could do without the developers, the obnoxious drunks, the criminals and the politicians, but hey, if I don’t pay too much attention I can kind of tune that out.The point is you are in charge of both your perception and your reality. Whether you want your life to be an “Early Show” puff piece, or a “Letters to the Editor” page is entirely up to you.Make your own choice, and have a nice day.