Day 1,349 – Thankful for Time Alone to Re-Charge (and If At First I Don’t Succeed, Try, Try, and Try Again)

LOL!!! So this is the fourth time I’ve started typing my blog tonight. Even though I write this each day as a way for me to pause and focus on gratitude I sometimes feel like I’m not quite getting it right. Try as I might there are some days when I can just tell that what I’m writing wasn’t hitting the point I wanted it to. Often I can start typing and drift in the correct direction. This can lead to meandering, but I almost always get to where I am wanting to go. Tonight? Nope. I tried, I drifted, I meandered, and I didn’t even end up close to the right thing. So here goes nothing… Day 1,349… Take four… and ACTION!

See, add some dramatic notes and an exclamation point or two and I’m ready to!

Dear Mr. Writer’s Block,

Your services are no longer required here. Kindly exit stage left.

Sincerely,

Mike

So what am I most thankful for today? Quite honestly it’s the quiet time I’ve had for reflection over the past 48 hours or so. I’m glad Becky’s home and we’ve had a great time today. I’m very thankful for our quiet time together as well. That said, the time I’ve had to myself to think, reflect, and process has led to a great deal of healthy re-charging. Thanks to that time I’m able to enjoy our time together even more.

Many of my favorite mentors, writers, and thought leaders speak often of taking time to take care of yourself. As one of my mentors is often heard saying, “put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others put theirs on.” Another says, “If you would be a river first you must be a reservoir.”

What I find in that quiet time by myself is the ability to really think. Without the distraction of other people I have less to interrupt my thought process, or, more accurately, when I am starting to think deeply about things I really don’t want to face I have more potential distractions to reach out for. When I take time to think (or to write) it is forced thought time. Even right now. My mind is working all of this out as I type.

Over these past couple of days I’ve found that the gap between who I am and who I am called to be has grown wider in some ways. It’s also decreased in other ways. I often think of it as a river working it’s way through the stone in a valley. Just when I think I’ve made progress in closing the gap the water carves out a new section of earth that was weaker than it appeared on the surface. I used to get frustrated when I’d see myself take a step backwards. Now I’m seeing that usually that is incorrect. I’ve moved forward and with the benefit of closer vantage point I can see something even better to reach for. This will be a never ending quest to reach the end of something that doesn’t ever end. Regardless, in moments of quiet like this I’m able to view the gap more clearly.

I’ve also had more time to think about purpose. The writing of Viktor Frankl really hit home for me earlier this week. When I had time to let it ferment this weekend it really showed up in my writing. As I wrote in one chapter I really opened myself up in discussing a potential purpose of my life. Had I not had time to think alone this most likely wouldn’t have appeared on my laptop’s screen.

I feel rested. Like really rested. And not just because I got over 10 hours of sleep last night and will be heading to bed just a shade over 12 hours since I got out of bed this morning. My soul is rested.

I have tendency to want to fill my life with as much of everything as possible. This means spending time with others often (especially family and close friends), not saying no to things that I should skip, and wasting my time on trivialities that don’t move me towards my purpose. One of the biggest issues in losing time on non-essential things like that is I often sacrifice my alone time. This has certainly been the case recently and having this time alone was the rest I needed. Moving forward I need to find a way to keep this top of mind and worked into my life on a regular basis instead of by accident.

Whew!!! Take Four finally hit it on the head! Funny, sometimes I try to force my blog in a certain direction. I really need to remind myself to just let my fingers loose and set my soul free to talk, it’ll never lead me astray.

Thanks!!!

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