There is something about being away from your life as much as being in your life that causes one to develop a certain sort of "Review at Arm's Length Exercise" of your entire life.
This happened to me last month of course: between hiking the Grand Canyon, being at The Ranch, and being in Costa Rica I was "out of my life" over 50% of the time. And it is funny what that sort of "arm's length" will do to a person.
We - whether we choose to admit it or not - are largely creatures of habit and schedules. I see in my own life; I see it in the lives of The Ravishing Mrs. TB and Na Clann at home: Rising about the same time, breakfast of about the same thing, leaving at the same time, returning at the same time, filling the evening with the same schedule as the day before. In a great many ways this is helpful of course, as it manages our lives with some degree of efficiency and practicality: given the option of too many choices, I could stand transfixed at breakfast, not eating because I do not know what I want (this actually happened more than once in Costa Rica).
But what it also does is keep us in a rut of our making as well.
An example: I have a pretty well established routine in the morning: Get up, pray, Bible readings for the day (Old and New Testament), journal, a short vocabulary and passage time in a foreign language calisthenics, take Poppy The Brave for a walk, feed the animals, and then either catch up on the news or write a blog post (or both) before eating breakfast and preparing for the day. My schedule in this regard almost never varies - when I am home.
But why do I do these things in this order? Why do I do these particular things? There is nothing inherently wrong with them, but have I done all of them so long (excluding prayer and Bible reading, which is imperative of course) that I do them without thought? And what are they getting me towards, or am I just doing them for the sake of doing them?
This is just one element of my day. It is full of such things.
It is not that any of the things I am doing are "wrong" - but are they "right" in the sense that they are filling some need or advancing some goal? Or it just habit that, 10 years from now, will look exactly the same as it did before with the same results?
Perhaps a more relevant question is: Where do I want to go and what do I want to do and are these things helping me to accomplish that?
Post Script: I would be remiss in not posting the fact that our friend Leigh Tate at Five Acres and a Dream (if you do not follow Leigh, you surely should; her blog is a very good review of life disguised as a blog about making a self sufficient life on five acres) has recently published a book on Livestock: Prepper's Livestock Handbook: Lifesaving Strategies and Sustainable Methods for Keeping Chickens, Rabbits, Goats, Cows, and Other Farm Animals. Leigh is an honest and engaging author that is quite open about her and Dan's successes and failures. I have read a number of her pamphlets and her book Five Acres and A Dream: The Sequel and highly recommend all of them. And, of course, it is Christmas and we should do all we can to support our friends who are actually doing good.