As I sitting in my chair journaling yesterday morning with my now additional morning time, I suddenly made a connection I had not made previously - perhaps an epiphany (although I wonder how many times we use that word for things that are simply not epiphanies, but just common sense).
There have been five sorts of "dots" over the last two weeks or so. The first was waking up one morning and simply realizing that "I was done", although I was not clear what I was "done" with. The second was the social outing that left me exhausted to the point that I seriously question how many I have left in me. The third was the aforementioned change in morning programming that left my cell phone to the side for the first hour or so of the morning. The fourth was a change in how comments are done, which makes my own commenting much more slow on the InterWeb and thus makes it less easy to use. And the fifth - yesterday - was the announced blogging retirement of one of my favorite bloggers.
All of this came to a proverbial head when - on Thursday evening - I found myself finishing work at the actual time I was supposed to and suddenly having an evening with a few activities and a lot of time. And suddenly I realized I was making a change in my life, a change I needed to make and had not essentially being willing to do. I needed to spend more time and focus on the quiet life that I say I want to live, but never really do.
In other words, I need to simply give myself permission to spend my life on a small subset of things that really matter.
Maybe this has been obvious to those that read here; it would not be the first time that the last person to realize issues about myself is me. But what I found as I mulled these five points over in my journal - which thanks to the addition in morning time, I am forcing myself to double what I was writing (two pages instead of one) - is that I have fallen into a trap of needing to be mentally busy and serving masters that really had no impact on my life.
One of the things that has almost become a guilty pleasure is reading. Why this is, I am not sure -except that somehow (except for flying on a plane) I have come to associate "sitting and reading" with not be productive. Which is foolish of course - for the gaining of knowledge and for pleasure, there is nothing that beats reading (yes, I understand there are videos and such. They never quite work the same way for me). Reading has not been a priority, the way that it used to be or should be.
Which comes to how I spend my time. Things like surfing the InterWeb become much less easy when your commenting interface is difficult and the bloggers you read (over to the right there, and whom I love) generally write a post once a day to once a week. That certainly does not justify hours of "looking", and the decision to largely discontinue media makes it even less real.
And the experience of the social outing? I need more quiet and less people, not the other way around. Excluding my family, Iaijutsu class, and volunteering at the Rabbit Shelter, I really only see people I have have no relationship with at the gym (and largely church at this point as well). 90% of my day is spent at home (whether here or at The Ranch) at most in meetings - so voice, not presence.
Which, as I am finding, is how I like it.
In that sense I suppose, I need to double down on the life called Contemplative by the medieval mystics: Less people, more thoughtfulness, more time spent with things around the home(s), more time invested in the things in my life that matter. Perhaps doing "less", but more focused on what I am doing and in a real way, less connected to the world.
It does not impact my writing here directly (blogging continues to fall under one of the "things), as the unspoken sixth thing I realized is that I am already doing what I talk about in terms of blogging - much less current events and such, more more (hopefully ) thought provoking items and records of my daily life. Which I am certainly happy with as it is continuing to help me refine my thoughts and my life.
In one thing I can say there is a sense of joy: the moment when one realizes that so much of what one felt one was under was really put their by one's self, not by anyone else.
And, of course, the realization that one has given one's self the permission to read full speed ahead.