Saturday, December 10, 2011

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - A Day To Be Alone With Myself

Well, I'm done recovering from our great Christmas party! I was SO happy to welcome all of you into my home. I hope everyone had a great time. It was nice to be able to visit with those who were able to come.

Because I was so busy getting ready for the party on Thursday, I skipped Kathy's Thursday Thoughts post. So, I thought I'd post it today. Enjoy...

Many years ago when I was a teenager and also in college, I used to go non stop like many of us do at that age. I only stopped when I went to bed and that is no lie. There were so many activities, so many friends, studies, work, and more extracurricular activities than I can list here. I remember thinking to myself that the more I got done, the better person I was. I even remember my youngest son saying to me one day, “Mom……you only stop when you’re asleep!”

I am happy to report that I have changed a lot since then. Although I stay plenty busy, I have stopped being a “human doing.” I have realized through the school of hard knocks that we need to take care of ourselves and getting enough rest and solitude is part of that equation. I remember on a few occasions scheduling a day off work just for me. I gathered a blanket, my favorite books, a journal, a bag lunch and of course a big Coke and headed for the mountains. I have a few favorite places when I take a day like this, where I can be totally alone by a creek so I can listen as it rustles by (one of the most soothing sounds imaginable). I have found these days to be most beneficial, especially to a person like me who tends to be hyper much of the time. I found that I was able to key down, reconnect with myself, clear my head and basically reconnect with the center of my soul……the part that gets squished into the background much too often. Sometimes I even fell into an incredibly restful sleep, which was therapeutic on many levels because at night, I sometimes have a difficult time getting my mind to quiet down enough to sleep.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a book entitled, “The World According to Mr. Rogers.” My mind immediately traveled back over 30 years to the time my first son watched “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” each and every day. He would get his own little cardigan sweater and put it on just as Mr. Rogers did and each day I could hear him say to himself, “ I like you just the way you are,” a fitting message for each of us to learn and apply to our own lives. While remembering these happy memories from long ago, I purchased the book, took it home and began reading its many messages; Words of advice from a man who has influenced millions of children around the world. You can imagine my surprise and delight when found the following quote: “ It is important to know when we need to stop, reflect, and receive. In our competitive world, that might be called a waste of time. I’ve learned that those times can be the preamble to periods of enormous growth. Recently, I declared a day to be alone with myself. I took a long drive and played a tape. When I got to the mountains, I read and prayed and listened and slept. In fact, I can’t remember having a calmer sleep in a long time. The next day I went back to work and did more than I usually get done in three days.”

This message resonated with me in such a powerful way and I realized that maybe this change in my behavior is not appearing now simply because I am getting older. It is happening because I am getting wiser. Yesterday I told my youngest son to take some quality time to himself each and every day because it is healthy and pays great dividends. He gave me a simple answer, “Mother…..that is why I run.” I guess we all do it in our own way, but it is well worth the effort to create that habit and stick to it. Mr. Rogers has never guided anyone on a wrong course yet!

Kathy Christensen
Survivor
Guest Blogger
Member of Lifting Hearts

1 comment:

After Jerusalem said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is just what I needed to hear!

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