I just returned from a week out of the country in the beautiful Cornish countryside, land of my ancestors. It has been many years since I traveled outside the United States. And apparently there’s nothing like getting into a hollow tube of metal and being flung across the ocean at great speed to truly clear one’s perspective.
Waking up this morning at home I felt as if I am one of those Etch-A-Sketch drawing boards that erase everything that’s been drawn when you give it a good shake. I feel a clarity, an emptiness, a freshness of perspective that is startling and refreshing.
Who knew this unexpected gift would come from my time away.
So with my fresh eyes, what am I seeing this morning?
First off, I am going on a “news diet”. For at least some period of time, I am going to refrain from reading news of any kind. (I don’t watch TV, so all my news is obtained from print or internet sources.) When I sat down at the computer this morning and prepared to click on the news, my stomach clenched and my breathing became shallow. Hmm!clearly my body does not want to be exposed to this information. But clicking on the news has become such habit, such rote behavior, that I had ceased to notice this negative reaction. So no news, at least for a while.
What else!..more writing. I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately (novel writing with friends, blogging, drafting an eBook, etc.) and I realize what great pleasure it has been giving me. Note to self: more great pleasure!
I’ve had a few more thoughts, but mostly I am carefully savoring the blankness of my internal Etch-A-Sketch. I am going to be very careful about what I choose to pay attention to, and where I choose to spend my precious time and energy.
Can you find a way to erase your Etch-A-Sketch and look at your life with fresh eyes? An overseas trip may not be necessary! Perhaps as a little as an afternoon by yourself at a cafÃ© in the next town over. Or a night or two away at a friend’s house or a hotel.
What might you do differently? What would you “draw” on the Etch-A-Sketch of your life, if you could look at yourself with fresh eyes?
Photo credit: teadrinker via Flickr