Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Path To Less - Update 1

So we're 5 days into the new year -- and I'm facing one of the most stressful periods of my work life. External accreditation of the program I run starts tomorrow, internal auditors wrapping up their end-of-year assessment for 2008, goal setting for me and my staff, business travel coming up.... These are among the reasons I have vowed to simplify my life. Task one: quiet the mind. So here's what I (we -- Mrs. Muse and I) have done:

  1. Less TV, more reading. Not much less, and not much more, but in increments we are reducing the over-stimulation of the tube and increasing the intellect-stimulation of the written word. I'm working on a biography of James Madison, and learning more about...
  2. Meditation. Spending quiet time -- even just ten minutes a day -- listening to myself breathe. I have been doing this during lunch while I'm walking alone in our beautiful north Florida winter weather, and getting some sensible....
  3. Exercise. After a light lunch (dietary simplification will be the subject of another post), I have been walking about 3 easy miles, focusing on my breath and the scenery, while avoiding the stress of the work day. I have always (mostly) exercised regularly, but as I will do, often over-did. Last year I did intense workouts that helped me to loose over 30 pounds, which turned out to be too much and did more damage to my health in the end than good. Now I exercise moderately while cooling down the noise in my head. On the weekend, Mrs. Muse and I discovered some near by trails that we hadn't hiked before and enjoyed the outdoors together -- while I indulged in a little photography (my major joy and relaxation). The photo above is the reflection in a small stream in the wetlands along the Bayberry Trail on the campus of the University of North Florida...
So... time well spent, without expense, with my wife (when possible), improving my health and engaging my passion. Off to a pretty good start. Now about that mess in the spare bedroom... well, maybe next time. Stay tuned. Simple.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

I have just stumbled upon your blog. It's wonderful, and I'm looking forward to reading more, as we have many shared interests. I especially love the Disneyland reflections image, as I'm on the verge of doing a series of paintings of reflections. Wonderful juxtaposition of colours!