The last few weeks have been ridiculously busy, throwing off my goal-achievement and generally wearing me out. I needed to do something different today.
A while ago, I went on a course which talked about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey), one of which is to “sharpen the saw” or (in layman’s terms) to look after yourself so that you are more effective. My recollection of much beyond this concept was a bit fuzzy, and I wasn’t entirely sure what I was supposed to do to sharpen the saw, so I read the summary on Stephen Covey’s site and also this blog.
Good job I did, because otherwise I would have assumed I was just resting today and that magically, all blunt saws would be sharpened! Resting would only be preserving/enhancing the physical side of me. I also needed to ‘sharpen’ the emotional, mental and spiritual.
What did I do?
Well, I went for a run this morning. I’m training for a half-marathon so that was on the books for today anyway, but unlike my DH (who thinks that running is something that has to be done in order to eat as much as he does and not get fat…), I enjoy running and find it relaxing and therapeutic. So although I was running (and potentially making myself more tired), I was also enhancing my health and in fact relaxing.
I had then intended to chill out with a book and a pot of tea, but after reading the summary, I thought I should at least try to work on the other areas.
For the social/emotional aspect, I wrote letters to friends and took time to relish the fountain pen and silky writing paper combo whist I did it. I love writing letters; almost as much as I love receiving a hand-written letter. I owed a few people a few missives, so I sat down (after evicting the cat from the desk chair) and wrote away.
For the mental aspect, I did some reading and some work on my new book. I’m at a stage I really enjoy, which is discovering the characters. I write long character dossiers and have pictures of ‘them’ cut from magazines (if I spot someone who looks right) and pictures of ‘their house’ cut from Ideal Home etc. They slowly come alive as I work on them. That’s one of the fun bits. Of course, once they’re ‘alive’ they also plague me until I finish writing which can be less fun at times!
For the spiritual aspect, I tried to meditate, but unless I’m also running, I find it almost impossible to get into a meditative state. I used my sand-timer (which always helps me to focus - at least on the falling sand - and to think less) but it was still a bit of a struggle. Maybe the running could cover both physical and spiritual??
Anyway, I’m feeling a little sharper and realised that (apart from the running) that’s largely due to paper, pens and ink featuring highly in my day!