A heavy curtain was lifted in my life recently. For the first time, in a very long time, I am once again self-aware and realize that I have been walking in a corn maze that sadly circles back on itself. This was not the first time that the curtain had lifted, but it usually doesn’t stay open this long.
Somehow, slowly, patiently, I’m willing to keep it open.
I think there is something different about me. Everything seems so new and fresh that I can’t quite understand it all, but I don’t believe I am the same person I was.
I can see the stage because I made a conscious decision to leap and steal time.
First, I gave up television, but that in itself was not enough. I quickly had to give up the use of my iPhone for an hour or so before I go to sleep, and an hour after I wake up. I still watch TV now and again, but purposefully.
Don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with television and there is nothing wrong with my iPhone either. There is nothing wrong, but there is nothing quite right either.
I am very self-aware. I have not lost touch with the corn maze, but I don’t have the same venom and anger others seem to purport about world events and our social problems.
I replaced television with thinking, and reading. Perhaps even a beer or two.
I read a lot. I haven’t read this much since I was in University and man, did I forget how much I loved reading. The characters from Dostoevsky, Hugo, Orwell, and Tolstoy are so real to me, that I can smell their breath. Perhaps one will knock on my door, even so many years later.
Books never abandoned me, I managed to abandon books.
Second, also I gave up my conventional understanding of the concept of time.
Several years ago, for practical reasons, I decided to wake up at 5:30am. I didn’t want to feel rushed to go to work in the event of a terrible snow-storm and this gave me the opportunity to have enough time to make a rational decision if I should drive, or stay home.
For years I falsely believed that I was one of the earliest risers and thought I was crazy for doing so. Most of the people I came into contact with agreed with my false belief, some were even envious of my ability to rise so early.
Now, I awake at 4am.
This is by design.
It is the only part of the day I have left that gives me the chance to weight train and get fit. I love my family, but my children are these little sponges of energy that soak up all of my time, which is why I needed to steal it back.
A year ago someone posted a video on their Facebook feed of a Navy Seal who trains at 3am. He trains so early because no one has ever wanted anything from him at that hour.
There are no excuses, no prior commitments, and the little hands grasping for attention are asleep.
I want to give my children my full attention and I do, but if I want health, I have to steal time.
What about you?
Have you thought about stealing time?
Just think about what you want and how long it takes to get it. Take a purposeful look at your life. Open the curtain and look without judgement, and without the stories you tell yourself.
How much time do you need? What things can be swapped out?
All that is left to do is leap.
Don’t think. Don’t feel. And certainly don’t tweet about it. Don’t tell a living soul.
It’s scary. It’s cold. It’s dark.