This posting is part of a series on my book Sifting. If you have not read the previous postings, please visit the menu above (click on Sifting) for a chronological listing of any previous chapters. Thanks!
Chapter 6: Mountain Home Reflections
Bob sat by the fire in his mountain home staring out the window. Huge snowflakes were falling outside. They actually looked more like clumps of snow dropping from the sky and covering everything with a white quietness. As the last remnants of sunlight disappeared, the lights of the village at the base of the ski slopes began to invite people to shift their attention to relaxing night activities. Every color in the spectrum was well represented by tiny lights that decorated the downtown shopping and dining district. On the ski slopes, the chairlifts stopped moving and noisy motors that sent the chairs on their daily grind of round trips up and down the mountain fell silent. The people who filled the chairs all day long were relaxing and getting ready for the next thing on their agenda. At this time of day, most everyone seemed to be inside and between busyness.
Bob couldn’t remember the last time he was surrounded by so much stillness and silence.
After the phone call from Europe, this seemed to be the best place to hang out and think for the next few days. He didn’t come here very often because this was a vacation home, and Bob didn’t take vacations. But his wife and kids weren’t at home; and even if they were, he needed some time alone to sort things out before he talked to them about the phone call from Mr. Dawson. He wasn’t sure how they would respond to the news. As a matter of fact, right now he wasn’t sure of anything. He thought he was a master at thinking big and adapting, but this was too big for him to digest, or adapt to, in such a short time.
Bob suddenly realized he was experiencing a sensation that he hadn’t felt in years. It was odd, given his circumstances; but for some reason, at this particular moment, he felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Bob had no meetings tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day. They had all been canceled. Right now, at this moment, Bob had nowhere to go and nothing to do. It felt like one of those rare periods of time in life between graduating from one thing and starting the next.
Bob finished his glass of scotch. He felt something else. He couldn’t quite put his finger on the feeling – mellow, that was it. In spite of what was going on, he actually felt mellow. He relaxed and sat quietly in a comfortable chair near the fireplace. The fire radiated warmth and the snow outside absorbed noise and converted his surroundings into calming quietness.
Bob leaned back, closed his eyes, let his head fall back slightly, took a deep breath, slowly exhaled and softly whispered, “What happened?”
End Chapter 6
Main takeaway: Bob is discovering, or rediscovering, what it is like to be “between busyness.” It’s important to purposely build some “between busyness” time into your life (preferably every day whenever possible). Warning…if you haven’t done this in a while, your nervous system might have to get used to enjoying inactivity and relaxing. You may feel restless and in need of some stimulation. Hang in there and just relax. Odds are, you will like your new nervous system when it adjusts to having these periods of quietness and stillness. And you will likely accomplish some very meaningful things during these periods.
- How often do you find yourself between busyness? What do you do with this time?
- Suggestion: Take your vacations!
- Why do you think Bob feels mellow when it appears that so many changes are occurring in his life? Do you think this feeling will be helpful or counterproductive?
- How do you think relaxing in his mountain home is affecting Bob’s curiosity?
The entire book will eventually be posted on this blog. However, if you want a copy for yourself, or a friend, you can find it at this link: Sifting