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The Importance of Thinking Time

Virginia Alice, author of "HONOR ONE ANOTHER: The ABCs of Embracing Our Spirit Within," writes about social media, wellness, and writing.

Early Morning Sunrise

Early Morning Sunrise

The Importance of Thinking Time

The Importance of Thinking Time

Recently, I started getting steps in at least five to six times each per week. At first, my goal was to get my fitness in. Being a writer (and reader), I do a lot of sitting. Walking-in-place – which is what I was doing – had its limitations. So, I set out to increase my walking in the great outdoors. To do so, I let go of my morning reading time. Little did I know that the trade-off would be so beneficial.

Not only am I walking and spending time in nature now, but I’m getting fit and also giving my mind time to sort things out. Instead of feeling overwhelmed about how to get it all done, i.e., work, my book, fitness, blogging, reading, chores, time with friends, trips to see family, and more (the list is endless), I’ve been finding solutions and letting some stuff go.

(Created on CANVA)

(Created on CANVA)

Getting in Fitness and Thinking Time

My morning walking is allowing me time to ask myself some deep questions. Do I want to continue to write? Do I like blogging? How can I take my love of photography and do “something more” with it? Do I really want one more thing on my already full plate?

How about you? Are you experiencing some of the same things? Do you choose to do one thing but know you need to do another? Do you choose rest or pleasure over chores? Or do you keep putting selfcare off hoping you’ll get a few minutes the next day or week to squeeze it in?

So, my question now is where did we get the idea that we always need to be doing something? When I started pondering this particular question, I started to realize I can choose to do what I really want to and let all the other stuff go.

It is well for people who think, to change their minds occasionally in order to keep them clean.

— Luther Burbank

Making a New Plan

As I continue to walk, I realize I just need to embrace a new plan. This November, if I live to the age of ninety, I’ll have thirty years ahead of me to do better, to change plans, to make a U-turn.

How about you? Have you considered making a new plan? Are you happy where you’re at? It’s okay to do both. We can live a happy life and still strive for new goals. We just need to figure out what it is we really want to be doing and what stuff to let go of to get us there.

In my case, when it comes to writing my books, so much depends on the time available to me. When I wrote my first book, I had the time to do it. I had alone time due to hubs’ long hours, and I was also recovering from a few mole removal surgeries with restricted movement. Now that hubs is retired and home full-time, and I’m back to working almost full-time hours, I’m hardly ever alone. I’m continually searching out quiet places to read, rest, and write.

(Created on CANVA)

(Created on CANVA)

Forging a New Path

So I’m realizing, in my early morning quiet times as I walk and think, I can still do anything I want. I just need to let go of unnecessary to-do lists, clutter that always needs dusting, and things I don’t use anymore. By doing this, less time is spent on upkeep and more time is spent writing, reading, and doing fitness – which are all important to me. And by continuing with my morning walks, I can make thinking time a priority in my day – without it my mind is a big mush of run-on sentences, half-thoughts, and lost trails of great ideas.

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Since making these realizations and headways, I feel as though my writing has become me again. At times, over the past year, it was a struggle to sound like myself. My mind was so filled with all my to-dos and all my wonderings that I couldn’t really see myself among the sentences and paragraphs any longer. But now, I’m happy to realize I’m right where I need to be. I just need to be patient as some things work themselves out. And I’m freshly excited about unexpectedly working in a church office again and learning how to co-habitat with my husband who is now retired.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

— Norman Vincent Peale

Taking Time to Think is Selfcare

In all this, I realize more and more the importance of selfcare. It’s not something I was raised to consider. And maybe you weren’t either. But it’s something we should do. And taking time to just think should be at the top of our lists.

When we take time to think, we can figure out how we can be ourselves in our own skins and not let others’ talents or successes keep us from being successful in our own life.

It isn’t every day we can decide or know what to do with the rest of our lives. But every day we can choose to think about what we love. We can consider what brings us closer to our purpose in life. And we can choose to make a difference in the lives of others with what we do and who we are.

What is it you want to do with your day? For me, I want to get more rest. I want to have time to consider things before rushing into something I really might not want to do. I want to know that I’m on the right path to fulfilling my life purpose.

To do this, I need time to think and to be fit. And walking in the early mornings has become my answer. Now, how can you carve out your own thinking time?

Figuring out where you can think is a start. Perhaps, like me, it will mean an extra thirty minutes to take an early morning walk. Or maybe it will be a stop by the public library to sit in a cozy corner and read or just close your eyes for a few minutes.

(Created on CANVA)

(Created on CANVA)

Take Steps to Find Time

Take time today to think about your first step. Find someone to speak with about your dreams. Get in an early morning or late evening walk and consider what is heavy on your mind. Journal, if this will help you think more clearly.

Having quiet time alone can be just what you need to get a handle on all the jumble in your mind. It’s amazing the difference having some thinking time has done for my day.

It’s vital to our overall health. Carving out thinking time should be important to everyone in this fast-paced world of ours, but only you can decide what this means for you. Take that first step to grabbing even just ten minutes to start. Then, increase from there, if needed. I know if I can do this, you can too.

I wish you the best in finding more thinking time in your day-to-day life. Life is too short not to have adequate down-time.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Virginia Alice Crawford

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