Each of us are wired differently. Some of us thrive on organization, others on music, yet others on aesthetic appeal and then there is that group who simply love being in the middle of things always. What fuels your peace? I came custom built with a strong need for analytical exercise time and a need to create and a need to make things lovely.. Kinda polar opposite activities most of the time. A true enjoyment of mathematics and well done plans that are executed in sync and at the same time a part of my makeup that sees beauty in situations, scenes and people around me and has a strong desire to drink it in visually, experientially, etc.
Do you know what fuels you? How do you balance and find rest? What brings you peace? For me it becomes awareness of accomplishable goals. It is also making sure I have consistent methods of giving to others in a service oriented way. The Chairman of our Board at the Nurse Company loves nothing more than to spend three hours on his tractor mowing his yard. That one-hundred-eighty minutes means that he is in the sunshine, breathing the fresh Tennessee air, with a measurable goal that can be completed and measured at the end of three hours. I suspect it also means that we don’t interrupt him with cell phone calls, meetings, or committees. Each week, despite his busy busy travel and work schedule he takes time to personally mow his spread in Tennessee. Why? It fuels him. Last week I had the same kind of “escape” locally from a hectic week by taking my children to a pumpkin farm and letting them pick from the vines the pumpkins we’d take home to decorate for Fall harvest spaces in our yard. It was just an hour set aside with my children, but we laughed, played, shared silly moments and enjoyed a beautiful Fall day at Gentry Farm in Franklin, TN as we simply escaped our usual work and school day for a few hours.
When one’s career is about giving, nurturing, caring, and tending others continually. When it may mean long hours and often overwhelming levels of tasking. When our careers require us to attend to details in order to make life changing decisions and sometimes life saving decisions, it is important to know what fuels your peace. As a small child, my father was the lone doctor in a one horse town. When mill accidents happened, he was surgeon, physician, bedside watcher, and family chaplain to any worker who was brought in. Compound the medical difficulty of knowing you’re the only doctor for the situation and there may be multiple wounded with the knowledge that in a small town this is someone you personally know 100% of the time. He had to know what brought him peace. These were the days before cell phones, when a doctor with a critical patient couldn’t leave the hospital or phone callable area. There were no pagers, beepers, nor relief most days. My father’s love for learning was his relief. He completed all the Harvard classics, then the Great Courses, then one at a time knocked out (and continues to in his late seventies) specific topics such as the entire history of the U.S. Civil War Volumes. (253 4 inch thick books). This escape into a different mental and visual space allowed him to keep his sanity and to refocus his very trying world with a fresh perspective.
What is your fuel? When do you plug it in? How often do you take time to make sure your own fuel reserves are replenished? For me personally it is about visual peace. I need to see aesthetically rich scenes whether its driving to see the fall follage or making a beautiful centerpiece at my home. It’s playing the piano regularly to enjoy the physical movement of my hands and hear the tones as I play. It’s knowing I make time to leave my very adult world and play with our teens and volunteer in our church nursery to get some baby love time. It’s cooking a meal in double to share with a family who is facing tougher times. Giving in short to others is giving to me. It fuels me.
Do you need quiet? Do you need a way to burn off frustrations at the gym? Do you love working with cross stitch, or reading, or building something with your hands? What fuels your peace? How do you turn off the stress of your daily life and pour in the peace? Today I challenge you to find something for 15 minutes today (grab a timer, its harder than you think to make yourself do it) and simply do an activity that fuels your peace. We all need to take care of ourselves, so we can continue to take care of others.