One of the things I believe we must do daily, especially as we age, is to set aside a particular – “Quiet” – time for ourselves. For myself, I am referring to a time when I have anywhere from an hour to an hour and one-half of “just me” time. No disruptions, no noise, no telephone interruptions, just an hour or so I have for myself. Sounds impossible – doesn’t it? Well, if I were a person who enjoyed sleeping, I would have to agree with you. But seeing that I am not one to linger in bed much beyond 6 or 7 o’clock I am trying to get accustomed to making this time around 4:30 AM in the morning. Why so early, you ask? At that time, it is quiet outside and with my wife sleeping in the next room, I am in complete solitude. While some people may say this sounds crazy – I personally think it is rather peaceful being alone with one’s thoughts at this hour of the day. Besides, I find it quite refreshing or should I say rejuvenating at this time of the day to just sit with one’s thoughts either writing, reflecting, or just simply sitting there in the quiet. It can be so mentally rewarding.
But not everyone likes to give up or shall I say spend the first hour or hour and one-half of their day alone with their thoughts. While my knowledge on this subject is rather limited, it would not surprise me were someone to tell me that most successful people carve out or put aside a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes of every day to allow themselves what one would call “quiet time.” And these little ten-minute periods of time can be almost any ten minutes of time. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, a short ten-minute walk outside in nature, a ten-minute soak in the tub or if you really want to get wild about it – lock yourself in the bathroom for ten minutes.
Even if you don’t allow the hour or hour and one-half every morning like I do, just spending these short ten-minute periods can and should become a vital part of your daily ritual as I am a true believer that they will assist you in addressing whatever life chooses to throw at you.. Think about it for a minute. What can these short ten minutes do for you? This alone time enables us to balance much of the noise (television, radio, CD’s, our smart phones, the computer) that we allow to infiltrate much of our day.
Just sitting alone quietly first thing in the morning before I do anything else – yes, even before I start writing or making that first cup of coffee, (although I must admit, spending this quiet time just sipping a cup of coffee is quite relaxing in and of itself) somehow makes me feel like my day will be more manageable. I do not know how some people just pop out of bed and seem to be going a “mile a minute’ before they even head out the door to start their actual work day. True, we retirees do not head off to work like we used to but for many of us our daily schedule has become so full that we wonder sometimes how we ever had time to work. I have found that taking time for myself be it a ten or fifteen-minute break or an hour and one-half of pure alone time – keeps me balanced and ready for whatever comes my way throughout the rest of the day.
Quiet time does not necessarily have to happen during the morning hours nor does it have to even be during the day. Most evenings I spend ten minutes or so (usually waiting for my wife to put my eye drops in before retiring for the evening), relaxing while allowing several thoughts to flow through my mind. Thoughts that pertain to what all I accomplished during the day. It is a good calming feeling and one that enables me to ease off into slumber land shortly after the lights are turned off for the evening. Relaxing like this and letting go is a perfect way to gently fall asleep without the worries about what tomorrow might bring. After all, chances are you accomplished all, or at least most of what it was you set out to do today and if not, well, tomorrow is just another day. One day at a time.