Why you should get lost

Yesterday, I started a book. Today, I finished it.

This is what I read. Not nonfiction. Not self-help. Just a good old-fashioned American novel.

It helped that the temperature where I am in Minnesota never got above zero.

You know what’s great about losing myself in a novel for most of a day? I lost myself in a novel for most of the day.

It wouldn’t have had to be a novel. At other points this year, I was fully immersed while playing paintball, playing a game with friends at a kitchen table, and riding waves with our kids.

What’s the point? The point is that for stretches of time (the longer, the better), I was able to be fully in the moment.

I’m not good at that anymore. It’s really hard to get my brain to shut off.

Here’s a quote I read by Celine Armstrong: “The best moments in life are ones where time slows down, all your cares and worries melt away, and you live entirely in the present.” Well said.

Did I mention I’m not as good at this as I used to be?

But it’s so good for me when I lose myself from time to time. I read a quote this week along the lines of, “Every machine works better after we unplug it for a little while and allow it to re-start. Our minds are no different.” (I’m going from memory; I probably butchered the quote.)

That’s why we take vacations. That’s why we have a Sabbath. That’s why we go outside. We need that.

At least I need that. And it doesn’t kill me to learn that when I disengage from the world for a few hours, it still keeps rotating and orbiting.

Here’s hoping that in 2018, I find more time to lose myself. And so do you.

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