Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Reload and Recharge

This week's Hump Day Hmm asks "what do you do to feed your soul? What renews you?"

I enjoy a lot of things, but learning something probably feeds me the most. I like to learn new stories about people, I enjoy learning a new element of history, and I enjoy learning a skill. I enjoy time with friends, but the most memorable times have always been those conversations that go on for hours about deep and meaningful elements of life - either the deepest desires of the person I'm talking with or one of those times when we both conclude something together that resonates. Those are the type of conversations I find myself standing up from and wanting to run, to go, to do. I want to use the new knowledge, to implement the new strategy, or do whatever it is that has come to me (and my friend) in a eureka moment.

The most recent such conversation that stands out is one with my good friend and co-blogger Todd. We were discussing the future, and he said simply "Both of these possibilities look great, and you'll do well with either one, but it's not like they are your only choices. You can do anything you want to. What is it that you most want to do in life?"

I knew the answer, and I have written about it a great deal in the weeks since, but that simple observation had a profound impact on me. I continue to be energized by the feelings I had in that conversation. It certainly didn't hurt that I was already considering other things, and that I had just read The Last Lecture, but I credit Todd with helping me finally open my eyes. I won't blame him if things get hard, though, because I know I am making my own choices about where I go from here. I just appreciate having a friend that cares enough not to simply enable me in whatever plan I'm trying to justify.

Good friends, learning, great life experiences. I could go days without eating if I could just enjoy those things.

-- Robert


le35 said...

I think that when we learn, it gives us the energy to go and do something about what we learned. Whenever we gain energy, we are renewing our soul. Great post.

Julie Pippert said...

Learning something new, feeling a horizon broaden...yeah that's a good one. I also love that and it gets me really pumped. Not sure it renews me, but it is a Need for me for sure.

You know reading this and Ellie's comment I suddenly see something (see! great post, got me thinking and clarified!).

When I say "renewed" and "feed my soul" I am thinking "grounded, contented, at peace." The sort of calm in between storms. Learning excites me, and so yes, gives me energy, but also uses energy too. I need that quiet time to recharge.

Thanks Robert and Ellie.

Robert said...

Well, what grounds me is almost certainly spiritual experiences like great talks in church, good Sunday School lessons, or Conference talks. I thought of what you were saying as what rejuvenates me and makes my day. Reading grounds me, and being with my family, but it's hard to identify one particular thing I do that grounds me other than what I've mentioned.

le35 said...

I think that for some people, the things that rejuvenate them are the things that zap energy from other people. Also, some people are so energetic that "the calm before the storm" is not happy but they don't feel like they're productive. I think something I just learned from Julie's comment is that renewing and feeding one's soul are different for different people as well.

Anonymous said...

Learning. Something to ponder as I have never really viewed it as soul renewing (and I taught for 20 years).

Melissa said...

I agree. Getting out there and learning new things always keeps my energy level high. Without it, I feel stale.