Seeking Clarity

OrionDuring the day today, it seemed like a good idea to go for a run while both kids were at gymnastics. This would give me an hour of time, but it would be dark, and I’d be on my own. Dark is my least favorite part of winter. And a run by myself gives many opportunities to cancel the date and stay inside. I went, and I’m glad I did.

Someone said to me today, “Since you’ve been blogging about running…” Really, this post is not about running. It’s just that running is what I’m doing when I get to experience the gratitude of sunshine on a sub-zero day, the sense of accomplishment in physical exertion, a simple form of focusing on my well-being, and today–some clarity.

When I run, I typically don’t wear headphones. I use it as a time to disconnect. If I’m with others, we talk. If I’m by myself, I hit pause on information intake and noise. I take the chance to notice my surroundings–the critter keeping an eye on me from the woods with just its glowing eyes visible in the light of my headlamp, Orion’s belt and the big dipper on a clear and dark night, the sound of my breath and my shoes hitting the ground. My mind lets go, but also does some work. The run time gives me time to process the day, nothing to pull me away from just being and thinking.

I talked at work today about clarity in the objectives of our work and setting up the conditions–strategies and structures–to focus efforts on the clear path of our goals. Tonight my thinking was different. It was about the time to process and the clarity of thought we can achieve when we let ourselves be alone, uninterrupted, and unhindered in allowing for our minds to focus and wander almost simultaneously. It turns out that the open time was the only condition I needed to bring some clarity. Perhaps this is even better on a clear and quiet night. So, it’s a good thing I went for the run, but this really isn’t about the run.

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