Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A New Name

Aficionados of the Fiske Miles blog may notice that it now has a new name. I made the change to reflect a central value of my own life. At some point along about my late 30s I found myself more and more frequently lamenting the hectic pace of my life. I often fretted about the increasing rate at which information poured in and events (both wanted and unwanted) seemingly occurred. This is not a unique concern. In fact, it is much more the rule than the exception based on what I have observed in those around me. I asked myself the same question that many others ask: am I enjoying my life? Am I doing what I want to do? I found myself looking for books about "downshifting" and life in the slow lane. I found a few, but, honestly, they were not much help.

Ever the pragmatist, I started looking at what I was doing to figure out how to slow things down. How to spend more time doing the things I wanted to do and how to enjoy them more. How, essentially, to live a less hectic life.

Gradually, as the years passed, I began having more and more success at this. I have found more and more ways to remove, or at least minimize, the frenetic from my life. I'm more relaxed. Stress is not a problem for me. I am happier and healthier. I am doing more of the things I want to do. Surprisingly, it wasn't that difficult to accomplish. It didn't require moving to a mountain top, years of meditation practice, changing jobs, or giving up things that are important to me.

I didn't find some profound secret. There isn't one. There is no "get relaxed quick" scheme. When I talk with people about the changes I made, the changes I'm making, they don't usually seem impressed. How would that really make such a difference is a question I see them pondering. Usually, they are too polite to ask. Or, maybe, well that's okay for you but I wouldn't want to do that. I still hear them complaining about their hectic lives, though, and not having enough time.

My blog reflects those things which are important to me, which I value and enjoy. I think it reflects the relaxed pace of my own life. I haven't written any posts specifically about how I have slowed down, but I think I will do. Maybe they will help someone else find their own way to enjoying their life more. At any rate, changing the name of my blog is a commitment to making it a place of peace and serenity in the blogosphere.

About the robins. We have a heated bird bath. Water, it turns out, is as critical for birds when the weather turns icy as food. Elly and I were watching birds in our backyard during a snow storm a few mornings ago, one of our most favorite things to do, when several dozen robins flew in for a drink. We haven't seen this before. It was fun -- a magical event and a wonderful way to start our day. Spending time watching the natural world is an excellent way to make one's life less hectic.

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