The tough questions that come with silence

The past month has been pretty transformative for me personally.  When we stopped in Burford, I found myself confronted with the first opportunity to take a deep breath in about five months, and maybe longer.  The three months leading up to the trip and the first seven weeks of the trip have been non-stop planning, doing and worrying.  After we settled into the house and found our groove I found myself extremely unsettled.  I wasn't depressed exactly, I just did not know what to do with my time, and it was disconcerting.  I was reading three books, I found myself watching the stock market intently, taking naps and counting down the hours until evening when I could have a glass a wine and hear about the garden Stacie visited that day.  I was not motivated to do much of anything, and nothing was really capturing my attention.  For the first time in a long time life was quiet, and it scared the shit out of me.  At the same time, Stacie was as content and happy as I have ever seen her.  She was eager for the day to start and could not tear herself away from reading about, planning for and attending gardens. 

After about a week or so of struggling to make it through the day I started cooking, and then I started taking some online photography classes and slowly but surely I started feeling better.  However, I was eager to explore why I was so unsettled, so I put some energy into reflecting on the past couple of weeks.  What I found was not really surprising, however it was personally challenging.  The source of my unease was the fact that I had nothing to distract me.  

For most of my adult life I have had my head down working to create something.  First, I was building a career, then a company, then a family and another company.  On any given day I had so many things competing for my attention I had no time to deal with the tough questions that lurk when we are alone with our thoughts.  Once I realized I was only feeling better because I had found interesting things to distract me I realized how much work I really have in front of me.  I don't want to come back from this trip having had a wonderful time but not having grown as a person.   I want to spend time in that quiet, dark, raw place that challenges you to figure out how you want to live life, what you believe in, and what passions you are going to follow.  At its heart that is what this trip is all about, stripping away the everyday distractions of life in order to get down to the bare essence of what is important.  I cannot know where this road will end, but now that I have experienced first hand the reason we are here, I can tell you my perspective is different and I welcome the silence and the chance to reflect.