It’s been 1 week.
1 week since a simple family vacation to Minocqua, Wisconsin helped me to identify a very destructive habit.
My morning and evening “news routines” were taking a major toll on my time, and more importantly, my family. There were several things that happened over our two week fishing trip that gave me the much needed space to think clearly, to see these habits as the problems that they were.
I am 1 week into a full-bore Political Detox.
I have not allowed myself to check in on the rage machine in the mornings, the evenings – even while driving (which has been extremely difficult).
So far, here’s what I’ve learned…
In Wisconsin, it was easy.
When I was surrounded by water, nature, family, activities – so many good things from the time I woke into the late, late evenings – it was easy to push these bad habits behind me.
Now I’m home.
Every day starts with work. There are real-life responsibilities. Real-life problems. Things break, things cost money, things seem to go wrong constantly and all of this makes me want to sit and “veg out”. Disconnect. Fortunately we don’t have cable so the TV isn’t a huge draw for me – but as a website developer, I have screens. Many screens. Screens filled with YouTube, Twitter, and every opinion-type website you can possibly imagine…
When overwhelmed, there is a strange, powerful draw to just sit – to do nothing – and check in on what other people think, what other people are ticked off about. To let them think for me – not to mention, a (big) part of me wants to know what is going on out there! I don’t like being uninformed… but still, being informed with rage isn’t a good place to live either… so at some point, we’ll need to figure out a way to get simple, straight, distilled news with no slant. Just information.
Does that even exist?
Not sure, and today isn’t the day to find out, because I am dedicated to this and there are 3 weeks left.
That’s OK, because good things have already started to manifest themselves.
Two days ago, I realized how much I was not listening to my wife.
(Insert some joke about how “hubby don’t listen“, or “my wife never stops talking“, or “put the toilet seat down!“)
Jokes aside, I’m not talking about obeying, I’m talking about listening.
Those are two different things.
My wife is a registered nurse, and at the hospital, she sees some pretty heavy things. The other night we were in the kitchen, and she started to talk about a man with an infection. I won’t go into the disturbing details (and she never gets into specifics like personal info), but it was clearly worse than anything she had ever seen before.
This person was essentially rotting from the inside.
As she was explaining this in the kitchen, I had my phone in my hand. Not because I was going to open YouTube, but because I was waiting to borrow the charger. At one point I looked down and noticed it was there – and that the screen was dark. Blank.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Just a few weeks ago, my response to her would have been “uh-huh, uh-huh, yup“, to end the conversation so I could start a video, or read a tweet, or check some social site… how is that being a good husband?
Easy answer: it isn’t.
By not listening I was forcing my wife to carry the weight of her job by herself. Can she do that? Yes. Should she do that? Of course not. This is a partnership, and whether or not either of us realized it, my bad habit was placing extra stress on her, because she wasn’t properly unpacking the events of the day.
I have noticed a difference in her as well since staring this process, and as I think about all the issues that my neighbors are going through, I’m grateful that I get to listen to her.
It’s a blessing, and this Political Detox has helped me realize that.
Yes, the fishing has improved…
This week I was also able to get out to the local honey hole and do some fishing. It’s a far cry from the deep, clear lakes near Minocqua, but still fun. Yesterday I threw a Z-Man Pop Frog, then a little finesse Tokyo rig I’ve been playing with as a delivery method for some Strike King Super Finesse Worms and had some success.
I left earlier than usual instead of sitting on my rump, slurping coffee and looking at a my computer screen, because of my new-found morning time. This meant more casts, more fish, and more time breathing the fresh morning air.
Truth is, the extra fishing time was the initial draw for going through this process – this Political Detox… but the things I am learning about myself and my family at the same time – that is the real benefit.
Consider going through this process yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
For the full explanation of what this Political Detox is, and the habits it’s addressing, please see: Fish for Bad Habits…
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.
I’ll be traveling south for the next 4 days doing Prison Ministry, so articles and videos will be on hold while I’m on the road to & from Tennessee. Please pray for safe travels and that the hearts of many, many men will be touched by the Holy Spirit!