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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Casteel

Still Plenty of Room

When we're at the beach, there's nothing my son loves more than running in the surf. He charges at the ocean, jumping over the little waves before turning and running from a big one. After each retreat, he takes a deep breath, yells, "Come on!" and charges back into roil. This will continue until we make him take a break, drink some water, eat a snack.

The pattern is very familiar. I used to do that every time I saw the ocean. Still fall into the same cycle daily too. Wake up. Reach blindly for my phone. Open my eyes just to unlock it. Run head long into my email. Jumping over some. Running from others. Get up, workout, read news, breakfast, into the email again, out of the house, into the car, out to my first task...until someone gets me to take a break.

When I take my son to the ocean, I walk into the ocean with him, but I don't jump out run from the waves. Now older, stronger, I just plant my feet and the waves crash past me. I enjoy a little of that each day at the beach and then walk back past where the waves can't reach to sit back and relax, maybe write a little or sketch or read.

I'm getting better at pulling myself out of the daily surf I put myself in as well. I'm finally following my wife's advice and starting my creative work first thing each day. Not looking at my phone or my email until after I've done at least an hour of creative work. This prevents the allure of jumping into the tumbling surf of emails and notifications from stealing all the progress I can make on the things that truly matter.

Try it out. The surf is fun, but you don't have to be caught in it to enjoy it. Sometimes it's best to appreciate it from afar.

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