What Do You Do to Renew?


What do you do to renew? What do you do when you’re a writer and words dry up, when you’re a psychologist and your clients’ troubles seem trivial, when you’re a boxer and, all things considered, you’d rather read a good book than get pounded on?

How do you find inspiration?

I have had a week of chaos good and bad: a move that has me still living out of boxes, contractors still tinkering and popping over at the ungodly early hour that apparently is written in the contractor code; losing an hour to daylight savings time; a daughter’s excitement at buying her very first car on her own; a dog’s near death and emergency surgery.

Writing? Well, I can’t quite still my mind enough to let words come.

I know that some people find inspiration and silence in prayer, but I have never been comfortable with that.

On the one hand, it seems like superstitious chanting to some paternal figure cooked up to make us feel less alone in the universe. On the other, even if prayer is “real,” then why is my prayer any more compelling than anyone else’s? It seems like God or gods have too many people tugging their sleeves, from football players and rap stars importuning, to parents hovering over sick children, or soldiers silently moving their lips on the battlefield. Why would anyone listen to me?

So, if not prayer, then what about meditation? I do try that, because I believe in relying on the power of self. But sometimes the self just wants to turn over and sleep in. Sometimes, the meditating mind gets distracted by the day’s to-do list.

I could drink. A nice glass of wine certainly relaxes. But one glass can lead to another and being high isn’t quite the same as being elevated.

So, from a place of utter exhaustion, I’m asking…what do you do to renew?



8 thoughts on “What Do You Do to Renew?

  1. Ah yes, a question for the ages:) I suppose we all deal with it even when we know we aren’t dealing with it. Sometimes it’s a matter of just putting one foot in front of the other and in the process, a nugget of creativity spews forth begging to be shared. For me, it’s always been about reading. Going somewhere new and different by way of beautiful narrative has most often re-started my creative engine that stalled unexepctedly by the complexities of life:)

    • mitternight

      Jeff, great to hear from you! You know, there was an old New Yorker cartoon showing a guy looking at the out-of-doors and saying “not enough plot.” Kind of where I stand on the outdoors, alas.

  2. Yvonne

    Depends on my mood. What I do to relax varies greatly: reading, music, walking around DC, throwing people about, baking, catching up on FB and e-mails, and there is always catching up with friends and family. Many of these things relax while simultaneously stimulate me.

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