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It’s October. The air is cool and invigorating, hitting my lungs with a sting. The newly transformed trees of Horn Pond provide the perfect backdrop: a wash of rich gold, red, and orange. They are just enough to make the whole world seem a little bit warmer, despite the crisp air. All I can hear is my music pounding in my ears, and all I can feel are my feet hitting the pavement – one after the other, in a rhythmic lullaby.
It has taken me a while to get to this point. Never before would I have sacrificed work time, especially on a Sunday, to do something only for my own benefit. But now I am beginning to realize one particularly disturbing fact – I have been so caught up in doing what I think is best that I have actually lost sight of what really is best. Of course, I cannot give up the things I have committed myself to, nor would I want to. But I am beginning to discover that I cannot give 100% of myself to others if I do not have all 100% to give.
This realization is of course a work in progress. The turning point came when I was cleaning out my closet and found a portfolio of artwork from when I was around 14. With each drawing I found I began to remember just how much I loved to draw. Yet after freshman year, I had not drawn since. Not once! I simply did not have the time.
That is when it really hit me. In my pursuit of excellence, had I really given up something so important to me? And even forgotten how important it was? I decided that I should immediately reevaluate my priorities. After all, as much I love helping people, I have realized that it is impossible to understand others if I don’t understand myself first.
So it was then that I made a promise to myself. At least once a week, I would spend some time for me, not for anyone else. And this week, that brings me to Horn Pond. I’m not thinking of all the work that is piled on my desk; I know it will be there for me when I come back. I just listen to my music and sink into the rhythm of my feet on the pavement. By some definitions, I have just wasted an entire hour. But for once, that’s all right with me.
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