There was nothing wrong. No bad reason for me to set out after dark. It was quite the opposite...
You see, I'd just finished what was a fairly good week. Not just in regards to the amount of client work that I'd compiled, drafted, done and published- but on a personal level, too. I spent good time with friends, I exercised and I devoted time towards areas of interest- all in a single week. I also wanted to take some time out to re-evaluate the goals I've set for each different area of my life. Nothing more than a quick double-check of exactly what I'm aiming for. The question:
If I could have every key area of my life exactly as I wanted it, how would that look for me?
Eventually I arrived down at the beach front, and strolled along the boardwalk. It was mild outside and people walked their dogs, sat with friends or family out the front of restaurants and cafes- and then I passed the beer garden of the biggest hotel in the strip. It was packed, the same way it'd normally be on any Saturday or Sunday when I used to frequent there once upon a time...
We all want to get the most of out of our weekend, even after the sun has set and Monday looms on the other side. I get that, for a lot of people, this means getting your friends together for a few drinks at a pub or in an outdoor beer garden like the one I passed right then.
I love to get together with friends over a drink or two at the end of the day- be it in a public venue like that, or out the back of somebody's place in front of a blazing fire pit. The more productive the week, the better it feels once I reach the end. It feels like 'Mission Accomplished'- with celebratory drinks. That's what a Sunday Session is, right?
But despite the loud, happy buzz of chatter from those young patrons- I wondered:
How many of them were as happy as they sounded?
How many of them were as content as they looked?
Because we know that statistically, at least a handful of those people right now would be suffering from depression- and double that handful are dealing with anxiety: www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts
I know that life and that facade from experience. Because that was me around 24 and 25: barely home, out with these people at this party, that gathering, this club or that bar, drink in hand, down for whatever...whatever it was to give me a few more hours' escape from my own company and the self-doubt that'd drag me down again...
I've talked about what a difference it makes to get your mindset right at the start of each week or each day.
But what about your mindset when you get to the end?
Lately, I've developed a habit of standing on the back verandah for 5-10 minutes at days end, watching the sun set behind the distant range. I just switch off, watch the glowing orange disc sink into the horizon, listen to the sound of birds in the trees and allow myself to be still...
That's what I do with my mind.
So after an eventful week- even if it's been eventful for the right reasons- I do what I did on Sunday night. I go out for a walk and 'shut off'. I visualise putting my mind on 'lock', shut off any complex thoughts and instead just feel grateful for another week I got through: for what I accomplished. For the pleasant surprises and for the opportunities I have...
Around the age of 30, your appreciation of time changes for a number of reasons. I don't take it for granted like I did once. In my productive periods on work days, I aim to invest myself fully in what I'm doing. but I can't do this endlessly.
It's all about balance.
It's about gratitude.
And it's important to get ourselves mentally 'prepared' for the following week with the tasks it brings BUT-
We need to recharge!
Hit the 'lock' button on our mind. In the same way the screen goes black on our phone, do the same to your mind. Watch a sunset. Catch up with family. Get your friends together. Crack open a beer by the fire. Go for a walk.