The following is an excerpt from the Introduction of my first book, I Went on a Retreat 365 Days in a Row! After reading this, my goal for the reader is to contemplate and ponder how each of the following questions can benefit oneself and others. Enjoy!
- Which retreats can I experience each day to take a break from the rigors of everyday life in order to refresh myself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually so that I can “tackle” the world with what takes place in my life daily?
- What are the most important areas of my life?
- What are some ways in which I can spend time by myself or with others in order to help me with balancing the most important areas of my life?
“Whether I experience a retreat like Jesus did or if I choose a retreat that is somewhat different from any of His retreats, going on a retreat is very important to me. These retreats allow me to “take a break” from everything, focus on different areas of my faith, enjoy fellowship with my family and friends, and help me with focusing on the areas of my life that are very important and meaningful to me. Life is challenging at times. It can be challenging for us, because we choose to not properly balance the most important areas of our lives. I feel that people should take the time to determine which areas of life are most important to them. When we do this, we are able to devote time each day to what matters most in our lives.
Some examples of what matters most in my life include going on a coffee date with Barb, playing catch with Thomas in the back yard of our home, attending a church event with my family, praying for a friend who is sick, or teaching my high school students what to expect after they graduate. This list goes on and on.
While you read this book, you will read about what retreats I went on every day for a full year. Not only did these retreats help me with facing the everyday challenges of what life had to offer, but they helped me with focusing on what is important in my life. My daily retreats helped me to be better prepared for what life had in store for me that same day, and for any day in the future. In no particular order, the areas in my life which are most important to me are the following:
Family, Faith, Self, Career
My family includes Barb, my wife, our four children (Christina, Sarah, Mary, Thomas), my parents, Barb’s parents, Barb’s brother and family, my brothers, my sisters, and my siblings’ families. My faith includes the tenets and beliefs of Christianity and Catholicism. My “self” includes anything and everything related to my person. My career includes teaching various topics in mathematics to high school students and preparing my students for life after graduation.
I find that when I balance these areas – family, faith, self, career – on a daily basis, from week to week, from month to month, and from year to year, my life flows more smoothly every day for me and others. There are times when I balance these areas as well as I can each day, but sometimes, my day does not turn out as well as I would have liked. This is the nature of daily living. We do the best we can with what God has in store for us, and we move on from there. The best way that I know to balance the most important areas of my life is to go on a retreat … every day!”