This summer has been a blur. Literally, one big scene where everything sort of moves into one frame and I can’t make anything out of it. Since we’ve moved to our new home, moved show cattle to our new barn, watched countless baseball games, have been washing, clipping and pampering show cattle and on top of all of this, trying to be a functional family, out time has been stretched beyond thin. We get up at five and we turn in around and in the middle, it’s go go go and I have been missing a key element of my daily routine; my reading.

At first I didn’t notice anything different about myself. I didn’t read one morning and everything seemed to be fine in the world. No one died, no big deal. One morning became two, and then a week and a snowball. my routine has been thrown off and I haven’t been nearly as diligent as I had been but I didn’t notice it until one day, I couldn’t write. I went to the well and it was dry. That’s when I realized where my mistake had made it’s presence felt. When I stopped filling my mind with ideas, it stopped generating them. I was hit with a fundamental truth; if you want to tell great stories, you have to ingest great stories. I missed it.

Ideas for his blog cranked right out as long as i was reading at least a book a week. When I took the time to watch great speeches on YouTube, my presentations got better. When I stopped, so did the flow of thoughts and new ideas to explore. Figuring it out was an important first step, but fixing it required more. Here’s my plan:

Read First

In the last couple of months I had settled into a routine of doing a lot of other things in the morning. When I come in from the barn, I should be using that time, before the rest of the house is awake to read. Using this hour allows me to crank through pages of material and gives my thoughts a spark for my ultimate thinking place; the shower.

Hit YouTube Once A Day

Not for cat videos, I’m not advocating a waste of time, but for TED talks. I have a love / hate relationship with TED. For some reason, it’s become some gold standard for public speaking and it really shouldn’t be, but most of the videos online fit their tag of ideas worth spreading.

Forgive Myself

Ok, this seems so touchy feely, but really, why beat myself up? I can’t go back and read the books, I can only improve going forward. We all hold ourselves to high standards and that’s good, but there’s no point in holding a grudge against ourselves because we failed to meet them. Move forward and get better.

This summer has been a blur. Next week, is the greatest week of the year, the week I refer to as Awesome Week because it’s our county fair week. We’re all excited, but I promise, I’ll have a book.

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