Putting Cabin Fever to Good Use
by Tim Sharp
Cabin Fever can be a good time to look inward.
Winter north of the Mason-Dixon Line sometimes brings weather so harsh you have to stay inside for a day or two. Fortunately weather forecasting is accurate enough these days to provide enough notice to stock the shelves with bread and milk and booze if you’re of that ilk. Cable and books can help pass the time but regardless of the distractions and junk food cabin fever is bound to set in. Then your choices are to watch more TV, be bored or do some serious reflection – a long-lost art.
The kind of reflecting that can come from cabin fever is not the same as worrying yourself to sleep or awake. This is the deep pondering of purpose that takes time. It might even involve scratchpad doodling around words like: “helping others, ” “fulfillment,” and “enrichment.”
I think personal reflection has died, or is at least seriously ill, because it’s difficult. It’s easier to go out to dinner, read a book or watch TV. And while those things have their place they rarely have the power to move our lives forward in the way that this introspection can.
There are no instructions that I’m aware of as the process is as individual are you are. Cabin fever is as good a catalyst as any but boredom doesn’t have to launch the process. The results of a deep understanding of yourself are so profound that it should not be left to a cold snap. In fact periodic reflecting might not be a bad idea. A yearly inventory can soften the blow of accumulated failures visited only every decade or so.
A word of advice though: You will assess your life from time to time regardless of purposefulness. When you do it’s as important to note your successes as well as your failures.