Reset


A couple of weeks ago, my computer just stopped working. It had been on standby and I tried to turn it back on to no avail. I did all the quick things I knew to do for a fix, but they didn’t work. Then I remembered an old trick. I removed the battery from the bottom of the laptop and let it pause for a few minutes. I returned the battery to its cavity and held my breath for a brief moment. I let out a puff of air and pushed the power button and boom, my computer flickered on. It just needed a reset.

One of my favorite writers, Kristin Armstrong, wrote about her idea of a “reset run.” She would use a reset run as a point of reflection in the transition between the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. She first started her reset run tradition when she dropped off her kids at their dad’s house as they split their holiday break. In one of her blogs for Runner’s World, she wrote, “I went on what I officially call my Reset Run. It is how I transition between mom-time to me-time, and it works like a charm . . . My Reset Run still serves its purpose, clearing my head and my heart, refreshing me.”

I adopted her “reset run” idea a few years ago. It has worked marvelously for all sorts of things. Even in periods when I haven’t been running regularly, I turn to the reset run to help me to transition, to unwind and begin again. It can help me to shake off a bad mood, a bad decision, a bad day. It can also help me to reflect on the beautiful, to ponder a recent conversation, to pause, to think about nothing. Even on days and periods when I’m out of shape, my wheezy plods around a running track or on a trail or even through my neighborhood on meandering sidewalks and roadsides help me to return to myself. Running, one of the things I love the most, helps me to reset and a deliberate reset run helps to wipe away the residue.

This week has been a bumpy one. I was in a bad mood one morning and late for work after I missed the bus yesterday. Looking back over the months of this past year, I realize that this week was representative of the past year. It’s been bumpy. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been bad. In fact, I’m learning to see things beyond the reductive lens of good and bad. There have been huge leaps in healing and big internal discoveries and small spiritual epiphanies and even a couple of catastrophes that I handled quite well and a couple that I didn’t.

We all need a reset at times, just like a broken laptop. And sometimes, a reset doesn’t have to be a fix. We don’t need a reset to erase things. A reset may be the way to see those things with some perspective. A reset isn’t just for when things are broken. A reset can just be a moment. A reset can be the way to restart or to recommit. A reset can be the point of forgiveness or a way to recalibrate. A reset can be a time to look forward and back. A reset can be a breath, a respite. A reset can be the way to find your way back in. A reset can be the way to pick up the pieces. A reset can be the time to find a new direction.

A reset run is one of many ways to reset. I have several things I do to use for a reset. I write in a journal and recycle the pages. I meditate for three minutes most mornings. I breathe and count to 10 or 100. I name my feelings in my head and release them one by one. I sit on the patio late at night. I brew a pot of tea. I sit down to write on my laptop. I fold scrap papers into airplanes. I go into the kitchen to cook or bake. I knit sloppy stitches into holey scarves. I pick up a good book. I stand on my toes and stretch. I hug a tree. I text my sister. I put my phone in a drawer. I wash dishes. I vacuum. I take a hot shower. I bend into yoga poses. I give thanks. I call someone I love. I soak in hot springs. I write a letter. I dance to the wind or to my favorite songs. I go for a hike. I swim laps. I find the stars or the sun or the moon.

Those resets are just moments. I forgive myself. I forgive others. I let go of past moments. I release mistakes. I refocus. I breathe. I find bravery. I begin again. I reflect. I sit in the present. I pray. I reset.

6 comments

  1. Wonderful… I like this concept of a reset and have never really thought about it as such. Looking at it, I realize that exercise is a reset for me, too, mainly little bits throughout the day (bite-size workouts, as one of my favorite online trainers calls them). Dropping everything for a 10 minute cardio can work wonders. And also anything that requires concentration of a kind that is completely removed from the cares of the day—art is such a one for me.

    By the way, I love this sentence: “In fact, I’m learning to see things beyond the reductive lens of good and bad.” Now that’s a mind-opener.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Thank you, Donnie, for reading and sharing. I love the idea of “bite-size” workouts. That concentration does help our minds, and I think that’s what those resets do for me. It helps get me into the present moment. It helps me to return to now, to get out of monkey mind. It’s a form of meditation, and prayer. Art is a wonderful one for reset. It’s great to hear about yours. Thank you for your own reflection. I’ll try to write more about the “reductive lens of good and bad” when I have perspective and more of an angle for writing about it.

  2. Catching up on your writings, Kary. Sounds like one adventure after another, and yet you remain (seemingly) calm and introspective – as if you can step outside yourself, look around, and then go back in. That’s a gift.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thank you, David, for reading and commenting and for your friendship across the miles. I have found a calm, yes, and that had been the miracle in my so-called “spiritual work.” That is part of the beauty of the “reset.” Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  3. Resets are potent, salutary, and take on various distinctions. Distance running and reading are two of my resets.

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