Everything is messed up today. One of those days that is just messed up from the time you wake up. Bad news in text messages, a bad haircut, even my latte is bad.

Sitting here in a coffee shop. I just needed some time. Time away from people, from the daily routine, just everything.

This reminds me of people that take personal retreats. They just go off by themselves and just reflect. Reflect on where they want to be. Maybe where they came from. And definitely how they got to where they are now. Maybe they think about the things in their life that they don’t like. Things that don’t bring any happiness. By the way, you should shed all of those things.

I wonder how a person can do this without the luxury of having enough free time for that. I know I can’t get that much free time. Maybe that’s part of the problem.

Maybe retreat doesn’t mean what I think it means?

I guess I took the term retreat as a term to describe this type of solo time, but if you look at the definition, it has some interesting variants.

Retreat:

(of an army) withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat: the French retreated in disarray.
• move back or withdraw: it becomes so hot that the lizards retreat into the shade | a series of trenches which filled with water when the ice retreated | (as adj. retreating) : the sound of retreating footsteps.
• withdraw to a quiet or secluded place: after the funeral he retreated to the shore.
• change one’s decisions, plans, or attitude, as a result of criticism from others: his proposals were clearly unreasonable and he was soon forced to retreat.
• (of shares of stock) decline in value: [ with complement ] : shares retreated 32 points to 653 points.
• [ with obj. ] Chess move (a piece) back from a forward or threatened position on the board.

I really like two of these. The first one. withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat…. Often a retreat feels like regrouping after defeat. I doubt anyone would call it that. But that’s what it is. You’re defeated and need to regroup. The second one, and a more descriptive version of what I think a retreat is, says change one’s decisions, plans, or attitude… That’s really what it is. Actually. Maybe we can combine the two. withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat, and plan to change one’s decisions, plans, or attitude for success I think I like that. I retreat because I am defeated and need to plan a new path for victory.

If I now look at a retreat as a withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat, and plan to change one’s decisions, plans, or attitude for success, I can manage that. I can manage a couple of hours a week to reflect and plan. It’s not always defeat, but there is always reason to plan and change direction.