Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sharpening the Saw

"Table for one," I tell the host at the Foundry Grill, my favorite restaurant and part of my favorite escape, the Sundance Resort.

Just as soon as I am seated, I close my eyes.  I listen as pots clang in the kitchen, ski boots thud on the wide plank flooring, silverware clinks on china, snippets of lazy conversations travel past my ears, "are you ready for the film festival crowd?" . . . "you should try the tequila . . ."

At this moment, I sit.  
I need to be here right now.  I need to not think about anything but silverware, and china; the smell of citronella and reclaimed wood; the delicious mushroom and feta pie, wrapped in a delicate phyllo crust that is placed before me.

My house lay in shambles as I sped away from it's curb with reckless abandon this afternoon.  Shreds of red and silver pinata from the previous day's birthday party glimmered in the snow through my rear view mirror.  The giant snowman in the front yard with a long metal pole speared through his heart, gave me one last pleading look.  (I live with little boys--that should explain the speared snowman).  

I don't know if it was the Christmas holiday, the slew of winter birthdays in our family that came with it, or various music projects but I find myself simply exhausted these days.  This week I've had a pinched nerve in my neck which has aggravated the fatigue all the more.  The night before I fled up Provo Canyon, a little voice in my head stated, "I hate the world."  Now, I normally consider myself a rather peaceful and positive sort of person.  But when I hear voices in my head and they are hating the world, I know it's time to turn off my phone, get a babysitter,  and  totally remove myself from the situation at hand.

This may strike you as a rather irresponsible thing to do, I know.  But I assure you it is not only very responsible, it is essential to our well-being.  Stephen Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) calls it "sharpening the saw."    The only problem with the way I handled my melt-down was that I waited until it culminated.  I guess there's a reason why Covey explains that sharpening the saw should be a habit and not a once-in-a-while activity.

Today I feel much better and I find that I do love the world once again.  It's remarkable how stepping out of the chaos can give you valuable perspective on it and a renewed empowerment to harness it and solve problems that once seemed unsolvable.  Is it possible that you might need to go sharpen the saw at this moment?  I highly recommend the fish tacos at The Foundry Grill.


  1. Great advice. I need to do that more often. So good to see you over the holidays! You look great. Much love.

  2. Mindy! I didn't know you blogged! I emailed you a few weeks ago telling you of how you helped me (and continue to). I have really enjoyed reading your posts as I have learned more about you and your life. I have often wondered what inspires you to write your songs. Thanks again for the woman you are! This "Sharpening the Saw" is exactly what I am going to be doing this weekend when I see you! Can't wait! If you'd like, you can check out my daughter's blog at
    See you soon
    Rebecca Michel