I’ve been finding myself feeling frazzled pretty regularly which is something that happens when I haven’t taken time to review everything going on in my life from a ‘big picture’ perspective. Tasks are essential, but without a larger sense of goals and priorities they just become turns around the hamster wheel.

The problem for me is that I cannot get the big picture perspective without slowing down, stepping back, and doing honest-to-god thinking. And because I’m an introvert, I cannot do that in the midst of other people. I really have to take some time by myself to do that.

My office has a door and walls. The walls are permanent and meant to keep the environment out, and me in. The door, however, opens and closes – alternatively allowing things going in and out and then stopping things going in and out.

I’ve not been treating the door that way. I see the open door as symbolic of my openness to people. I like people and God knows I want them to like me. So I leave it open almost all the time. As if the door were a wall and of course I don’t want to put up walls between me and people.

But the alternative is not between walls and unrestricted access: I have a door. My door is here to selectively enforce boundaries that I – and I imagine, everyone else – need. There are times when I need to temporarily close off open access to me so that I can do some deep, reflective work. I may only need this a couple hours all week. But I do need it, and the door helps me take that time.

I need to be able to close my door without feeling like I’m putting up a wall. I’m just closing the door now, so I can better welcome others through it later.