Fog: Does It Slow You Down?

by Lance Ekum on · 34 comments

Rainbow Man
Creative Commons License photo credit: sektordua

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” ~ Socrates

Tuesday.  A beautiful, sunny day.  A brisk, late summer morning.  I head out the door, and hit the road.  Less than a mile out – fog.  Quickly, I had went from bright and sunny to dark, damp, and foggy.  From seeing forever, to seeing just a short way in front of me.  Fog.

And don’t we have fog in our lives sometimes?  We’re going along, and everything is bright.  And then, out of nowhere, fog.   Not the fog we experience in nature.  But the fog that can cloud our vision.  The fog that can mentally slow us down.  The fog that challenges us to look at things with a closer eye.  The fog that causes us to really examine our lives.

Fog In My Life

I”m going back a few years, to a time when I wasn’t taking care of my body the way I should.  I made poor choices in my diet, and didn’t exercise at all.  Everything seemed bright and sunny.  This was a gradual process of putting on extra weight and becoming less active.  I wasn’t “seeing” any noticeable changes – life was sunny.  Then, we attended a health fair, where basic readings were taken.  The results:  I should see a doctor.  High triglycerides, pre-hypertension, and borderline high cholesterol.  Just like that, I had went from bright and sunny, into the fog.  Fog that made me slow down and think.  Fog that made me have to look more closely at what I was doing in my life.  To look at the choices I was making.

And so I did what we do when we’re driving in fog.  I slowed down.  I paid more attention to what was going on – in this case what I was feeding my body.  I examined where I was going with my life – in this case how it related to my body and to my health.  Through doing this, I discovered the importance of eating healthy and getting proper exercise.  Once I discovered this, the fog lifted.  I made it through the fog, and moved my life down a path that was much brighter.

The fog, in this case a wake-up call on my health, had been just what was needed to make me realize the sun-laden road I thought I was on was really leading me into the fog.  What I thought was a bright and sunny path really had fog lurking right around the corner.  For me, the fog had been with me for some time, I just wasn’t seeing it right beside me.  Once I did, and examined why it was there, I found my way back to the true sunshine of my life.  A healthy lifestyle that really changed my whole outlook on life.

Fog In Your Life

We all have had ‘fog’ in our lives.  How we deal with that fog will determine how we come out of any given situation.  Maybe it’s been a mental fog.  Maybe some sort of physical fog.  The fog I described in my life was really a combination of the two.  Do we slow down in the fog, and really examine what is going on?  Or do we just keep driving through it normally, even though we can’t see where we’re going?

I encourage you to slow down when you discover fog in your life.  Slow down and take the time to examine why there is fog.  For it is through this examination of the fog in your life, that will lead you back to the sunshine of life.  To roads that are brighter.  And to a life worth living.  Worth living on your terms.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Chase March September 11, 2008 at 6:07 am

Good metaphor.

We can’t really do anything about the fog when we are driving but wait for it to dissapate. We have to slow down so we can be safe. We need to know what is in front of us.

I guess life is like this as well. But looking around in the fog really only gives more fog to look at. Although I believe we can always get through the fog patch if we motor on with care.

Chase Marchs last blog post..Meet The Teacher BBQ


Kelly@SHE-POWER September 11, 2008 at 8:08 am

I agree with Chase, this is a great metaphor for the way most of us barrel through lifer, sure of where we’re going until something stop us or slows us down and then we see the truth of our situation. I see illness as working this way. If you ignore the subtle signs from your body that you need to slow down, eventually the body will say “Okay, enough already. Now I’m really going to knock you off your feet and slow you down!”

I have just come out of a black hole of two weeks of almost daily migraines and while I was groaning and wondering why me, it quickly became clear that there are areas in my life that I have been confused and upset about for awhile. I knew this, but I pretended it wasn’t a problem. It took two weeks of migraines making me stop and rest before I could actually see that I have been running from the fog for months now. There are issues in my life that must be addressed and pretending they’re not there is pointless. I’ve lost my direction. Now is the time to get it back.

Hopefully this means clearer skies ahead. I needed to read this, lance. Thanks.

Kelly 🙂


Tammy Warren September 11, 2008 at 9:32 am

Wow…this one hit my heart. I am in that moment now. I hit a panic with putting all of my energy into my children. It was as though it were the last day of my life and I wanted to give them all I had. I recently stopped and decided to take some “me” time. My writing has been much easier, I am eating right again, and my favorite….walking. I love to walk. I hope I can come out of myself a little. What I mean is allow myself to give more to me. I don’t want to go into a fog. I have tried to avoid that place my entire life.

Thank you for sharing.

Tammy Warrens last blog post..Long past due again!


Mark Salinas September 11, 2008 at 10:18 am

A great way to put it! I have fog in my life everyday….mentally, physically and emotionally, I need to slow down and clear the fog. I am going to tweet this post on Twitter….very nice my friend!

Mark Salinass last blog post..Fat


Kim September 11, 2008 at 11:08 am

Fog also helps us focus on what needs to be focused on and takes away all those petty distractions.

Kims last blog post..The Sacred and the Profane


green and natural mommy September 11, 2008 at 11:08 am


Why did you write this? Why did I read this? Hmm…It could be because I needed to. I just dragged myself out of bed having slept only two hours after many days of the same. Okay, I hear you. It’s so easy to takes things for granted. I’m a relatively healthy person, but have been neglecting self all around for months. In the back of my mind, I’m wondering when my body is going to crash and burn.

Thank you for writing this. I am going to live healthier on my terms. I’m always teaching others how to do it, so I will do the same. Should we also call you Metaphorman?


Writer Dad September 11, 2008 at 11:49 am

We have heavy fog in our lives, but we’re taking our first steps to thin it, starting next week.

Writer Dads last blog post..Hello, This is Me


Lanceman September 11, 2008 at 12:31 pm

@Chase – That’s the key, motor on through life with care – especially when our hearts or minds are starting to fog up. We’ll find the sunshine of life once we examine our life and what’s causing the fog.

@Kelly – Thanks for sharing that. A great example of how sometimes our body is the one that will slow us down – because we’re not doing it ourselves. I’m sure brighter skies are ahead for you Kelly. You’re taking the first steps of recognizing what’s there, and that’s all that is needed to get you started in the direction you desire to go.

@Tammy – I think sometimes we get so caught up in what we’re doing, we don’t even see the fog. “Me” time is a great way to clear the skies. I think we all need some of that. Time to focus on ourselves. So that we can be there for the others in our life that mean so much.

@Mark – Some days I have that same fog! Taking the time to clear it out can be very renewing. Thanks!

@Kim – That’s a good point. When we’re dealing with the fog, whatever that fog is – we have to work on what is causing it to move away from it and into clearer skies. Thanks for sharing that.

@Green and natural mommy – It could be I wrote this because I needed to hear the message to. Yes, I know that’s it. I needed to hear this. To remind myself to slow down and enjoy life. You’ll get there – it really sounds like you know what you need to do. I wish you well on your journey to get “there”. And, yes, you can call me Metaphorman – that has a nice ring to it!!

@Writer Dad – You’ve identified what you’ve got going on, and sounds like you have a plan to deal with it – that’s awesome!


RooBabs September 11, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Wow, what a great comparison. I’ve been somewhat reflective lately, thinking of milestones/events in my life, such as my wedding anniversary (3 yrs ago 9/9), the passing of a close relative (4 yrs ago 9/10), and 9/11. Although it can be frustrating, sometimes we need that fog to slow us down and look around- to realize what we have and what’s truly important in life. So often I get caught up in the day to day runaround that I don’t take time to appreciate my blessings, but what a difference it makes when I do.

I also picture that when you’re in a fog (literally or figuratively), standing still is of no benefit. Sure, you can try to wait it out, but if you keep moving forward (however slowly), you will eventually come to a point where the fog dissipates.

Thank you Lance, for this thought-provoking, inspired post (as always).

(And I’m glad that today is sunny, unlike yesterday which was dark and rainy, or I might have been depressed by this self-reflection.)

RooBabss last blog post..Guess What I Found?


chris September 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Aaarrrggghhh…I just wrote a masterpiece of a comment and then my computer ate it. Anyway, I was talking about how fog is an imbalance in nature, too much heat and too much cold too quickly. If we mimic what nature does, then we will surely face a lot of fog in our lives.

chriss last blog post..Bloggers Write What They Know…I Think…


Chris - Zen to Fitness September 11, 2008 at 1:57 pm

I really liked this post Lance, its so easy to get caught up in life. I regularly let small trivial things bother me and they really fog up my mind, we should really learn not to sweat the small stuff…..But as mentioned by an earlier commentor sometimes the fog makes us realize we need to be strong and lift ourselves out of things, working as steam to power our dreams!

Inspirational story BTW.

Chris – Zen to Fitnesss last blog post..When to Take Time off Training


Annette September 11, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Your posts make me think Lance :)!!!! Is this a test? Just kidding 😉 I have a lot of physical fog. At present, my fog is the constant whirl and noise of raising 4 little ones. When it’s quiet (rarely) it seems that the fog is lifted and I can think clearly. I know I should enjoy this time because it passes so fast but sometimes I just need a “clear” day. The fog can be lifted with the right mindset and outlook……it just takes work!


Vered - MomGrind September 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm

You can call it “fog”, you can call it a wake up call. Whatever we call it, I agree that these things should not be ignored but rather looked upon as an opportunity to improve our quality of life.

Vered – MomGrinds last blog post..Almost-Wordless Wednesday: Correct Your Nose Without Operation!


Stacey September 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm

I have no choice but to slow down when in a fog. I’m not productive or clear on anything. The fog is often my way of knowing it’s time for a break. A little time off works to clear it away and bring me back to the sunny path.


FitMom September 11, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Fog for me is my knee injury. Slowing down to heel is a tough lesson.

FitMoms last blog post..Humbled again…


Jean Browman--Cheerful Monk September 11, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I’ve always needed some quiet time in my life…if I don’t work it into my day I take it in the middle of the night. So I’ve always been aware of the balance I need between challenge and reflection. I had only one child partly because of this knowledge.

Jean Browman–Cheerful Monks last blog post..Making Hay While the Sun Shines


Jean Browman--Cheerful Monk September 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm

The reason I learned this so early was because I was lucky enough to go through a period of depression when I was a kid. I hated it and never wanted to go there again, so I figured out what balance I needed in life.

Jean Browman–Cheerful Monks last blog post..Making Hay While the Sun Shines


Stacey / CreateaBalance September 11, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Lance – Even in the fog, you seem to always remain positive. That is a gift. I’m in the fog over where my oldest will go to school next year. Soon we need to decide where we want to (and where we can afford to) live based on where we should send him to school. I’m in a fog to the degree that I still don’t have an answer. So I’m slowing down, but still driving until I find that answer. My headlights are on and I’m watching carefully as I journey down this road.

Stacey / CreateaBalances last blog post..9/11 Morning Pages


Lanceman September 11, 2008 at 6:35 pm

@RooBabs – It’s nice to see a good milestone in there amongst everything else (happy anniversary!). Right, sometimes all it takes is us realizing all the blessings we have – and the fog starts to lift.

@Chris – Dang, sometimes technology just doesn’t cooperate. It’s still a masterpiece, thinking about balance (or lack of) — great point about how our lives can sometimes get pretty foggy. And, bringing things back into balance lifts the fog – I really like that concept!

@Chris – Zen to Fitness — That’s an interesting point – the trivial things which cause the “fog” in our lives. It’s true. We can easily get caught up in little things, and then just let them fester. And that’s a fine way to bring out some fog on a nice clear day in our mind. Great point, thanks for sharing that perspective.

@Annette – No test today, you’re in luck! Actually, I’m sure you would pass with flying colors!! Four little kids – I think I would be in a constant fog. And probably pretty wiped out. Enjoy them. And enjoy the quiet whenever you can get it.

@Vered – Good point, we shouldn’t ignore the fog (or wake up call). If we see it and recognize it as such, this is the perfect opportunity to act. To do something. To make a change.

@Stacey – I think it’s that way with many people (even if they don’t recognize it as such). By slowing down, we can get our balance back in our lives, and get our focus back on what’s really (deep down) important.

@FitMom – Ouch. A physical injury can definitely slow us down. A put a fog on things, especially if we’re training for some event, or the injury affects the way we perform our daily lives. Hopefully you make a quick recovery. And are back out there running in no time…

@Jean – I think quiet in our lives is good for everyone. It’s our chance to really hear ourselves speak from both the mind and the heart. And that’s a good way to get some balance in our lives. That you could take something away from the depression you experienced as a child is really wonderful news.

@Stacey/CreateaBalance – Thanks, I do try to remain upbeat…but there are days…Decisions for our children – that really can create a fog. Are we doing the right thing? How will these choices we make affect them? We love our children, and want the world for them. I can relate to the fog this is creating for you. We are lucky to be in an area where school is very important to everyone. And many people are involved to make it a great school district. I consider us lucky to have happened upon such a spot. I wish you the best in the decisions you’ll be making. I’m sure you’ll make choices that are well and good for your children. Your heart and mind are in the right spot.


Matthew Dryden September 12, 2008 at 2:09 am


Thank you for this. A few months ago, I had the same kind of realization. I am still young, but I wondered: what happened to myself since high school? I really just let myself go and I was living a very, very unhealthy lifestyle. Rarely sleeping, going days without meals and mostly eating junk. But I’ve turned it around and now I go the gym regularly, and starting this week, I’m changing up my diet as well. It’s a rough road, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

Matthew Drydens last blog post..I Can Tell, Tree


Leanne Magraith September 12, 2008 at 3:38 am

Great metaphor Lance. Fog has forced me to slow down my life and re-evaluate my life a few times. Ironically it has been when I have been in the fog that I have made some of my best decisions, because I have been striving for the best way forward and out of the fog.

Leanne Magraiths last blog post..There are Four Elephants Waiting for me in my Car


Dave Fowler September 12, 2008 at 8:06 am

Yep, sometimes the fog in my life feels like it’s been too thick even to see the fog. It’s thinned out a lot now, but it depends in which direction I’m looking.

May I suggest that you are the bright sun burning the fog away?

I believe that’s exactly what you are.

Keep shining Lance.


Evelyn Lim | Attraction Mind Map September 12, 2008 at 8:58 am

Wow…it is so beautiful, the metaphor that you have used in this post. Hopefully, the fog does not get too dense for in absolute darkness, it can be more difficult to see. Let us not forget to give thanks to the first rays that come through the fog.

Evelyn Lim | Attraction Mind Maps last blog post..Hire A Dream Team For Creative Visualization


MizFit September 12, 2008 at 9:03 am

a little mental fog today Lance.

gotta be honest.

BUT Im eeeeeking through it.


(ooh and you are up tomorrow at MizFit!)

MizFits last blog post..Friday Poetry Link Love. Short, sweet & a smidge offbeat.


Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations September 12, 2008 at 10:11 am

In my life I have called these patches of time the Grey Zone. And there is nothing I would dread more then the Grey Zone.

The Grey Zone can be spiritual, mental or physical but it always shows up to me as a sudden moment when I can no longer see, act or plan or visualize my future.
I am just stuck with my eyes blinded by the moment. Either because I am too physically sick, or I am in a spiritual crisis because something has happened that has momentarily shaken my ability to believe in the future or have faith, or because I haven’t got the mental strength to work on my goals or even create them in my mind. I AM STUCK.

When I was younger, this used to send me into a panic because I was foolish enough to think that what was in the moment was how life would always be. That made the grey zone last longer. Now I know that all things pass.That everything has an Ebb and Flow cycle. So I relax. I try to pamper myself and to be as healthy and peaceful as I possibly can and the grey Zone seems to lift away quicker then ever before so that I once again have the energy to see the future, believe in my faith,enjoy my physical health and have the mental energy to pursue my dreams.

The fog (grey zone) is just one of the cycles of life,the quicker we recognize it for what it is, ( A time to reflect and take care of ourselves) and the less we fear it, the quicker it will dissipate.

Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirationss last blog post..A Letter to the World


jen rinaldi photography September 12, 2008 at 10:34 am

Lance, Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I really appreciate your comment about my photography. Stop back by anytime!

I read through a few of you posts and they are very inspiring. Its a wonderful well written blog!


Lanceman September 12, 2008 at 12:23 pm

@Matthew – Your welcome. Sometimes we’ll be in a fog and not even realize it. It’s great to hear you’ve turned it around – proper diet and exercise did wonders not only for my body, but for my mental well-being as well.

@Leanne – Thanks! You make a great point Leanne. Sometimes it takes the “fog” for us to really slow down and make the decisions that can have a lasting impact. That are really the “best” solution for us, and something we may not have discovered had we not had the fog in our lives.

@Dave – You are too kind, thank you very much for your kind words. They mean a lot to me. By the way, I think you’re a great example of someone who has really dealt with some fog in their lives, and came out in a new and exciting direction.

@Evelyn – Thank you! The first rays that come through – I like that! They are the first ideas we have, the first thoughts of how to deal with the fog. They are our starting block, and very important.

@MizFit – I like your honesty. And, we all have days like that… And, oh, I’m all set, this is cool!

@Wendi – That was very nicely said. And, it really is spiritual, mental, and physical that can all be tested at times by the fog (grey zone – I like that too). This too shall pass. That is powerful to remember in trying times. Thanks for sharing this perspective here Wendi.

@Jen – Your welcome – you take amazing pictures! And thanks for stopping in here!


Bamboo Forest September 12, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Interesting metaphor. Sometimes we do have to seriously examine what we’re doing… I can’t quite remember where I read this… But something to the effect of, if we don’t change our direction we will end up where we’re headed.

Good stuff.

Bamboo Forests last blog post..How to Get Your Act Together and Accomplish Your Goals


Linda Abbit September 13, 2008 at 2:39 am

Fog is mysterious to me, and doesn’t last too long.

After being in fog, it makes me appreciate the sunshine once again.


Lance September 13, 2008 at 6:11 am

@Bamboo Forest – I like that, because sometimes where we’re headed is not the place we should be going to. Good to remember this in times of trial.

@Linda – Yes, it is kind of mysterious. Both the real and the literal kinds. And always good to bet back so the sunshine after being in a fog for a while.


meleah rebeccah September 13, 2008 at 9:44 pm

yeah…lately Ive been mentally & physically foggy.

meleah rebeccahs last blog post..Friday Funnies: Public Restrooms


Lance September 14, 2008 at 6:34 am

Meleah, I think we all go through period on mental and physical fog. Take some time to slow and and really see where you’re at – and you’ll see the fog begin to lift.


Jenny September 25, 2008 at 3:39 pm

I think I am in a partial fog right now and if I’m not careful it will envelope me before I know it! I’m going to be having to work really hard in the next few months to stay out of the fog, but I know it’s nipping at my heels. Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

Jennys last blog post..Don’t Laugh At…


Lance September 26, 2008 at 5:06 am

@Jenny – Good luck, Jenny, dealing with this fog in your life. You’ve made a great first step of recognizing it’s there…


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