The spending of time is not something we have a choice of. We all do it every moment of our breathing lives.
Like the count of seconds ticking away in a parking meter, we can not transfer them to another payment method once we have decided where to spend them.
But unlike a parking meter, time leaves us with bits and pieces we can sort through. Memories as lessons and discoveries. We could discard them, and lose bits of ourselves, or take those small pieces and repurpose them throughout our loves. Even the sharp, painfulness ones have a use.
Do you consider lying around as lost time? Many kinds of creativity happen chiefly in our thoughts.
It takes a massive amount of just sitting and thinking to create new worlds for a book. Paintings start in the mind before coming to life on canvas. A sculptor must visualize the goal before the first cut or chisel. Creativity can look a lot like doing nothing. I know mine often does.
What about yours? Are you giving your mind a space to create? My kids often slouch in their chairs, roll their eyes at me and say. “I’m so bored!” In reply, I laugh. “Ha! Good, your growing brain cells. Now go play.”
Quiet thinking, being bored, is good for creativity. It forces us to find something. That’s when a potted plant becomes an unexplored island, or a spoon on the table, a boat lost at sea. Without that initial boredom, our brains wouldn’t feel the need to create stimulation on their own. Boredom can be a beautiful beginning.
Are you ready to make space to be bored? As an adult, I find it’s difficult. I have many things seeking my attention, it’s hard to sit and think. Busyness can overwhelm. When this happens, we can look like we’re bored, but is really procrastination. Personally, that means I’m experiencing performance anxiety. I fear I won’t be able to do something, so I’m afraid to even try. This looks like sitting around drumming my fingers. It looks bored, but it’s not, and it’s never a good thing. I am not advocating for it. When I learn how to overcome this stumbling block, I will let you know. (Don’t hold your breath waiting for me. It might be hazardous to your health.)
But I no longer find times of quiet, wasted time. I don’t continually need to fill my space with sound. I close my eyes and think. Listen to the sounds of the world. It is as pleasurable and inspiring as music. When was the last time you tried sitting and doing nothing?
I encourage you to find time during your week to practice a few moments of it. Let the dancing dust in a ray of light turn to fairy tales. Let the squeak of a rocking chair shift in to the swing of wood. Watch the wind through the trees. Listen to the chitchat of your kids. You might find inspiration there you didn’t expect. You might find a moment’s peace. Cherish it. It’s worth more than gold.