Summer can be a time of frenzied busy-ness as we head to barbecues and music festivals, and try to squeeze in outdoor activities while we can. On Saturday, I visited the Parade of Homes then Schumacher Farm Park’s music festival, where about 60 people gathered to hear music and help the park raise funds. It was the end of a busy week with meetings and get-togethers each night after work.
Sunday’s cool temperatures and rain offered a rare chance for quiet reflection. I had nowhere to go, and except for some house chores, nothing to do.
It was Father’s Day, and so my thoughts turned to my dad. He died six years ago after a nine-month decline in health. Instead of that time of his life, I remembered his can-do attitude during his younger years. He was always on the go, sometimes working two jobs, but he always had a moment to tell a joke, and he generously shared his laughter. He cared deeply about his friends and family.
Many of us live as he did, keeping ourselves busy with work, family and friends. I realized Sunday that I hadn’t just sat and looked out of the window at the trees, allowing my thoughts to float wherever they might, in a very long time. They often landed on things I could be doing – going for a walk, folding laundry or cleaning the house, to name a few. But somehow, I preferred to be still for a change.
I recently read that boredom isn’t always such negative thing. It can inspire creativity. That’s because the mind is constantly seeking something to engage it and so when left to its own devices, it begins to invent.
And so out of my boredom, or quiet moment, this column was born about the very subject. Studies show that boredom can lead to creativity if we avoid filling those gaps of activity with cell phones or TV. If we can just let our minds wander a while, they can dream up innovative practices to put to use.
Maybe spending an hour or so on Sunday just gazing out of a window isn’t lazy. Maybe it’s just letting the mind recharge, so it can take on Monday in whole new ways.