Your Thinking and Unthinking Places
Again, apologies for my delinquency on posting. It’s been a crazy busy time in my life. Not that this is a bad thing. I seemingly enjoy the art of juggling many hats at multiple times. But with so much stuff going on, it reminds me that having time to unwind and find solace in one’s thoughts is so important. While many of us have this special place, the aspect many people fail to realize is it is just as important to find your “unthinking” place. Your place where you can turn the world off for a bit and just unwind and unravel the days challenges. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered where this is for me.
Many years ago, I was an off road bike enthusiast. I lived for the thrill of racing through sand and dirt, around trees and over hills. It was exhilarating and offered me a place to go have a little fun for a couple of days before going back to the normal hustle and bustle of life. Unfortunately, time caught up to me as it does for everyone and age began to make the regularity of such activity more challenging, so I made the difficult decision to put this away and move on to other things in life. I tried lots of other things to do to pass the time, but none offered me the same kind of excitement. So, recently I made the decision to get back to my love for motorcycles in a different way, I purchased a street cruiser. I figured that while it may not offer the same thrill as racing through the woods and sand, I might find some kindle of that old flame. What I did not expect to find is a new peace.
You see, for any of you that have ever ridden a motorcycle on the street before, you understand that it requires concentration. Focus on what you’re doing as well as what everyone else on the road is doing. Calculating traffic patterns, road conditions, weather pattern, and many other factors. I started riding my motorcycle to and from the office every day in an effort to save a little money with the rising cost of fuel. With all of these various things that I need to focus while driving a motorcycle nearly 80 miles a day round trip, I found what I can created for myself was a bubble where I was forced to turn off the normal thoughts that used to fill my mind before or after a busy day.
A lot of my time before starting work every day was filled with running through all the things I needed to get done for the day. Sort of scripting the day and figuring out what needed to be done. While I would typically have it down by the time I reached the office, the inevitable other thing would come up and repurpose a lot of my efforts, leaving my plan of attack a mere suggestion at best. Likewise, a lot of my time during my commute home in the evening was spent rehashing what had occurred during the day, good, bad, or indifferent, or thinking about things that I wanted to do once I got home. On both sides of my commute, I never really realized the value of time to just “unjack” yourself for a while and not think about these things.
What I quickly began to find was an inner peace that came from taking the time to step away. In stark contrast to how I was prioritizing my mind before, what I was finding was better prioritizing and accomplishment. By allotting myself time to take all of that stuff and just shelf it for a few minutes every day, I was granting myself a new peace which made the act of doing these things more calm and subsequently more fruitful and focused. Likewise, my evening commute gave me a place to unplug from the work day and made my time at home more focused on being connected with my family life and not so tuned into work and daily stresses.
For me, biking provided this outlet. We all that something we do that takes our minds to somewhere other than the day to day where we can disengage and rest our heads for just a little bit. We take for granted how important being able to just take a break for a few moments a day really is…for us, for our families, for the people that we encounter every day. A refreshed and rejuvenated mind provides us with calmer and more calculated engagements and interactions. We still need our time to focus on thinking and prioritizing what we need to do in order to get the job done and finish the tasks in life we need to do, but also do not neglect the need in our mind to go to a place for just a moment where there is nothing but calm, nothing but serenity, and nothing but ourselves.