Thursday, November 8, 2007

The value of work

This post is about me today.

While the boys played outside this morning I decided to rake some leaves. Talk about an exercise in futility! The leaves have only just begun to fall here and, if you cast your eyes heavenward, you can see that there are plenty more where the ones you're raking came from. Nevertheless, my anal retentive self took pleasure in the momentary tidiness.
I've noticed that some of my best thinking occurs during these mundane tasks (raking, showering, scrubbing the toilet) and that has helped me to view such responsibilities in a new light. I'm starting to welcome them, actually. As much as I love being with my boys, it is incredibly time and energy consuming and there's not a whole lot of time for higher level thinking on my part. I can get away with this for awhile, but if left unchecked, I become a babbling moron. I will be the first to admit that I am not the town intellectual but I am also not the village idiot. I do have a brain and I do like to use it on occasion. The problem occurs when I try to shift gears on a whim. I overhear some stimulating conversation--I can't think exactly where I might hear said conversation, but just stay with me--and I want to chime in. But it's as if there are only vapors to burn, not honest to goodness combustible fuel. This happens more often than I would like to admit. But I have found that this is exactly why the everyday tasks that require no thinking on my part, but rather simple repetitive motions, are so valuable. These often loathed chores are now something I welcome because they provide me with something that is so rare: time to just think. I need time to let the dust settle and then for thoughts, ideas, and inspiration to emerge. This only happens when you have time to think of nothing and something to occupy your hands. I need this more often since I can't recall all the new insights I gained this morning, but you get the gist. I'll get back to when I remember my incredible plans.

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