Thursday, July 7, 2011

Visions During the Mindless

Most of us have chores we do where our minds are free to wander while our bodies do work.  Running, well slow jogging nowadays, has always been a time when my thoughts bounce randomly about.  Especially in the winter when my feet are more likely to be striking the unchanging surface of the treadmill rather than dodging traffic. 

This summer I've been doing most of the mowing on our acre plus lawn with a push mower as our tractor works in fits and spurts.  I love the exercise but I really like the mindless chore where my mind can work over problems in my writing, plan dinner and dream about making it big so I can hire someone to mow the hilly parts of the back lot. 

Two days ago I did some baking while the kids and my husband were all at work.  The house was blessedly quiet and I couldn't resist pulling out some receipes I'd saved to try.  Once everything is mixed together, I realized baking was one of those chores I only needed a part of my mind to do.  Some of my thoughts turned to the grim spector of my laptop sitting all alone in a repair shop but mostly I worked through my writing plans.

Vacuuming, laundry and other household chores are other pursuits I can do with half a thought.  Gardening and washing the car are some other outdoor activities that give me lots of time to think. 

I tell myself these mindless tasks are actually time spent on my writing.  What chores or activities do you do with half a thought for what your muscles are doing? 


  1. Mowing the lawn numbs my mind completely, but when playing my guitar I think about my writing.

  2. The second I have a still moment, my mind is off and running. Especially when I'm driving. And when my speaking schedule is full, I do a lot of that.

  3. Sometimes I can play the piano and think at the same time--other times I focus more on the music. Walking/running also gives me time to think.

  4. Last year I had an early morning cleaning job, and I'd always be there and finish way before anyone else got there. It gave me a lot of time to mull over details and ideas for stories (and play air guitar, hehe)

  5. Sitting on the sun porch watching traffic is second to showering for plotting and planning.

  6. Washing dishes and ironing (although I don't do a lot of ironing - today I did a pair of my jeans).