You know the clichés: "Life is a rat race", "He who hesitates is lost", "Run with the wolves". But you also have "Running on empty" or "If you are on the go all the time, life sucks". Ok, I made that last one up, but it is true.
Last weekend I spent the day with Refreshing Sunshine doing nothing but sitting outside and letting our minds meander wherever they roamed.
When I lived in Romania, we had time to meander, mentally as well as physically. As we walked to work, our brains could take in the sights, run through the plan of the day (not plans), or play the "what if" game. As we waited for the bus that may or may not come, we had the time to diddle with possibilities of the other passengers, what was the relationship between the man in the wool sweater and woman in the hat? Maybe they are spouses who have been happily married for 15 years - childhood sweethearts. Maybe they are in an illicit affair. Maybe former KGB agents now working as free agent mercenaries. We had the free time and free mental space to do this.
The US prides itself on time saving devices, but more often than not this produces an atmosphere of expecting to do more with the time saved. So our free time is not free.
We need time to meander, something we used to call play. Kids should go out and let their imagination wander - making up games with bizarre rules. In the third grade my friends and I would play a game called Gorilla. It had something to do with an obstacle course in the living room and the kid who was "it" jumping off the couch, growling and trying to tap the others' heads. Each day the rules were not quite remembered, so we made new ones up.
Adults need to play. Sometimes with actual balls and rules, ink and paper, blogs and comments. Sometimes we need to just let our brains meander and wonder what kind of bird is singing right now. Was Classic Coke really better than New Coke? Has my favorite show jumped the shark, and if so do I want to stop watching? How cool would it be to cross a lemon tree with a lavender bush?
The ancient Greeks actually had a winding river called Meander. Meandering can lead us to amazing adventures. How many road trip movies actually have the characters on a tight schedule getting from point A to point B? Rivers are teaming with life, sustenance and refreshment - just as mental meandering can revitalize our soul.
And the river Meander is deep, but not very wide. In our meandering we do not need to solve all of our life's quandaries. Ponder and play with one thing - one idea. It may lead you off track on another topic. If it does, more power to ya!
Joie de Vivre ~ A Hearty Joy of Living!