Creating space to think

At least four or five times a week I get in the car with my dog, Buster and drive to somewhere nice for a long walk.

In January someone drove into my car while it was parked outside my house and then drove off without leaving a note. This sort of thing really upsets me, it would never occur to me to be so selfish (not to mention breaking the law), but they did and there was quite a bit of damage. I had a hire car for just over a fortnight before I got my car back.

My dog is a mud seeking missile and in January there wasn’t a hope of being able to take him anywhere without the hire car getting absolutely filthy, so I just did my long walks from my house. I try to walk him for at least an hour and a half each day, if not more, otherwise he turns into Buster the destroyer.

After a week or so my head was feeling full and cluttered. I read a lot and normally when I walk Buster on my local paths I listen to podcasts or audiobooks, but when I am out in nature I make a habit of not listening to anything. As I was doing all of my walks locally, every time I was walking I was listening to something. I eventually put two and two together and realised that I wasn’t getting my quiet time in.

When I stopped listening to information for at least one of those walks my head started to feel freer again and I could think better. I was less stressed and more able to just gently mull ideas over, allowing them to compost and simmer away. I often solve problems in this way, suddenly the way forward seems clear and straight forward.

It’s so easy to always be on the go and to focus on learning more, getting in all the information, or listening to a book for pleasure, but I really need this empty time. If I miss it for extended periods it starts to affect my sleep, not to mention my creative work.

Do you have times of nothingness in your day?