When I leave the office, I try to leave it behind. The problem for me, though, is I have just as many activities outside of work that keep my mind in overdrive. It’s always a challenge for me to totally disconnect.
Working out doesn’t do the trick. It does help me in solving problems. In fact, the other day I was on the treadmill and suddenly the idea I needed for a project popped into my mind. Still, I need to shut down and simply be.
People talk about the importance of not wasting time and always doing something constructive. I know people who travel and use all of the time in the air to catch up on correspondence, write emails, finish a report. I like to simply read a good book or stare at the cloud formations.
I think it’s important to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. It’s why in 2013 I photographed something that made me happy every day. I never missed a day. I came to really appreciate life’s simple joys. (More on this topic next week.)
I’ve discovered two ways this year that allow me to completely disconnect. The first one is bird watching. Nope, not the kind where you take your binoculars and you hike and keep a list of all the birds you see. Mine is really simple. Put a feeder or two outside a window. Sit in a comfy chair and kick back and watch the birds.
Yes, I sometimes make a mental note of the black-capped chickadee, the dozens of finches, the tufted titmouse or the cardinal. But for the most part, I simply enjoy watching them swoop in and dine. I like looking at their colors and unique markings. I like watching who is the aggressor, who waits his turn, who makes way for others. The next thing I know, an hour has passed.
During the holidays, I found a new pastime – jigsaw puzzles. Growing up I was never a big fan. I was an athlete and didn’t have time to sit still. But it was yucky weather and my sister had given me a 1,000-piece puzzle. Apparently, she thought I was ready for the big leagues.
I started with the border. And then I began filling in the picture, searching for that white piece with just a hint of green in the lower left corner. Hours later, I had made significant progress. More importantly, I had not thought about anything else.
At this time of year, as we all figure out our goals and resolutions, don’t forgot to figure out how you can waste time and find the joy in life.