Photo by kconnors on Morgue File.
When and where do you do your best thinking? In the bathroom? While running? Just before bed, or first thing in the morning? On the bus? Why do you think that is?
I don’t know that I have a “best time” to think. When I was younger, I was not much of a morning person. Even if I was up early, I did not become truly human until late morning or early afternoon. I use to make jokes about morning people, it seemed they had some sort of contest going to see who got up the earliest and got the most done by an early hour. In our small town, it was mostly the men folk who would seem to do this. Then, they would go down to the local gas station or restaurant and brag on their early day accomplishments! I never understood such a mentality! They reminded me a lot of joggers. Joggers were always extolling its virtue and how they would rise early and jog “x” number of miles every morning. It didn’t matter if it was a sweltering heat or frigid, arctic cold . . . they were disciplined and committed to the ancient art of jogging! I never understood that really either!
So, when I was younger, I did most of my thinking later in the day or late at night. This was a necessity really, since my brain did not seem to kick in until those hours anyway.
As I have grown older, I have become more adaptable.
When I was living in Massachusetts, working on my post-graduate degree, I was living at a little inn right on the northern Atlantic. It was a beautiful scene. I developed a habit of waking at five in the morning and walking the shoreline for five miles. Sometimes, if I was really frisky, I would go ten; five in the morning and five more miles in the afternoon after classes. I used this time primarily to meditate and pray. There was something about the majestic scene that lent itself easily and freely to communing with the One who had created it.
Now that I am married with children, I have to take the time when I can get it! I am no longer walking in the mornings, I suppose the northern Atlantic shoreline has spoiled me! Corn fields, dirt roads and pastures just don’t seem to compare to its splendor! Alas, the muse’s song is now distant and faint!
When you have children, especially small children, you learn to take a thought or two wherever you can grab it! Sometimes it means waking before anyone else in the house is up and trying to get in some mental exercises. Sometimes it means staying up with the vampires and doing it after everyone else is sound asleep. Sometimes, it is mid-day, especially on weekends, at nap time.
My habit has been, for many months now, to pray and meditate either on my way to work or for the first few minutes there. I am self-employed, so I have the luxury of taking those minutes in the morning, without a boss breathing down my neck!
In general, this is when I get most of my think time and praying done, in the morning and late at night. If I can steal a few other moments in the day, well, it is just icing on the proverbial cake.
This is one of the many lessons I have learned in life: you have to be adaptable. My personality naturally lends itself to adaptability. I don’t mind change. I don’t have to have everything lined up and in a certain order. I am more of a go with the flow type. So, it may be easier for me to have this framework than some others.
Either way, it is important to have some time to yourself. It is important to exercise the mind. If not, before you know it, you just become a big ol’ lump of mush!