FIRE UP FRIDAY – I read a long time ago that the best ideas come to folks right before they go to bed. I think it was my cousin, David O’Brien, who told me this. He also said it is best to have a notebook on a nightstand for so many people think they’ll remember, but they often do not. The best ideas for me come when I’m about to fall asleep or if I’m in the shower or doing laps and staring at the blank bottom of a pool. I also realized that my time in the sauna for 10 minutes before I swim is another place for me to shed all the distractions, listen to all the crazy things that are running around and crashing into each other in my head. I actually scared the woman next to me last night when I took a notebook in with me and started mapping out my ideas.
Taking the notebook in with me will probably start to work against me, and it won’t exactly work in the shower or pool, so I won’t make it a habit. The great part about it is that I don’t intentionally go to these places to think – it just happens and when it does, I think, “I should really shower more often.”
Not everyone has the opportunity to find 10-15 minutes each day to sweat profusely, mediate, swim, stretch or just think without a kid interrupting or the need for an email (that can wait) to be sent. I think some moms often have a hard time just finding 10 safe minutes to bathe without worrying about what the kids are doing. What’s lost in all of the racing to get things done and our new culture of overbooking is that we lose these moments where we are free enough to let clarity find us.
Those clear ideas and plans rarely ever come to me from scratch when I’m sitting behind a computer. They come to me when I’m staring at something simple – the pavement as I’m walking down the street, the brown wooden walls of the sauna, the line that keeps me on course as I swim laps in a pool. Even sometimes at the gym as I’m literally going through the motions, my mind is free to relax, open up and uncover clarity and creativity that we all have in us.