A body in motion tends to put a mind to rest
I think I’ll call that my First Rule of Sanity.
Much as I enjoy my day job, I spend much of it in front of a computer, and when I’m not working, eating, sleeping or taking care of our delightful little girl, I’m hunched over my desk above the garage writing. So when the opportunity arises for some honest to goodness physical activity, particularly of the un-structured and yard-oriented variety, I tend to dive right in.
And I’ve recently noticed — or at least became consciously aware of — something about that work. Aside from the activity, the fresh air, and the ‘realness’ of the thing I’m doing — or perhaps because of it — I find that all the racing and questions and planning and possibilities and what-ifs and considerations that my mind is otherwise normally filled with, fade away. In some cases, this zen-like present-ness is its own reward. In other cases, things I’ve been worrying over without result, are freed to find their own way to their proper solutions or next steps*. In either situation, though, I always — always — finish whatever work I’ve been doing, feeling at once exhausted and rejuvenated.
All of this is also true of exercise in general, whether in the gym or on the bike or just taking a walk, but on days like today, when I’m using the hour that Lillian is sleeping to clear the remaining debris from the tree that fell just before Christmas, it’s an even more potent and clarifying experience.
And, I wrote 4 pages today, culminating with a moment that I really wish I could say I had planned all along, but which belongs entirely to Kelly. I’m just happy to have been paying attention.
* More than a few story insights over the years have come in the middle of yard-work or a workout.