Sometimes I Wander

There are three pieces of paper in front of me. I’ve been wanting to redesign them for a week now. I have some ideas, but I’m afraid that I might design something that is absolute crap. And then I’ll have to try again. Like everyone else. How dare I…

My half marathon training plan is located to my right. I revised it several times since it didn’t match the original version and I’m squeezing in a few more runs and races. I like running, but I hate it. When I run slowly, I feel like I could be going faster and I want to accelerate. If I go fast, I feel like I can’t keep up with myself, my breathing, my legs. I did some research on what happens in your body when you’re training. It helps, but you still have to do the work, no matter what’s going on in you.

I wander to a place where I find comfort. I’m back in LA. Way too often than I should be and than is probably good for me. It provides comfort. It’s home and I will always come back here when I feel like I need to be here… even if it’s just in my head for now.

I should be working on my website, on my business, on a research paper that I’d like to write. On an article idea that’s growing underneath all that worrying. After my internship in LA a few years back, I returned to my University to finish some classes, and I was always looking forward to our InDesign/ Desktop Publishing class. Finally, I was able to be creative and was given the tools to actually purge what was going on in my head. It has been a while, but I’m revisiting that place now and learning about design, composition, etc. It’s a great outlet to finally put some creativity to work.

I recently read a quote that pretty much hits my personal nail on the head: “If you want to know where your heart is… Look where your mind goes when it wanders”.

I’ve done some research on the topic, and it turns out that there is an entire science behind the wandering mind. I didn’t want to get into it too much since my assignment for today is “just” getting these words on paper in form of a blog entry, but I find it fascinating. One hypothesis is “a wandering mind is an unhappy mind”, which contradicts our previous quote (source). With a bit more research, I found this article, which claims that as much as we hope that our daily distractions keep us happy, scientific data says “they don’t”. Further, it is stated that “just like the wise traditions teach, we’re happiest when thought and action are aligned, even if they’re only aligned to wash dishes.” Of course, I’d be happier if I was thinking about LA IN LA. Then again, my mind probably wouldn’t wander there because the desire would be fulfilled, so there would be no need to wander. The science behind happiness and a wandering mind seems to be a whole other chapter now.

The good news, according to another source is that there are benefits to mind wandering. I’d like to provide the following quote from the aforementioned article:

“More to the point, mind-wandering is the by-product of two important mental capacities: the ability to disengage from perception (ignoring something that’s present), and the ability to engage in “meta-awareness” (focusing on our own thoughts). People who exercise both those capacities more regularly tend to have a more restless mind, which research has shown is linked to creativity.”

Having read a few arguments for both sides, I do identify with having a restless mind, and I like to consider myself creative. I don’t believe that a wandering mind is a negative habit as long as it’s not linked to a mental illness; that’s where my creative and believing nature is stronger than the side of me that desires to find scientific evidence. I also know that believing is seeing, so whatever helps me to believe and see, I will help my mind wander there whenever appropriate.



Day 9: “The thing I do most often when I’m supposed to be doing something else is…”


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