This year’s Wednesday series of posts is simple: find a photograph from my archives and write something, anything, that it inspires.
This went very well at first. Looking through my past photographs my mind flooded with things to write. But over the last few weeks that’s slowed down, and now I’m struggling for ideas.
I know why. I’m too busy and too tired. I overcommitted myself at work and put in a lot of extra hours over the last month or so. Also, we’re finally sorting through Mom’s things in her home after her estate cleared probate, and that’s levied an emotional tax. I even found some letters in my parents’ files that were quite upsetting, personal things between my parents and me I would have rather not revisited. I’m not sleeping well enough or long enough.
The founder and CEO of the company I work for talks a lot about how important mindset is to performance. I think it’s important to creativity, too. My mindset has been poor lately. I’m edgy and grumpy, tired and pessimistic. This is not fertile ground for ideas to sprout and flourish.
The company bought group mindset coaching for every department. My team meets with our coach every other Friday right before lunch. A few sessions ago our coach talked about how elite performance demands elite recovery. In other words, a person needs to rest. The mindset coach recommended epic rest and recovery. He wanted us to make time to completely get out of our boxes, as often as we need it.
I thought back to my two road trips along Indiana State Road 67 the previous autumn. I followed its original path, before it was improved and realigned to what it is today. I took photos in all of the small towns, and of all the old bridges. I got the feeling of exploring, seeing what’s around that bend. Plus, photography is my hobby.
Road trips are surprisingly tiring. I broke this one into two days, about two weeks apart. On the first day, I headed home when I found myself to be too weary to want to photograph the things I normally do. On the second day, I drove straight to where I left off and drove the old road to its end.
Even then, this trip was a total brain reset. An hour into it each day, whatever was going on in the rest of my life was a million miles away from my mind. I slept hard each of the nights after. I felt a lot more present in the days that followed, a lot sharper, a lot more creative. I wrote a bunch of blog posts in a flurry. Things that had been weighing me down at work, I solved.
It’s time for me to take another road trip!