How Meandering About Can Lead to Gold
I took a Sunday drive this week.Through my mind.
I was bouncing around from thing to thing, flitting between writing and movies and articles and chapters and musings and organizing. It created a feeling of unsettle.
“I’m meandering,” I said to Gracie, who is ever present by my side. She looked at me mid-purr. "So what else is new," her look said. (at first I wrote 'what else is knew?" which made me laugh because there's true there too).
I do meander. Aimlessly at times, so that I can almost get dizzy from the spinning. Breathe.
Meander is fun to say, it's kind of a whimsical word. It basically means to “follow a winding course,” and is often used when referred to streams or bodies of water, “the stream meandered across the valley.”
People meander through a conversation, which can be interesting and deep and unexpected. That’s what makes for good conversation. Unless there’s a point to be made, and when everything is said except the point, you’d say, “he meandered around it but never said it.”
I’ve always loved bookstores and could wile away hours, meandering through the aisles of books and miles of stories contained therein. I miss that. It's just not the same to meander about through online bookstores.
You can meander through a day off, which is one of my favorite things to do, to give myself permission to just flow from one thing to the next. The truth is some of my best ideas present themselves on days like that, when I wander through, yes aimlessly.
It made me look at the word and it’s meaning more closely. I started playing with it. Me-ander. Or for fun, if I just plunk down an innocuous “w” in there, meander becomes me-wander.
Which then makes me wonder.
Is it really wandering aimlessly? Sure, sometimes. When there’s no specific intent or goal.
More often than not, for me, it’s wandering with too many aims at once.
But, meandering, to an artist, to a writer, to a creator? What about the freedom that comes from it? The wonder? The wonder of the wander.
There is wonder in the wander, when you remove the judgment and become more open. Give yourself permission. Permission is key.
“There’s gold in them thar hills.” – Mark Twain, in The American Claiment
There’s gold to discover in the meander; treasures in the sand on the long beach walk; vistas to relish on the Sunday drive, through the mind or otherwise.
There is so much value in just thinking. Many success leaders, such as Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, carve out time in their day to do just that. Think.
How great would it be if an entire class in school was devoted to just thinking. An hour of time just to encourage kids to learn from their own minds. Where the only recommended materials were a journal and a sketchpad.
"What's your favorite class?"
"Thinking 101. I'm learning so much from myself."
"Yeah, it's my favorite too."
Or if a time-out was instead a think-out. Hmm. I guess it is, really. "You sit here and think about what you said to your sister."
What if you put a little purpose behind the meander? If you gave it some aim. Is there such a thing as aim-fully meandering instead of aimless?
It could be as simple as asking a question or stating a simple intent for the day or the time in front of you.
Deep questions can lead to deep thinking.
"What will inspire me today?" "Am I living fully?" "What does my heart want?"
Or pick a word.
I have a bag of word cards and often pick a word at the beginning of day, or before I go to sleep or upon journaling. I like to think that energetically there’s a reason I picked that particular word.
It could be "clarity" or "simplicity" or "trust" or "collaboration."
So, then it becomes a backdrop, an intent.
Then the meandering has aim. Try wandering around, examining, kicking the tires, massaging, splitting open and devouring it with a freedom from any expectation. There's gold thar.
Wonder with purpose. And curiosity.
Or just enjoy the meander, the wonder of the wander, the blissfulness of the aimlessness.
Sure, focus and prioritizing and completion are important. But, that’s another post.
This one, happily, was the result of a shameless and aimless me, wandering.