Write On Wednesday: A Penny for Your Thoughts

Last night was a porch sitting kind of night. It was just cool enough to be comfortable on my west-facing back porch, so I could sit and let the sun wash over me on its way to bed. I spent about 20 minutes there, with one of my dogs shade-bathing in the cool green grass underneath my feet. He and I were both content to “set a spell,” which is unusual because we are the restless ones in the family.

I wasn’t reading or writing or talking on the phone.

I wasn’t Facebooking or Tweeting.

More importantly, I wasn’t contemplating doing any of those things.

While I rarely allow myself the luxury of letting my mind wander, it’s even more rare that I sit and focus my attention on one thing – a writing idea, or a plan of action for my life, or even the menu for next week’s meals.

Recently, I’ve come to the realization that my writing – in fact, much of my life – suffers from my inability or unwillingness to think.

I’m talking about the kind of deep thoughtfulness when you focus your intellectual energy on one topic and one topic only, whether it’s the points you want to convey in an essay, the type of life you want to live when you retire, or whether to buy kitchen spice racks for the counter or wall spice racks or even whether to buy a spice rack at all.

Just as my body flits from one activity to the next, so do my thoughts, never seeming able to stay still but whizzing across the landscape of my mind like wispy cirrus clouds on a summer afternoon. I want to slow them down, fluff them up with content until they lie heavy and firm on my brain.

How do I make that happen?

This summer, I’m going to commit to more thoughtful porch sitting time. Undoubtedly some of it will be like last night, simply letting my thoughts run idly through my head.

But I’m intentionally planning some time for pure thinking – setting my mind on a topic and keeping it there for more than 30 seconds at a time.  And even if I don’t come up with anything that’s worth more than a penny, I still think it will be time well spent.

Check out today’s Write On Wednesday post, and add your two cents worth…

14 thoughts on “Write On Wednesday: A Penny for Your Thoughts

  1. Do you think it is possible that the computer and cell phone have actually decreased our ability to sit still without distraction? There is such an urgency to FB and the ring of the phone. I’m not on the first, and the last has the sound off almost all the time. I like the blogging world because it is quieter and more thoughtful. I read slow and pensive postings that actually make the quality of my life better.

    • I agree, Nan. I feel that a lot of my “attention-deficit” type problems can be traced to computer use. Everything seems fast and fragmented.
      Blogging is a less frantic means of communication.

  2. I have such trouble sitting and thinking without a book or something with me. Good for you, Becca. And I agree with you and Nan about blogging being less frantic and far more thoughtful.

  3. I’m a big advocate of porch sitting. Our porch wraps around the house. I grumble about having to paint the railing or sweep the floor, but that’s often when I have my biggest breakthroughs, and then there’s the sitting in the morning and evening hours. Good stuff.

  4. Couldn’t agree with you more. Too much time spent running around doing ten things at once (I have a love/hate relationship with my smartphone). Need to take some time to plan and get some headspace.
    And consider the next post on my neglected blog…

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