Taking time to think

My friend Rachael is visiting this weekend. We’ve been looking for a nice few days of uninterrupted time to catch up and maybe create some new art for both of us.

But it seems like I’ve been moving at 100mph the last few months and I find myself needing some time to just pause for a moment and allow myself to just think. So we’ve been doing a of of talking and wandering around Chicago, with no specific direction in mind. And I have to say, I didn’t realize how much I needed to just stop. And think.

And it’s been wonderful.

Some colleagues and I were talking the other day about films and I was trying to remember the name of my favorite director and realized I couldn’t remember his name. And then one of my favorite actors. And again, nothing. A visit to IMDB.com was necessary to find Luc Besson and Jean Reno.

It seems like while I’m perfectly functional in my day to day life, something is beginning to scramble my brain a bit. Could be just that I’ve acquired so much information in my life that I’m beginning to have a bit of a storage problem. Or I’m just getting old.

But honestly I think that it’s the constant bombardment of information and one frantic deadline after another that are beginning to take it’s toll. So to just have a few days with nothing on my calendar has been… well… important.

I have forgotten to take time to think.

I used to do a lot more walking than I do now. That was my thinking time. Now it seems as if there’s no time to take a walk. An hour walk to my office downtown or a 15 minute cab ride? Well there’s a deadline, so the cab wins. But I might be losing something in the process.

Creativity is not something that can be turned on and off like a light switch. There needs to be some time to pre-create. To pre-consider. Letting my head roll around a few visual shapes and emotions before jumping into the next project. It’s been amazing to have a bit of time to let that process happen.

It may feel odd at first to have nothing to do, but already I can feel my synapses reintroducing themselves to each other. Sadly it’s been so long, some of them probably could use name tags.

Hello, I’m Billy’s next great unimagined photo, and you are?

We took a walk through Millennium park yesterday afternoon and into the evening and it was only then that I realized it was September and I hadn’t set foot in that park all summer. Wandering with no purpose. Stopping on a park bench occasionally just to watch some rabbits hop about, or watch the beautiful sky unveil yet another masterpiece over the skyline.

In the last few weeks, I’ve already changed my email settings on my computer and phone from checking for new emails every minute to now every 15 minutes. Even that small allowance seems to have a made a difference. Allowing myself a slightly larger amount of time before being interrupted by the next bit of information, important or not.

It’s important to remember that in the middle of a fleet of deadlines, it’s easy to begin to think that such a pace is normal. Yet, I find myself asking if, while it may have become the norm, is it healthy? And I know the answer is no.

So I will remember to walk more instead of jumping in a cab to go to the next appointment. Stop rushing about. Allow some nothing time.

The pre-creation and pre-considering time. Take a step outside of the deadline forest and allow the synapses to discuss a few things over a coffee.

Hello, I’m Billy’s better rested head, and you must be… Jean Reno?

All of the photos on this blog today are iPhone photos from around Chicago taken in the last few weeks or so.

It’s been nice to pause along the way and take a camera out of my pocket and just see what I see these days.

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