I like the word ‘procrastination’. And have ever since I first learned of it (not being a native English speaker). It means to put of till tomorrow (procrastinare in Latin).
Do I like putting things of till tomorrow and is that why I love this word? Not really. And yet, it does happen. I too have a To Do list that could keep me occupied till forever…
The Scenic Route to Alaska
No clue when I came across this image of The Creative Route (*). What I like about it is that it’s a great picture of what happens when we procrastinate. Everything else is more important than what we are supposed to be doing. We go in circles, cross millions of roundabouts and hope we are creative when in fact we are not… or are we? Some of us end up with loads of critical notions of ourselves when tomorrow comes and this to do list item has not been ticked off.
By the way, (*) refers to the fact that I tried to get the picture reduced to a size my wordpress blog would accept but was unable to.
I actually made it to Alaska
In 2004, I travelled in, to and through various places in the US and Canada. From the buzz of New York City to the endless beaches in Florida. From the deep blue waters of the Grand Bahamas to the dry lands of New Mexico. From the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver to the wilderness on Vancouver Island. I spent idle time on a ferry cruising the Inside Passage to Alaska and marvelled at the beauty of Nature and bears in the parks around Jasper and Banff. I went dinosaur and Hoodoo hunting in Alberta and laid back camping in Saskatchewan. I had dinner in the highest restaurant in the world (Toronto) and spent a wonderful time with a dear friend and his family in New York before heading back to good old Amsterdam.
Quite the scenic route. And several possible Bucket List items ticked off. What got to me the most during this trip? What part of this immense Scenic Route hit me the most? And is something I always remember when I think back to this trip?
The power of idle time
What got me the most was all the (seemingly) idle time I spent on boats, looking out to spot whales. All sorts of whales. Grey, humpbacks, killer whales and minke whales.
According to business definitions, idle time is the time employees spent doing nothing.
Sometimes even referred to as down time. Wasted time. Time not well spent.
At the same time, I discovered and more so over the years, that it is quite necessary to set aside idle time in our busy schedules. All my time spent looking for whales on the horizon, I was filled with a sense of wonder, excitement and love. Love for the beauty of Nature. For the beauty of these mystical beings of the deep blue. My memories of these moments are very vivid.
And always serve to bring me in a state of peace and quiet, marvelling again about the mysteries of life. A very nice state to be in I must admit. A state that helps me be creative. A state that helps me slow down. Whales swim along at a, seemingly, incredibly slow pace. Seemingly. They cruise at about 12 knots (14mph; 22 km/h) but can double their speed if necessary.
We need to procrastinate
I guess the point I am trying to make is that as much as whales need to come up for air now and again, we human beings need some idle time now and again to put things in perspective. To slow down. To take a moment to be curious as to the state of ourselves and the world around us. Procrastination may not be all that bad.
So here’s to procrastination.
To idle time.
To the scenic route.
To coming up for air.
To being curious!
When will you?