I have a lot of ideas. A plethora of them.
Sometimes these ideas cram together in my noggin until I’m certain they’ll be pouring out my ears. Most often it’s “good” ideas–story plots, art projects, web design plans, goals, wants, dreams, hopes, desires. Things I can do and be and say.
But there are stressful ideas, too–thoughts, really. The time frame I have in which to complete these projects. The magnitude of work that’s involved with them. The limitations of the resources I have at hand. My own lack of experience in certain matters.
What often winds up happening is that the overload of ideas and mounting stress cause me to clutch–I get stuck between having a ton of things to do, but not knowing how to do them all. The ideas and energy build up inside me, while I stand immobile. Imagine filling a pressure cooker with more pressure than it can handle–at some point, something’s gotta give.
Facing one of these moments yesterday, I decided to go for a nice long walk. Burn off some of that energy, clear my thinking. But I was delayed until it was too dark to walk very far; so, instead, I sprinted up and down the block.
Probably looks strange to passing motorists to see someone in jeans and a windbreaker running back and forth as if there were monsters on her heels, but I’ve long since given up worrying about looking strange.
As I ran, I was still thinking. The energy can be burned away, but the ideas remain. Tons and tons of thoughts, pouring through my mind. I puzzled over them, wondering to myself, How can I get all these things done? How can I do what I need to do?
And then I looked up in mid-sprint, and saw a road sign. It read:
“NO PARKING ANY TIME. BEGIN.”
Hit me like a blast of cold air. Keep running, keep moving. Let the energy and ideas pour out together. Just begin. Dive in and start working.
And don’t stop running.
You’ll get where you want to go.
It felt good to run; felt good to have the fresh air. I could have kept moving back and forth, back and forth, till I collapsed from exhaustion. But that’s the thing about running–you won’t get anywhere unless you have a destination in mind, a purpose. If you’re not running toward something specific, you’re merely burning energy.
So I plied my feet back toward the house. Back to my office room, back to my ideas. And I’m simply digging in.
No parking at any time.