I seem to spend a lot of time on my own these days. I only realised just the other day how much time I spend in my own company. Most of my work is in the evenings at the moment, and I’m not a late sleeper, so I spend a lot of time pottering around by myself during the day.
But by no means am I lonely. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy the time.
Most Mondays I get on a train and head up to Newcastle to visit friends up there and attend a production meeting for a creative collective I’m involved in. The trip is three hours long. At first, I thought of that three hours as a chance to get a little bit of writing done. Or some class planning. Work-time, that is.
As it turns out, I find it impossible to work when I’m in transit. I’ve tried, but I usually end up with two or three words on a page and frustration in the space between my eyebrows. I’ve found the same thing on the three-hour bus trip I sometimes take to and from Canberra when I visit my Ma, Pa and brothers.
So recently I stopped trying to force myself to work. When I did, an interesting thing happened: I started to think. Properly think. You know, about life, the universe and everything and nothing. I thought through the problems I was having with my writing and often came up with solutions — I thought through life problems and again, often came up with solutions. I also started to think bigger than myself, to think, dare I say it, philosophically about the world. No solutions there. But interesting nonetheless.
How often does one get a chance to just sit and think these days?
Now, when I travel alone, I call it Thinking Time, and I don’t understand how I ever did without it.
Here’s the view from my thinking seat on the train to Newcastle. Sigh.