After a very productive meeting this morning I found myself at a bit of a loose end. Sure I’ve got a 1001 things I could be doing; editing websites, sending emails or the soul destroying task of reworking pages and pages of an Arts Council Application. So I decided, at random that I was going to do something and head off on another adventure.
I decided I was going to visit Stonehenge and that’s what I did. I’ve never been and always wanted to so I just made the decision to jump on a train (okay a replacement bus service) and head to Salisbury and then on to Stonehenge. It took several hours to get there (and back again). Wiltshire has some brilliant places but their public transport network is shit.
Eventually I arrived at the monstrosity of a visitor centre (seriously why?!?) and headed out to see the stones standing in all their majestic glory, towering over a sea of selfie-stick wielding tourists and accompanied by the sound of camera shutters clicking out their irritating symphony. The place was absolutely heaving. Their tourist footfall must hit thousands each day. So I did the tourist thing, looked around, took some photos, listened to the audio guide and dodged through the labyrinths of cheap tat on sale at the gift shop. Now this all sounds very negative and moany, I’m well aware of this and I don’t want to take away from a place that I think is beautiful and I’ve always been drawn to. It’s great for tourists and must bring in a lot of much needed revenue to English Heritage and Wiltshire as a county.
It was upon leaving that a realisation struck me. It wasn’t the destination that was important, that wasn’t what I was really looking for. It was the journey getting there. Sounds all philosophical I know but it hit me that actually I’m so busy so much of the time I never have the opportunity to pause and think anymore. To try and answer questions which have been reverberating around in my subconscious left for an appropriate time to deal with, a time which I’ve never allowed to come. Whilst sitting staring at the beautiful Wiltshire countryside I allowed my thoughts to roam free. I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular but just accepting ideas and notions as they arrived and then allowing each one the time to formulate and move on. In all honesty I’m now exhausted but my head is a lot clearer and I’ve managed to solve a few things I’ve been puzzling over for a while and I now feel I can move on from.
Life is short and we spend too much of it constantly working. Our minds never stop. Sometimes we have to actually give ourselves room to compartmentalise and sort out ideas and thoughts. If not we get bogged down by them and all the new information we are receiving on a daily basis. As someone once said, time that you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time.
I urge everyone to try and take one day out a month and just do nothing but at the same time do everything. In Bath we are lucky. You can buy an all day southwest bus ticket for £7. This gives you unlimited travel all over the South West for the whole day. That’s a bargain. Set off early and just get on a bus and go somewhere, it doesn’t matter where. Just up and leave and see where you end up. The benefits are amazing. I feel completely relaxed now and can see the road ahead laid out much clearer before me. My ideas and plans feel more solid and I now have an idea where I’m going.
Take a chance. What have you got to lose?