Don’t be alarmed, but most of the time I have a lot of mental ‘free time’ on my hands. My work is not a continuous, constant type of job. There can be times and days when I can get a lot of work in a short time. And there can be times when I have a lot of downtimes. That is the nature of my work here in the digital mines.
What that means is that I have a fair amount of mental free time, when I am not actively engaging in things. For quite some time I filled that time up with browsing the internet. Which can be great, I have found a lot of interesting ideas, and inspiration from my browsing. And of course I do my writing during these times, so it is not a total loss.
But too much time browsing the internet can be mind numbing. You can only read the latest sports or movie or TV show recap or rumor so many times. It can also be nerve-wracking and almost dangerous for me as I find things to obsess over or worry about. It can almost be like an alcoholic wandering into a bar. Which meant I realized that I needed to find some other things to do.
I do read sometimes. But I look around and realize that a number of people in my office have their own little things they do at their desks. Building Lego items, or small crafts, or drawing. So I spent a lot of time thinking about this. When it came to me, I could paint! It took me a while to figure out how to assemble a portable painting set or kit. But last week I finally got it going.
And it has been great. I don’t try to paint all day. But it is actually better for me as a painter. Because one problem I have at home is I rush, because I cannot just leave stuff out all day long. But this way I can perform one step on a figure, stop and turn back to work or the internet, and bounce back and forth. It is a good mental break. And it has been fun this week to finish the figures for the boys characters.
It is not master class quality by any stretch. But the real goal is finding something to occupy my head space during the day. And that is worth it. It makes my day go faster, keeps me away from things that will drive me crazy or make me worry. And I can look at something at the end of the day and say I accomplished this today (beyond my actual work.)