View Full Version : Where do you go to think?
10-23-2004, 09:34 PM
If you need to really think, ponder over something important...
For me, it's a long walk outside--especially when it's a cool, cloudy, gray, windy day, and especially in autumn and early winter. It's also a quiet bus ride, looking out the window.
How about you?
10-23-2004, 09:38 PM
Outside is good.
If you're my husband, however--the bathroom.
Oh, well. At least I know he won't die of thirst, and has access to shower and toilet facilities. Eventually he comes out when the problem is solved/resolved or he gets hungry enough.
10-23-2004, 10:04 PM
I like being outside too, on a park bench or something. And you're right, it has to be an overcast windy day. Maybe it's because wind feels like change?
When I need to think about something, like a big decision to make, I have a coffee shop I like to go to, with big windows looking out onto a busy street. I sit there with my coffee, barely even drinking it, and stare out the window at the people rushing by. Absolute silence doesn't work for me. Silence is where my mind starts drifting all over the place and I can't get any actual thinking done.
What I really need, though, is a cliff overlooking the sea. If I had a cliff overlooking the sea, I think I'd be able to make much more sense of things.
10-23-2004, 10:10 PM
My job is an hour away from home. That's two hours of driving time per day that I've allotted to thinking.
10-23-2004, 10:33 PM
Driving for me too. I don't have a long commute so I relish a longish drive alone to just think.
Second to that is outside on my deck. We live in a little neighborhood very close in the city and it is a interesting mix of birds and squirrels as well as city noise and visuals. And if you are lucky and time it just right you can hear the whistles of the trains coming into the Amtrak station. A sensory mix that just puts you in your own little world. Alone with your thoughts.
10-23-2004, 10:52 PM
Depends...serious matters get a night-time drive through Southern California. Life-changing decisions get a camping trip in the desert.
Run of the mill problems get the morning dump. :D
10-24-2004, 01:03 AM
I do most of my thinking in bed in the hour or so it invariably takes me to fall asleep. Everything else is just too distracting.
10-24-2004, 02:04 AM
I drive trains. Virtual ones. I've got Microsoft Train Simulator, and it's a load of fun for a RailFan such as me. It's got everything from glamorous high speed expresses like the US Acela trains to the Orient Express under steam to Tokyo commuter trains to the Flying Scotsman. All well and good, but when I'm stressed or I need to focus, I don't go for those - I go for a decidedly unglamorous heavy coal train hauling over a mountain range. I adjust the settings so that the train is underpowered, the weather is snowy so the wheels slip.. Even getting it moving is difficult. Keeping it under control down the grade on the other side of the range is a hassle. The more challenging the better. It really clears my mind somehow.
Nerdy I know, but hey. :D Anybody want a secondhand anorak?
10-24-2004, 06:11 AM
When I'm at home I'm fortunate enough to have a large common directly outside my front door, so my place for thinking has always been long walks, the worse whether the better, because eventually the world beats me down from whatever stupid viewpoint drove me on my walk in the first place.
Unfortunately, uni is not quite the same, so when I tried a similar course of action I ended up walking 3 miles up and down a 6 lane A road at night. Still cleared my head though, but it was more scary than I usually appreciate.
10-24-2004, 06:49 AM
10-24-2004, 12:44 PM
I drive, on cruise control on the Interstate with my iPod. Or a coldish windy night if I'm really upset. (I hate it when you're upset and the windy night is insufficiently cold. That really sucks.) Sometimes in the shower.
10-24-2004, 04:43 PM
I either go walking, go to a park, go driving, go to an empty parking lot or go in the bathroom.
Except when I go in the bathroom I always get accused of jacking off by my brothers.
"I know what you were doing. Did you have a good time?"
10-24-2004, 05:20 PM
I do my best thinking in the bath, and my best reading of non-fiction sat on the toilet. I've probably been known to sit on the toilet for 30 minutes.
In the ideal world, my thinking would be done in a deck-chair next to a large stream.
10-24-2004, 07:24 PM
For small problems, various nooks and crannies on campus. There's a wonderful little statue garden behind one of the buildings that's very out of the way.
For things where I really need serious solitude, I take a twenty minute walk up to the peak right behind campus. Stunning view.
10-24-2004, 07:33 PM
The shower. The warm water and the solitude of it all is very nice. And no one ever bothers you in the shower. It's like, total me time.
Alice The Goon
10-24-2004, 09:51 PM
A few years ago I went to this therapist that practiced this rapid-eye movement thing, where you would talk about something and the whole time you were looking at her finger going back and forth. It seems to allow you to process thoughts and feelings in a very efficient way. Since then, whenever I have heavy thinking to do, I do a jigsaw puzzle or go on a long drive. With both activities my eyes are constantly darting here and there and I'm allowed to really focus on my thoughts. Now that's good thinking time right there, especially jigsaw puzzles.
With lighter thinking, the shower or washing dishes is good.
10-24-2004, 09:53 PM
I think all of the above. But best of all, walking around the city aimlessly helps me think.
10-24-2004, 10:32 PM
Going to the library and trawling through microfilms of old papers from the 19th century. The sort of aimless mental wandering I like. When I'm looking for something specifically, it's fun, but not as cool as the targetless trawling. I end up finding stuff, anyway.
Going to favourite beaches, and just look out to the sea. Things get pulled back into perspectove that way.
10-24-2004, 10:59 PM
I've probably been known to sit on the toilet for 30 minutes.
Best of luck to your bum.
I used to have it together when I took the bus. I had it all sorted out. These days I take a walk at night but I really need to move because this neighbourhood sucks.
Now I have to do my thinking as I go. Sometimes I wake up and don't open my eyes right away, I just transition into worrying. Then I will suddenly think, this isn't sleeping it's lying here with your eyes closed. Then when I open my eyes I am very annoyed and confused.
10-25-2004, 10:28 AM
Driving also. I only have a 15-minute commute, but that's half hour every day to think.
If I have to carpool for any length of time, or can't be alone in the car, I notice myself getting edgy and needing to think. Then I go for a walk.
10-25-2004, 10:42 AM
I go to the water. Which water depends on what I need to think about: The duck pond in the cemetery for pleasant planning; the Nahant causeway to work through the anxious moments; and East Point to calm down from when things get out of control.
10-25-2004, 11:35 AM
For the little stuff, I seem to be processing always subconsciously, and the results pop out at odd moments.
For the big stuff, nothing beats a solo canoe trip.
10-25-2004, 11:56 AM
I cut the grass or go for a long walk and sit in the woods.
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