Thinking is one of the things I neglect most often. I don’t mean the kind of thinking one does in the moment to solve a problem at hand. I mean the kind of quiet contemplation that leads you down paths you didn’t know were there. In most jobs, there’s just not time to think, unless you make that time. One thing that’s nice about summer when one works in education is that, in theory, you have time to think. But you still have to make time.
I said to a colleague today that I thought summer was supposed to be less busy. I’ve spent the last few days tying up loose ends and plowing through to-do lists. It doesn’t feel less busy.
But I spent some time in conversation, reflecting on the past year and really thinking about what went well, what didn’t and why. I’ll admit the caffeine hadn’t fully soaked in yet for that conversation, but I thought about parts of it throughout the day and am still thinking about it. And that’s the kind of thinking I need to do. It’s “chess thinking” and “daydreaming” together. Chess thinking because I’m taking a step back, assessing, and looking at next moves from a broader perspective. And it’s daydreaming because I can dream a little, ask myself a few “What if” questions and see if any of them play out.
Everyone, really, should take time to think more deeply, whether it’s about their work or their personal lives. Too often, we just plow through the to-do list without thinking about why we’re doing those things in the first place or what we might be doing instead. Summer might grant me more time to do that, but I need to seize on it before it passes.