My favorite vacation spots have always come with a sandy beach and ocean view. Since I didn’t visit a beach until I was already an adult, I never got to make a sand castle, so I figured I would for today’s doodlewash. I’ve always imagined it would be fun to construct a castle made entirely of sand but it’s just been a dream of mine. And since it’s also been a rather long time since I’ve visited a beach, I’m traveling to my other favorite vacation spot today – my imagination. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been prone to chronic daydreaming. This can seem quite normal as a child, but as an adult who suddenly checks out of a conversation leaving the other person to ask, “where did you just go?” it can often be embarassing.
Even though I’ve always had creative jobs, there’s that terrifying time when you’re supposed to sit and commit to paying attention in a meeting. The trouble is, I hate meetings and quickly lose interest. I figure anything that truly needs to be accomplished as a group can be done in less than 30 minutes, which is coincidentally the maximum length of my attention span. Unfortunately, meetings tend to drag on past this point and that’s when my mind goes on vacation. Soon the conversations around me become light mumbling and I’ve blissfully traveled to a place where nobody is chattering on about things that don’t matter. I suppose it’s a sort of defense mechanism. But soon enough, I’m cruelly jolted back to reality when out of the murmurs I hear someone call my name.
This is always a bit distressing, because I, of course, have zero clue as to what the group has been discussing for the past 20 minutes. So when suddenly prompted for my opinion on who knows what, I always just say, “Is it really a question? I think we all know what we need to do next.” This inevitably causes someone from the group to blurt out the “solution” and the meeting can finally come to an end. Ironically, this solution is always something I heard in the first 30 minutes when I was actually paying attention, so it turns out I missed nothing at all. As an added bonus, I then get invited to fewer and fewer meetings. But meetings are not where creativity happens. Creativity is far more likely to occur when you’re letting your mind wander to a lovely daydreamed beach, happily collecting imaginary seashells, and perhaps, even pausing long enough to fulfill a childhood dream of building a sand castle.