Creative Time

I was listening to a podcast talking about where people find their creative time.  For some it’s the shower, cooking, running, driving, etc.  I was talking with Eric and Sara about this on the trail the other day. Eric noted that when life gets hectic, it could be anywhere as long as you find a place that gives your mind the ability to wander and explore topics.
For me it’s mowing the lawn while riding on the tractor. Not a push mower.  I’ve done both and the push mower just doesn’t cut it (nyuck nyuck). As we talked some on the trail, I started to narrow in on what I think might be the reason and a strategy.

I started cutting lawns when I was 10. The first riding mower was this late 70s Ariens riding mower (10hp, 32″) with no back support and a weird ‘bar’ for steering. We picked it up at a yard sale and nursed it for a while. But I didn’t start seriously cutting lawns until we picked up a 1985 Wheel Horse (pre-Toro) 417-8.  This was a negotiation as I wanted to upgrade my lawn cutting capacity and dad wanted a legit garden tractor. We agreed on a ‘business loan’ over several years. I loved that machine.

At my peak I was cutting 24 lawns a week. It paid for college and I racked up over 4K hours on that machine before it finally got to be more work repairing it than it was worth.  I sold it around 2006. When you cut that many lawns, the act of mowing becomes brainless, I don’t even think of the most efficient patterns anymore. I can completely zone out for 2 hours.

And here is where I think we found the key insight. Finding something that occupies my body but at the same time does not occupy my brain, is where I find my ‘thinking’ time.   I wonder if that is the universal consistency for everyone looking to find their most creative space.

About Josh Rutstein

I am an aspiring entrepreneur and hopeful political candidate. Father of 2 very special girls, husband to an amazing woman, and passionate American. I snowboard whenever possible and follow a 20x mentality for exercise. I also play golf and ultimate frisbee and am a die hard New England Patriots fan and season ticket holder. Everyday I wake up wanting to make this country a better place, someday I hope to actually succeed.
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