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Meandering is different than exploring.
Exploration involves intent and it implies careful observation and analysis.
Meandering, on the other hand, requires no purpose at all aside from moving through a place. That’s what makes it so special. When you aren’t looking for anything, and you aren’t trying to understand anything in particular, you can simply enjoy “being.”
As part of my 2016 self-care project, I spent the day meandering. I walked without a destination. I moved without a purpose. I ate when I was hungry. I talked to strangers. There was no rushing. There were no distractions.
Meandering doesn’t just happen, though. We have to make room for it. My afternoon was open because I (purposely) didn’t schedule anything in its place. It’s up to each of us to choose to schedule (or not to schedule) the minutes and hours of our days according to our needs and values.
As children, our extra minutes were probably spent playing. As young adults, our extra minutes were most likely spent with friends, working or studying for exams. And as adults, it can go one of two ways. We can either fall into the eat-work-sleep routine, or we can figure out way to manage our time so that we experience more joy.
Of course our responsibilities ultimately dictate how we spend the majority of our time, but we must not forget that we are the sole gatekeepers of our schedule. We are the guardians of our time. And we are the only ones who can set boundaries. Admittedly, meandering may not sound appealing to everyone. Perhaps meditation or yoga or some other form of quiet time is a better fit.
What would you do if you had 30 minutes set aside for yourself each day?