TAoN No. 147: Even (especially?) when it's boring. Plus a new icebreaker, and more
I lived in Cambridge Massachusetts for a summer interning for the Bostonian society. They had a contract to inventory all of the gravestones in three historic cemeteries. I love Boston but wasn’t able to partake much of the going out life at restaurants and nightclubs since my pay was $5/hour. But I did get a subway pass monthly and on the weekends (Sunday mornings my fave), I would ride the red line into Boston over the Charles river (love that dirty water). I tried so hard to commit all I saw to memory because I loved Boston so much. I think I did. It’s a multi sensory recollection I cherish. The smell of the subway car, the clickety clack of the metal on rails, the river, the skyline, the sound of the brakes at the stops. It’s such a sweet dear memory. People disappoint. Cities you love just evolve. Thx for reminding me that I tucked this memory away.
In response to the ice breaker question, I’d pick Garbage and Florence And the Machine. Those two women together in a room would be electric, and I’d love to pick the brains of their bands to get all the details about working for two powerful, talented singers
This is something I already do! I live in the Netherlands where public transport is just part of everyone's daily life and commute. My version of this is noticing design details of the train or bus I'm inside. What colors are used, what materials? The big stuff like sizes and proportions, to the tiniest textures on a window frame. You would be surprised what kind of beautiful details you can find. My latest obsession is the gridded holes they use for ventilation. There are so much variation in designs and patterns! I also close my eyes and listen... What sounds are around me? Where are they coming from? Are they high or low pitch? Are they from outside? from the train? From people? Just notice what is there. The only 'game' I play is counting how many people are staring at their phones.
Sometimes when I walk the dogs I'm off in some book on audible. But at night time, when I need my senses more alert I play a game of inventing lives for the people who I see through their windows on my walk. Its fun and keeps me interested, and those people would probably be surprised should they learn about their alternative lives lived.
Late to this party! But so fun to read more of your thoughts on this topic. And I love that you coined the phrase "uni-tasking." I've been trying to think of a positive term to swap in for the awkward "not-multitasking. One friend suggested "monotasking" but that sounds like a disease.
I often play the game of guessing which passenger the rest of the plane will eat first after we crash land on a deserted island.😋😆
Anne Kadet’s brilliant. What a task you set! As for two artists…. George Michael and Lauryn Hill!
I love this. These little games are the stuff that brings us back to childhood and taps into a level of creativity many of us haven’t touched in a long time. I recently taught my kids the rain drop race game - on car rides when it’s raining, chose two raindrops that are at the same staring point and chose one who you think will the winner and watch as they race, jiggle and jump from one side of the left window to the other. They laughed and told me that was “sus”, but I have discovered they enjoy playing it from time to time. Ha! Just an hour ago, I was sitting in a waiting room waiting for a doctor appointment. I decided to not pull my phone out like everyone else who was there waiting had. Instead, I noticed the shoes everyone was wearing. I noticed their facial expressions. If they looked tense and nervous or calm and relaxed. I noticed all of the magazines on the coffee table that nobody picks up anymore. Poor magazines.
RE: The Crosstown Trail, I did this the last time I was visiting friends in San Francisco and had a blast! We timed it so we made it to Lands End right at sunset, with ample time for resting in green spaces and sampling a diverse array of foods and drinks along the way. Highly endorse it as a way to spend a day in SF, but be forewarned, your calves will be SORE the next day.
Thanks for your comment, Rob. I remain a big fan of your work.
I think noticing might just be the difference between a “trip” and a “journey” (something I’ve been pondering lately)!
I laughed at the Temu one lol I would totally buy one for that ex with a beard. Those tiny little hairs get everywhere and stick to everything! I asked him to lay a towel over the vanity and shake it outside, and I'd STILL find those hairs clinging to bathroom surfaces. As far as I'm concerned, the inventor of those aprons is a genius!
Love TAoN, and this post specifically.
However, I'm a little confused about the exercise. I thought the idea was to notice and be present, like what one would do during meditation, without inventing scenarios to keep one's mind occupied... otherwise, isn't that the same type of multitasking one would do with a phone or a book? I may be wrong, but playing out scenarios of what the passengers would do during a crisis and who would be driving the train is, to my mind, not being present in the moment. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the art of noticing.
Yep. Thanks for your response.