Thursday, March 29, 2012

Coasting

I have the best thoughts in the morning, during that middle-ground between sleeping and awake. Someone I once admired, a comedian I think, called it "coasting." I've always loved that term. It's when we've finished one phrase and haven't entered another, and it can apply to many parts of our lives.

Sleeping

Coasting from asleep to awake - a downtime where  you are free to just let your thoughts wander. A very productive time for many people.

Cycling

You've made the hill or finished the trek, and you've reached a downhill slope that requires no effort on your part. No longer pedaling, you relax and enjoy, doing nothing.

Writing

You've finished the project. You owe yourself a rest, so you kick back, admiring what you've accomplished, taking time to bask in how far you've come.

Great. But you can only coast so long before the momentum comes to a halt. You fully wake up, the bicycle slows, and you're expected to edit the book or promote the project. You have to rise, start pedaling again, and get back to work.

Coasting is a marvelous spike of rejuvenation, but it's only required to be a moment in time, versus the days, weeks and months of investment to get there. And if you don't jump back into the fray, you lose all the momentum you gained to that point. Take time to pause, to drift, to divert attention from where you've been, but just not for too long. Let it remain as one of those sweet, short, rare occurrences in your schedule, so that it's that much sweeter when it happens.

3 comments:

Karen said...

What a great word! I can relate to that state in many things in my life.

Thanks for all your insights.

Lisa K Winkler said...

Love this metaphor- as a cyclist! A reward for finishing a tough ride is a cold beer. Then it's time to get back in the saddle and start climbing and coasting all over again.
Lisa Winkler
lisakwinkler.com
On the Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy's Ride Across America

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Great metaphor and so true. It is so difficult to regain the writing momentum if you step away for too long. Even a little writing keeps me in the writing zone going forward.