Yesterday I went to Victoria for work. Traveling for work can be stressful and exhausting, but I had a great time in no small part due to my method of transportation. I got to take a ferry. “Geek!” Hey, who said that? Well it may be true that a ferry isn’t the most traditionally exciting mode of transportation, but ferries hold a special place in my heart. Each summer as a child I took the ferry to Vancouver Island to spend time with my grandparents. The ferry always meant time with people I loved, two hours of running around in a new and exciting-to-a-child environment, searching the horizon or signs of whales, feeding seagulls bread (which I later found out was really bad for them – sorry seagulls), and eating Nanaimo Bars.
While I have now given up my Nanaimo Bar habit and no longer destroy the digestive systems of waterfowl with Wonder Bread, I still love the ferry. I love that when I’m on the ferry I don’t need to be productive. I have time that is actually free. Free because I’m already being productive just by being on the ferry (getting somewhere I need to be). That productivity means I don’t have to feel guilty about using the time any way I want. I can play cards, talk to fellow passengers, walk the decks, stand at the bow and pretend I’m flying (don’t judge me) or just watch the beautiful islands as we pass. I can even, gasp, do some writing. One the way back I managed to work on a poem/song that has been drifting around in my head. It’s called Living Deep in Desire.
I recently decided that if I ever get super rich, I’m going to buy myself a ferry. Now wait before you scoff, the idea isn’t as silly as it sounds. I can convert the top deck into a private yacht-type area with indoor and outdoor living space. That way, my home can be constantly cruising up and down past the beautiful little islands I love. A retreat where I feel creative and free, with the added benefit that it will earn money shuttling people to and from the islands and totally be a write-off. I may be a genius.
Do any mundane activities bring you joy because of an association? Do you love doing laundry just to get that fresh-towel smell? Do you enjoy washing your car because you fondly remember bucket and hose fights with the family? Take a sheet of paper and write “I love ____” then fill in the blank with your favourite mundane task. Then write down a handful of associations and reasons that you love the task. When you are finished you should have the perfect inspiration for writing a scene that revolves around your much-loved, but mundane, activity. Spend twenty minutes describing the scene, and if a story develops, so much the better.
NB. If you have trouble deciding why you love your activity, consider a mind map.