My cup of tea

I’m realizing more and more how much I miss random walks when I’m at home, as opposed to when I’m traveling. And it’s not just the possible vacation time I’m missing. Of course I miss having nothing better to do than just walking with a cup of tea in my hands, but there is more to that: the mere idea of disengaging from more regular, desk-based work seems to boost my creativity. But the secret, I think, is to exploit this boost soon—possibly as soon as I get back to my apartment.

Give no time to missed phone calls, incoming e-mail, or that pile of clothes you’ve been meaning to fold for a week (I think it might be the opposite of the Getting Things Done philosophy, which I’m not sure I actually get): do any of those things and your little burst of inspiration will vaporize. Which is why a random walk is more effective than a run or a bike ride or, even more so, a swim: those are all activities that, especially in this gloomy season, require lots of post-activity chores that will annihilate any creative thinking that may have happened during that idle time of the mind.

Now, if I could just make it okay to walk around holding a cup of tea on Italian streets, it would just be perfect. But I think most Italians would see that as borderline crazy.