When I Do My Best Thinking

When do you do your best thinking?

For some people it’s in the shower. I am usually too rushed by the little rulers of my home to think in the shower. Some of my friends think best when they exercise; I so wish that were me! While I’m on the treadmill, all I can manage to do to keep my mind off the minutes is wonder about the people around me or search (fruitlessly!) for a better song on my ipod.

I DO pull off some pretty darn good thinking when I vacuum. The boys race from the vacuum to the couch, pretending that the vacuum will eat their toes if they get too close. But the loud sound of the machine at my hand drowns out their gleeful cries, and I review my day in my mind.

I also think when I’m driving, particularly on an open stretch of the road, when my backseat passengers’ inquisitive minds have run dry of questions and are quiet for a precious few moments. It is then that I often feel the soft sting of tears in my eyes as I reflect on all the good in my life. I picture in my head images of the next week—the next ten years. I think about family members, all hundreds of miles away. I confront myself about habits I do and habits I don’t want to pass on to my kids. I wonder if I can teach them—how to pray and trust that answers will come, how to be kind even when their friends are not, how to believe in themselves enough to ignore the voices of so many others. Something about seeing the road stretch lazily before me turns my mind to the future. No wonder we go on so many drives.


I honestly love to hear your responses. So tell me, when do you do your best thinking? 

  • Ryan Nielsen
    April 2, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Babe – I love you and am so glad you married me. We have a beautiful family and future together.

  • Brenda @Triple Braided
    April 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    It seems like I hear God’s voice the clearest when I’m running – but not on the treadmill! I hate the treadmill! Only when I’m running outside. I like to listen to podcast when I’m running (I’m not much of a music person as weird as that sounds), and it seems like my best thinking (or listening) is then.

    🙂 Brenda

    • Erica {let why lead}
      April 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      I definitely agree that running outdoors is more conducive to productive thinking (and listening) than running on a treadmill!

  • Becky K
    April 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Awww, I wish my husband would comment on my posts! How sweet is that?!? Love this one, Erica. The C.S. Lewis quote especially hits home for me today. I’m nostalgic yet hopeful, so I often think in the gray area between what is behind and what is to come. (Today it was the weight of impending full-day kindergarten. We have months to go before September, yet I can conjure up tears even now just contemplating the upcoming daily absence of my eldest one.) I, too, think while driving – which makes me wonder how many other people on the road are doing the same. And I do some of my best thinking just as I’m falling asleep, which has on more than one occasion led me to crawl out of bed to write something down – a to-do task, a writing edit, a grocery list item. I can’t shut my brain off too easily. Can anybody else relate?

    • Erica {let why lead}
      April 2, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Haha, I’m sure his comments won’t be frequent. He’s actually a pretty normal husband. 🙂 (And by that, I’m just alluding to the fact that most husbands seem pretty quiet on their wives blogs!)

      I’m a year behind you, but I imagine that the kindergarten thing will weigh heavily on my heart too. Best wishes with that transition!

      My consolation about the thinking-while-driving thing is that I only manage to think when there is little other traffic on the road. Hopefully everyone else is the same way!

  • Cheri
    April 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I think I do my best thinking/planning right when I wake up in the morning—-and before I jump out of bed. I loved the CS Lewis quote and picture! Thanks for sharing.

    • Erica {let why lead}
      April 3, 2012 at 1:06 am

      You’re welcome! I wish I had a moment to think each morning. Maybe I should set my alarm a bit earlier! Thanks for visiting!

  • Shelley @ Calypso in the Country
    April 3, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I am like you – I do most of my thinking while driving. There have been some days when the kids are not with me in the car that I am so deep in thought that I realize I never even turned on the radio. I also have had some good overall life-evaluating thoughts while on an airplane. There is something about looking down over all these cities and towns knowing that there are millions of lives out there. It helps me put my own life into perspective for some reason. By the way – love that fact that your husband commented. So sweet!

  • Ashley Ditto
    April 3, 2012 at 4:39 am

    I think best when I put my kids to bed and get a few moments. My husband works at night, so I have a little while to myself.

  • Jeni
    April 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I’m glad you posted about your new .com address, I was wondering where you went!

    I also do most of my thinking while I drive. Especially when I get to drive alone; I LOVE driving by myself, it’s my favorite. If I’m not beaten down and exhausted by the end of the day, I think a lot before I fall asleep (but I find that my thoughts before I go to sleep can be awfully dramatic when I’m frustrated about things!).
    Glad I know where to find you now!

    • Erica {let why lead}
      April 4, 2012 at 2:06 am

      Yay! Sorry it took me a week+ to figure out how to do that!

      My thought tend to be much more dramatic at night too. I regularly tell myself to “pop the bubble” at night. Things always look better in the morning! (unless my house it mess, in which case they don’t 🙂