It has been said that repetitive activities are springboards for spiritual growth. When your hands are busy cleaning, your mind can relax and move to a higher plain. When your feet are pounding on the pavement on your daily run, your mind is lulled into a state of consciousness conducive to thought. When your fingers are crocheting the same stitches on the afghan, your mind can focus on more pressing matters in your life. I believe this is true because I have experienced it first hand.
That which is static and repetitive is boring. That which is dynamic and random is confusing. In between lies art. - John A. Locke
Repetitive activities are friends of mine. Placing labels on tabs. Punching paper with holes. Folding ledger size paper to fit in letter size binders. All of these activities are welcome to me. As a secretary, I would be lying if I said they were interesting and fun, but they are welcome, nonetheless. They are an opportunity to give my mind a rest and move it into the realm of “zoning out.”
Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs. - Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
I can enjoy repetition. It’s mind-numbing boredom that I have yet to conquer. When there is nothing for me to do but answer the telephone when it rings, I feel myself wanting to claw the walls. This is how a secretary’s life is. Sometimes it’s busy and there is too much for me to do. Sometimes it’s slow and I search my brain for something to keep me busy.
Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need. - Voltaire (1694 – 1778), Candide, 1759
A true monastic would be able to find God in the boredom. Why is it that I can allow my mind to achieve a higher level when I’m folding paper, but not when I am at rest? There is nothing to do but sit and think. Why is it that I am better able to think when I have a cyclic activity for my hands? It makes no sense to me. I should be able to relax and “zone out” easier when I have nothing to distract me. It’s a mystery of the human mind.