There is something relaxing about doing repetitive tasks. My first real job was as a keypunch operator (now I’m definitely dating myself!) and I found that I was good at it, and I enjoyed it immensely. The opportunity to tune out everything around me, and take journeys in my mind while I worked through a batch of keypunching was very appealing.

I find a similar kind of satisfaction when I am making a quilt. I am a machine quilter and I find that the repetition of cutting and piecing puts me in a state of mind that is completely relaxed. In that space I find a perfect time to pray for the individual that I am making the quilt for, and to reflect upon different things in the life of that person.

Recently I found myself immersed in a large and repetitive task at work. While others in the same situation complained about the work before us, I found it an opportunity to put myself in neutral and to allow my mind to wander.

This kind of thing refreshes me. I remember things and that I had previously forgotten, I plan things that I want to do in the coming weeks, I reminisce about friends and family in in the past.

Alas, too soon the work was done and I was back in the real work world where I have to engage my mind and bring my full self to the table. The brief respite was kind of nice though. Despite the ache in my shoulder I came to the end of the day feeling that I had accomplished something and to top it all off….I had had a great introspective time.

What could be better!


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.
  1. Ditto and kudos on this:
    “I found it an opportunity to put myself in neutral and to allow my mind to wander.”

  2. Thanks for inspiring us to find reflection in the mundane. Maybe that’s its purpose, in our busy lives? A little gift of quiet time.

  3. I enjoy knitting for that same reason. I can go ahead with a simple pattern and let my mind go in a million other directions. It is so relaxing for me. Those ways to quiet our spirits are so necessary!

  4. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who appreciates the opportunity to shift into neutral once in a while.

  5. I love to zone out with activities like that cause I can think about things I want to. I quilted a lot too but by hand! I think our brains need the break and for a writer–it is perfect!

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