In defense of doing nothing
I like doing nothing. A lot. Truth is, I try to do nothing as often as I can. Until recently (this morning, to be precise) I felt guilty about it. Am I lazy? Boring? Oppressively introverted? No. I find joy in nothing and it’s okay if you do too.
Seems like every day I stumble upon a blog article about being more productive. How to keep your house clean in seven easy steps. Ten ways to get things done. How to achieve your weekly goals and keep your sanity. You know, all the regular clickbait we helplessly click so we can continue to revel in the glorification of busy.
People love to post their schedules to social media. They love writing about how they fit their important and chaotic lives into one day or into a week. Some of these people send email newsletters to their followers about just how busy they were and how they managed it (and how you can manage it too, Mr/Ms VIP). Mothers take to Facebook to tell us all about their lives, to brag about how they crammed all their activities into a day and make dinner, which they’ve selfelessly taken a photo of and shared on their stream. These people of the modern era face a busy world full of distractions and they got it organized. These worshippers of busy, why they’re so together, they even have time to regale their important-ness to strangers (so we can commend them on their honor and self-worth).
Well I’m sick and tired of it. I raise my Saturday morning, second pot of coffee cup in honor of nothing and in doing it to its fullest. And now I shall brag about how I do nothing to the Accomplished Masters of All the Things All the Time, you wonderful, wonderful doers and keepers of busy.
Last night I went to trivia for the first time in my 31 years of exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen. It was a fun outing, full of noise and too many french fries, a sad awareness that I don’t know what three countries in South America are run through by the equator (Ecuador should’ve been a freebie, dummy), but that I do know the lyrics to Destiny’s Child’s hit Say My Name. Well done you. Back pats all around. I usually stay indoors on Friday nights — okay, all nights — because I’m that introverted and enjoy silence and the company of my dogs. While the evening was fun and I’ll probably do it again, as soon as I stepped out of the crowded and noisy bar, I released a sigh.
Therefore this morning, Saturday, I woke up, made coffee, and proceeded to sit on my ass for hours. Drinking coffee. Playing on my phone. Texting occasionally. Oooh look, cute animals on Pinterest. Why can’t I have a kitchen like that? Mmmm, coffee. Maybe I should do something productive. Okay, I’ll wash my sheets. In the washer they go. Soap. Select a cycle. There, done. Mmmm, coffee. Ahhh, my chair. An article on Medium about shaming people. Let’s read that, I hate it when people gather in digital droves to bully and annihilate someone they disagree with… Mmmm, coffee.
Not sure what time, I got out of my comfy chair. I swept the floor and sat back down, this time on my not comfy Ikea Ektorp couch, which is beige. Also, I was still in my pajamas. The bottoms are bright blue with snowflakes. Yes I know it’s May. Do you have the mental picture? My hair was at least brushed and pulled back into a loose pony-tail, mostly to keep stray hairs from dipping into my coffee. Mmmm, coffee.
One of the many things I thought of whilst doing nothing was this article about nothing and how, after I was finished doing nothing, I should write it. And use the word “whilst.” Because while it’s fine to get things done, to accomplish your daily and weekly goals, to be a badass at work or at home, you should remember that every once in a while it’s perfectly fine to sit on your ass and do nothing. Admirable, even, in a digital world that won’t shut up about how great it is to be busy.
So sit. Anywhere you want to sit. Drink the coffee. Play on the phone. Pin the things, read the blogs, maybe even wash your sheets. If you feel like it.
When I’m not doing nothing, I design graphics, organize chaos, write about anything I gosh-darn feel like, and lift heavy things.