“It is no longer enough to have a couple of days off at the weekend and sleep in, catch up on chores, do a bit of reading or internetworking, and perhaps take the kids to the park or catch a movie. No, ‘have a great weekend!’ has become the standard Friday evening send-off. “— Hugh McKay
I haven’t left the house all day. Not even to check the mail.
No doubt you will assume laziness on my part and I can accept your judgments because I’m confident I’ve done just enough with my day to not be deserving of that title (although I honestly can’t say the same can be said for other days).
Here we are. In the middle of a full-scale pandemic. For many of us, we have more time on our hands than ever before, and yet fewer things to fill that time with. Doing nothing, very often in our busy work-focused culture, is frowned upon, and goes some way to explaining why we’re having the creative outpourings of Shakespeare et al during similar circumstances flouted in our faces.
Some days I wake and feel that instead of grappling with all the should and would and could and musts, wouldn’t it be nice to just do nothing?
And contrary to popular thought, doing nothing is an event in and of itself. I can tell you from personal experience, it is not as easy as one might think.
We are utterly entangled with the ideas that we must constantly be doing something, looking busy, following a routine, adhering to shoulds and musts. In a world where being busy to the point of exhaustion is the status quo, taking the time to sit, and pay attention to nothing very much is quite a challenge.
I’ve recently found myself in a state of transition. The expectations I have for myself and my perceived expectations I think others have for me, do not sit well with the art of doing nothing.
Not. One. Bit.
The interesting thing is, after taking much of the day forcing myself to do nothing, I do feel calmer. I turned off my mobile phone and took my time over some chores, allowing my mind to wander. I took a long walk along the river. The day has passed quicker than expected and I find that some of the anxiety I’ve been battling with is starting to waver.
In challenging times, especially ones where we have nowhere to go, sometimes the hardest place to go is within.
So, I invite you to join me. Spend some time quietly doing nothing.
It might be the unexpected antidote we all need.
“There’ll always be something else. Another obstacle to overcome. That is life. But there’s more to living than conquering mountains and coming out victorious in every fight. Relax once in a while. Your success is meaningless without joy.” - Beau Taplin