(As seen in the September 2016 issue of River Valley Woman Magazine)
Today, I did something amazing: Nothing. Nothing at all. Well in all fairness I’m writing this column, but besides that, I’ve committed myself to doing nada, zip, zilch.
It’s the most incredible high. So marvelous in fact that I just have to write about it. Which is OK, because I’m not writing about it because I have to. It’s not on a to-do list. I’m doing it because I just plain felt like it in this moment. I’m simply wandering through my day lackadaisically stumbling upon different events and engaging them as they cross my path.
So now that I think about it, as I ponder my day so far, I did stuff. But I didn’t do any of the things I “should” be doing. In fact every time I had the urge to do something that “needed to be done,” I purposely ignored it. When I do things to “get them done” I’m approaching them with the attitude of “getting it over with.” Hell, even enjoyable activities suck when you approach them that way!
Anyhow, here are some of the incredible “nothing things” I have ambled through today: I woke up. I brushed my teeth. I had coffee. I got hungry. I ate. I watched my chickens walk around the yard. I noted the length of my grass and resisted the urge to mow (again, because it was a “should be doing” thing), and instead I read a book. I drove to an undisclosed retail location where I didn’t need to buy anything in particular and just walked around. I played a lot of Pokémon Go. So basically, I’m only doing the things that pop up in my head as a “just because I feel like it” activity.
I just had the most exciting idea! I’m gonna cuddle with my dog Zoe! Sometimes I forget we have a dog…
Doing unimportant things is so liberating. Arguably, based on the fact that this experience is so liberating for me, they are probably actually important things. But I’m going to ignore that reality for just a minute and stake a claim on this new territory I am navigating. Here we go, this is my epiphany: Nothing. Is. Important.
Busyness is like this badge we wear. It validates us to report to our spouses, families, and friends what we have done today. It’s a load of crap. Nothing that any of us do is all that important. If I was gone tomorrow, the world would keep turning without me. I realize that seems a little cruel to say, but coming to terms with that reality really frees up your mind to stop rushing and slogging through your everyday life. The activities you choose to spend your time on need not burden you. The things in my life that I “do to get over with” I should maybe postulate just plain not doing at all.
I have to tell you something: YOU are so much more than the things you do. Stop hiding yourself from the world behind a mask of appointments and commitments. We get this one life, this one beautiful life to do…well, NOTHING, if we so choose. Incidentally, I like this sloth-like version of myself so much more than the busy one. I think other people in my life probably would too.
Do nothing. At least every so often. For one thing, it well help you vacation better. Otherwise you’ll just fill your opportunities for relaxation with meaningless activities and sightseeing because you don’t know how to shut off your busy mode. It’s a real discipline this practice of doing nothing (I’m a little exhausted honestly, I’m probably going to need a nap before day’s end) but after today, I’m thinking it’s a pretty important one. I’m not going to call it that though, otherwise I’ll turn “do nothing” into a to-do list task.
Also it would be hypocritical, because as previously stated: Nothing. Is. Important.
The dog doesn’t want to cuddle, she’s standing by the door asking to go outside. This is the most stressful thing I’ve had to endure all day, and that’s a pretty awesome thing.
Come lay down Zoe! I don’t want to get off the couch. I’m busy doing nothing.