Living in a fast-paced metropolitan city, we are always on the move to think of what to do next, and to check out new things to pass our time. Having or making plans also has the magic of cheering us up, and giving us something to look forward to. As holiday season is here, I hardly hear anyone tell me excitedly, I plan to do nothing! Doing nothing, gives people the impression that we are perhaps losers to a degree, or loners, because doing nothing never seems to be a CHOICE. While keeping busy, is a stereotypical symbol that we are popular and productive, that we are pursuing something.
I have always liked to fill my schedule up with various regular and ad-hoc commitments. If I had nothing planned, it would mentally kill me. The truth is, knowing that I have things to do, or places to go to, builds a sense of belonging for me, and makes me feel like I’m expected or needed out of my not-so-busy life at work. Putting my schedule together gives me satisfaction, just like piecing a puzzle together, and satisfaction for being able to add value to my life from the interests outside of work.
But time and time again, this routine is no longer a “choice”. Schedules get filled with obligations, responsibilities, and it really burns me out. I used to think if I didn’t do something out of routine, or meet anyone, I would feel down. Then I learnt, just because I COULD do so many things, doesn’t mean I need to take every opportunity if it doesn’t make me happy. We ought to be selective, and not needing to feel bad for turning someone down, because more than anyone, we need ourselves.
All of a sudden, “doing nothing” is the choice, alongside the idea of “slow-living”. Doing nothing has gradually become a luxury that seems increasingly important not just for the body, but also for the mind.
But let’s be real, when you plan to “do nothing”, do you really end up not doing anything and totally blank out? It’s actually harder than you think. How do you sit there and stare into space, and not do or think about anything at all? Nothing, is actually something.
That something, is giving you the space and time to be with yourself, almost like meditation, but mostly for reflection. When you have that space to yourself, maybe you will think of things you’ve always wanted to do, things that you had forgotten, thoughts you could explore when you clear your mind, and unleash the tension that has built up from the busy schedules and the duties, expectations people seek from you.
It’s a blessing to have that chance every once in a while, to do nothing, in order to offload your heavy thoughts, refresh and reset.
Let’s do nothing together, because it’s really quite something.