Doing Nothing

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterwards. ~Spanish proverb

In one month, I will go from full-time to half-time work, and then to retirement status to do consulting only. Yet I have found myself approaching this with some degree of anxiety, already feeling behind! I haven’t completely mastered my new QuickBooks program, haven’t printed business cards, haven’t learned enough about social network marketing. For years, I have felt a need for a sustained period of rest. And here’s my opportunity, but I’m not sure I know how to do it!

I once attended a week-long retreat called “The Lost Art of Doing Nothing.” License to loaf. Perhaps I can think of my upcoming retirement in the same way. If consulting jobs come along in the first year, that’ll just give me something to keep the boredom at bay. A mental shift is required, I think. As always, more mindfulness and less projection about the future will be helpful.

After all, Merton says committing oneself to too much is a form of violence. What do you think?

4 Responses to Doing Nothing

  1. woodka says:

    I keep a postcard right next to my computer here, with a cute penguin on it, that says, “I do nothing in particular, but I do it very well!” — W.S. Gilbert

    It’s one of my standard answers when people ask that “So what do you do?” question. The other answer I use is, “As little as possible.” Really shakes people up, and they usually laugh. We are all so tied to our “what we do” identities that we forget to be who we are.

  2. woodka says:

    The other quote, right above it, is a cute sleeping kitten where the quote reads, “I have so much to do, that I am going back to bed.” It reminds me to rest when I am overdoing things. ;^)

  3. Miss Guimba says:

    For me, the wake-up call came when I was watching a movie and I kept looking at the clock and thinking, “Should I be working? Am I wasting my time doing nothing?” Totally ruined the movie for me… I still teach myself to relax and enjoy leisure time without feeling guilty. I’m still not there yet. It’s hard to stop the frantic pace you’ve been in even when you’re off the hamster wheel.

  4. Karen says:

    Personally I’m just jealous! 🙂

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