Today, I am grateful that I could lie on the sofa and do nothing.
Well, I was knitting and I was watching trashy chick flick movies back to back - but essentially, nothing. After yoga this morning, Ben had finance stuff to do and all I wanted to do was revel in the pure pleasure of zero responsibility and zero obligation. It was fantastic.
I used to feel such GUILT for idleness. I put it down to my upbringing and societal conditioning. My mother is the kind of person who stops once a week, for an hour, to watch her favourite tv show. At all other times, she is moving. And the last thing she was going to indulge in her children, was laziness. So, doing nothing was something you did when your mother wasn't looking.
On becoming a functioning member of society, it was drummed into me that busyness was productiveness! And productiveness was a positive contribution and hence you were valuable! Then I entered the professional field of preventative health and learned how wrong I was. How wrong we all are! Oh my. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Adrenal Fatigue, Auto-immune diseases. There are sooooo many, countless, ways in which the body tells us that constant *productivity* is not ideal for health. That our physical, emotional, mental and energetic bodies require down time. And if we don't honour that need, our bodies force it upon us. And often in a way that takes us many moons and much energy to recover from.
Preventative health is my philosophy for longevity. I've discussed this before. Yoga for stretching and strengthening my muscles, my spine, my fascia. For stimulating my lymphatic system, my circulatory system, my endocrine system. Chiropractic care for maintaining spinal alignment and nervous system health. Vital, chemical free foods to provide the best building blocks. Conscious thoughts of kindness, gratitude and creative intent. And idleness, for keeping balance, for pure pleasure, for reminding myself that life is not all about drudgery, enslavement, difficulty, chore.
You know that old adage, where the old man is lying on his death bed and he's asked what his biggest regret is, and he says he regrets that he spent too much time at work and not enough with his children... well, I ponder something similar. At any given moment in time (and I often use this to make big decisions in my life that I'm unsure of what the outcome will mean), I think to myself, if I were to die tomorrow and I were looking back on my life, would I be satisfied with my journey, now it's done?
I read a book entitled the 4 hour work week a few years ago and it introduced me to the concept of the Deferer. Essentially, someone that puts off all the fun stuff until the end. The saver, not the spender. The person who works his whole life, with the intention to relax once he hits retirement. I got a lot out of that book, but the thing that really stayed with me, was this concept of Deferer. Except, I applied it to all things. You know, use the good crockery every week, rather than just on special occasions, that sort of thing. Where was I going with this...?
Oh yeah. Downtime. If I don't make it to this magical age of retirement or when all the hard work ends and the good stuff is supposed to start.... then I reckon I'd be really pissed that I didn't enjoy myself along the way. In the event my life is not 90 years in duration, I don't want to be reviewing my innings, lamenting the fact that I didn't have as much fun as I could have. I want to look back on my life if it were to end tomorrow and think "I had a rockin' good time". And right now, I absolutely would.
The next time you have an opportunity to do nothing. Do it. And enjoy it. Don't think about all the things you *should* be doing (and while I think of it, I highly recommend eliminating the word 'should' from your vocabulary, it's a perfect vehicle for delivering guilt and enforced obligation into your consciousness, and really, what good are they?). Consider it therapeutic. Necessary. As essential as breathing. Your adrenals will love you for it.