The Art of Doing Nothing.
I have to say I am not embracing lockdown 2 (or is it 3?) with the same stoic, “best-step-forward”, chipper demeanour that I gave to the first time we were told to stay home back on 23rd March 2020.
Since then, 2020 has disappeared under ever shifting levels of allowable social contact, but each announcement holding the expectation that a bright new day was just around the very next corner. Soon we would be able to reunite with our loved-ones, friends, peers and colleagues and when we did, it would be glorious!
Well, I think that’s what was spiriting me along last year.
In the first month of 2021, it all feels a bit dog-eared and tired. Like we keep trying to pin on the smile but find it morph into a snarl as soon as we relax.
Even for a home bird like me, working from home and living at home is beginning to take it’s toll.
I lurch wildly from pacing the floor of my confines like a caged lion, feeling dangerous and capable of gleefully crashing the gates and making a wild dash for freedom to a zombie-like hunkering down into a alluring comfort that may be a dangerous space for me. One that provides a fertile ground for the growth of insecurity, fear and goodness knows what else for a human, hardwired for social connection.
I love my inner sanctum, it is a sacred place. But what when that safe retreat begins to fold in on itself?
I Need a Holiday.
Clearly that is not true.
I can survive perfectly well without my two-week break away from home and its routines. More accurately, I WANT a break. I want to shake off the shackles and see something other than these four walls. If it happens to include sunshine and sea air then so much the better but truely, my longing is for a break.
It's Called a Break for a Reason.
I long for a break from the pandemic, from the usual, from the norm.
That’s what a holiday is for me. Literally, the humdrum of life is snapped and broken. I am physically removed from the place and connections of my everyday routines and experience. And in the space that is made by that break is….
Well, it’s a nothing of sorts.
Yes, there is the business of traveling, and focus of exploring a new place but the physical removal of me and my family from home, work, and all the usual usual is like a new nothingness.
There is no option to work, there is no option to do housework, there is no established routine but there is lots and lots of potential.
And within that nothing, I find a lot of time to do nothing.
Life Hates a Vaccuum.
In that empty space of the break, I indulge in guilt-free nothingness.
I succumb to the rhythms of my own body clock, no appointments, no start time, no set dinner-time, nowhere to be, nothing to do.
Of course, some of that nothingness is filled with new adventure, new sites, new places, new people.
But a lot of it is spent simply being.
Looking out to sea, people watching, breathing, feeling, tasting, touching and all with no purpose. Lovely!
A Life With No Purpose.
A life with absolutely no purpose is an anathema to my soul. We humans are meaning seeking machines, we like to have a reason, or a purpose.
But a break with no purpose feels divine. Appealing to an altogether other part of my person. Call it spirit or soul if you wish or simply a human being, being human.
It is in the break where the scales fall from my eyes and I can see, renewed. I can breathe, renewed. I re-set and recalibrate.
With a smile and warm regards,