Maybe it’s one of those phrases in the zeitgeist, like “It is what it is,” because I’ve been hearing it everywhere: “What, like she’s eating bonbons all day?” It was the response of a Couples Therapist when my husband complained that I didn’t do anything all day. “What, is she in bed eating bonbons all day?” We never returned to that therapist.
Let’s pretend that I get out of bed every now and again. Put on a coat and leave the house in some type of slipper. I’d start the engine of my car and drive… to where exactly? How shall I purchase said bonbons? Mochi, sure (though I find green tea flavored desserts a total waste of sugar). Bonbons are for drive-in movies, behind the opaque curtain of time between now and the 1950s. But thanks for coming to my defense, dear therapist. How about this as a defense: doing nothing is good for you.
OVER SCHEDULED KIDS
There isn’t just “something to be said for doing nothing,” there’s everything to say about it. Read any article about over scheduled children, how these layered activities and jam-packed days actually do a disservice to a child. What most kids need is a good healthy dose of boredom, time to reflect and be creative. Same goes for you. Let the leaves fall where they may.
I’M SO SWAMPED: A CASE OF THE BUSY
We jam our days with to-do’s and plans because we see filling them as adding value to our lives, investments in ourselves, and the only time we really stop is, if we’re lucky, for dinner as a family, over a meal with friends, but even that is busy time, scheduled. We finally unwind in front of the TV where the last thing we do is reflect or create or figure out who we want to be in the world.
DOES DOING LESS MAKE LIFE MORE?
Next come the New Year resolutions to be more productive, to exercise more, to cook more dinners at home, and with these resolutions come a frenzy of to-do lists (from downloading new workout music, to grocery lists, and printing recipes). Does anyone ever resolve to do less?
FROM WHERE I STAND
I feel, quite honestly, that in the past year I’ve done less, a lot less, and I don’t feel any more reflective or self-aware. I have hours of quiet alone time and reflection, and if I realize anything, I zero in on fear. I believe a lot of my essential unscheduled time, where I hope the universe will send me secret thoughts and epiphanies, is actually fear masquerading as meditation. There are so many things I haven’t tried lately. Risks I haven’t taken. And I can’t tell if it’s fear or laziness. I have a feeling that it’s a cocktail of the two.
But you know what else? In all this quiet, I’ve realized that, at least. And something else. I think missing the He Hormone (Testosterone) for the past year has seriously killed any sense of ambition I used to have. Lack of drive, isn’t just sex. It’s life drive. The desire to make something of your day, never mind life. The gas behind doing and moving and desire and WANT. I haven’t wanted anything, truly deeply wanted anything. I want to find my want again. And I have a suspicion that it wants to be found, and the method that’s going to reveal it, I’m sad to say, is writing daily. Sad to say it because it’s work. No short cut to it. I have to write my way through it, I think. Writing in to-do lists, and half-realized ideas, in half blog posts with no point. Just getting it out and throat clearing again. It’s happening, starting now.
Now is where I should click ‘Publish’ and walk away, throat cleared, but I can’t help but wonder, what’s the answer to the question? Does doing less make life more? I feel like it does but it doesn’t and I wish I had the answer, that the wisdom and proof could present itself.