When was the last time you goofed off and did absolutely nothing except watch the world go by? For hours. Or spent the afternoon drowning worms? Or
even just read a book for the pure joy of getting lost in a story? If you’re like most adult Americans, the answer is
along the lines of:
- “It’s been too long.”
- “Not often enough.”
- “I remember those days.”
- “When I’m retired.”
Or, perhaps the saddest, most heart-wrenching response of all: “Wait, I’m supposed to find time for that too?”
Lately I’ve been feeling unsatisfied in some way. I made the commitment to myself to have social time with girlfriends, in person or by telephone. Just to talk and relax and feed my soul. And I made the commitment to feed my intellect too, by attending webinars and in-person meetings to learn things that interest me. Yet, even though I am enjoying these things, some times they feel like just more things to check off my list.
Do you ever feel this way?
Here’s what I propose we do:
- Take a break today.
- Take one tomorrow too.
- And Saturday.
- And Sunday.
- Take a break only on the days you eat.
Put it on your daily calendar: Do Absolutely Nothing
I’ll wager a bet with you: In one month, 30 days of daily nothingness, you will be changed. In fact, I’m willing to bet you will be amazed at what happens to you when you commit to intentionally do nothing for a period of time every day.
And by nothing, I don’t really mean nothing at all, although that’s fine too. I mean just doing something you want to do because you like doing it. If you’re reading a book for your book club, that’s not nothing. If you’re practicing your golf swing so that you improve your handicap at the country club, that’s not nothing. If there’s a goal or an outcome attached to it, it’s not nothing.
Taking a walk because it’s a lovely day? That’s nothing.
Blasting a bucket of golf balls just because it’s a great way to ruin a lovely Saturday morning? That’s nothing.
A long soaking bath? Nothing.
A long soaking bath followed by washing your hair and shaving? That’s not nothing, that’s checking a couple of things off of the day’s to-do list. Think it won’t matter? Tell me that after you’ve forced yourself out of the tub with greasy hair and your shaving areas still visibly shaggy.
The nothing thing that you do doesn’t have to be the same every day. Mix it up.
Can you do nothing at all for 15 minutes? How about 30? Can you stretch to 60?
It takes 21 days of doing something for it to become a habit. The first few days are hard because you have to remember to do it. Then it gets harder because the novelty has worn off and you haven’t yet started to see any benefit. Keep at it. Keep the commitment to yourself. By the time you’ve been doing it for a full month, it will become part of your routine and you’ll see the benefits.
Most of us do much better at forming a new habit if we hold ourselves accountable for it.
So, here’s how we’re going to be accountable to each other:
To get started, head over to the Facebook Group, Life is HOT and add your comment under the post: My Goofing Off Life. Tell us two things:
- What you’re going to give up doing so that you have time to do nothing.
- How much time a day you can commit to doing nothing.
- Then, pop back in from time to time and let us know how you’re doing. If you want to share a photo of yourself doing nothing, go ahead.
Your Personal Appraisal
- How many hours in a month do you allow yourself to engage in a simple pleasure, or mindless nothingness?
- What are you going to trade in to gain time in your life for yourself?
- Will you start today?
Live Honest, Open, and True
You’re a person, not a robot. You are not here on this planet and living your life to be a 24/7 slave to the needs of others. Make the commitment to do something for yourself, by yourself, or even do absolutely nothing at all, every day.