Busy Doing Nothing

Sometimes I wear my “busyness” like a badge of honour. Being “busy” equates with success and achievement. On holiday, I noticed that I was far happier  when I was “not busy”. Those days when I sat by the pool, meandered around the garden or strolled down to a local cafe to mooch and enjoy an espresso with Mr T were some of the loveliest days I’ve had this year. We relished having nothing to do, nowhere to be and no-one to please but ourselves.

I came home with a sketch book full of ideas, swatches for new designs, hundreds of photos taken with my new camera and I refound my creativity. It’s the first holiday in years when I haven’t felt homesick within a few days of arriving. The beautiful gardens surrounding our holiday cottage were so wonderful we didn’t feel the need to stray far from home. We didn’t “tick off” many tourist destinations, we hardly ate out and we spent very little. What did we do? We swam, Mr T cycled. We visited the local towns and markets, bought local cheese, meats and honey (oh yes, and wine of course). We cooked simple meals, we talked, listened to each other and in the interests of full disclosure I should tell you we spent  more afternoons than we should enjoying a “siesta”! We watched TV coverage of the Tour de France (and saw some of it in the flesh), we didn’t feel the need to apologise for wasting our time in such trivial ways.

Since we came home, I’ve tried really hard to spend time doing “nothing”. Every day I have taken an hour out to go for a walk or tend the garden. I’ve been happier, less stressed out by deadlines and negotiating commissions. There have even been days when I’ve pulled the cobwebs off the deck chair and sat in the shade under the hazel trees to read a book.

This time, usually early in the mornings has often been the best part of the day. Disconnected from the internet, phone on silent I have been more aware of nature and more aware of the people who matter. For the past week, each day has begun with a walk in the local forest. I wasn’t aware of the concept of “Forest Bathing” until recently, but the idea that being outdoors is good for mental and physical well being isn’t a surprise to me. Ask any gardener, and they’ll wax lyrical about how much better they feel after an hour of weeding, dead heading or pulling up weeds – even the mundane tasks improve our moods!

The other thing I’ve noticed is this: No-one has noticed I’ve been disconnected! Nobody has noticed that I haven’t been answering emails, posting online, commenting or responding until late in the morning, sometimes not  even in the afternoons. In short, my day has started later and yet I’ve achieved the same, sometimes more in less time and in a better frame of mind.”

Slowly, very slowly I’m losing the need to appear busy to outside observers. I don’t feel the need to justify how I’ve spent my day or have something concrete to show off. Busy doing “nothing” is probably when I’ve been most creative, happy and above all, content.

I just wish I had learned this lesson in my twenties, not my fifties!

 

Leave a comment

6 Comments

  1. You’ve inspired me… I think I’m gonna lay by the pool this weekend an give myself a break :)

    Like

  2. Quote: “…more afternoons than we should enjoying…” Don’t ever apologise for that! I’m pleased for you. As an early retiree married to an older one, our only deadlines are my care calls at 1015 twice a week, and 3 other afternoon calls. The bliss of both being night owls who are “allowed” long lie-ins will never be taken for granted! Since we abandoned “normal” living for extra care apartment-living, our lives have transformed. Pete is currently making a fab made-from-scratch meal while I write this…it is heaven!

    Like

  3. Tracey

     /  August 11, 2017

    Shirl, it seems to me that the hardest lesson to learn when you live with chronic illness is not to be resentful of the enforced inactivity. It seems to me that you and Pete have mastered that art so well. Enjoy your weekend. Tracey x

    Like

  4. Tracey

     /  August 11, 2017

    Enjoy your weekend, thanks for stopping by and saying hello x

    Like

  5. Thank you Tracey. Pete’s off to watch beloved Oldham play footy in Wallsall while I write. I’m having an away day at home with just one care call. Part of being on enforced idleness is finding the right things to do. I’m at my creative maximum and that is good. Have a lovely weekend, Tracey and Mr T and a really good week to follow, Shirl D x

    Like

  6. Sounds like a wonderful holiday and so glad you’ve transplanted some of that wonder back into your everyday life. Nothing is something very special indeed.

    Like

If you liked this post, please click the share buttons and tell your friends. Thank you

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Follow Me

  • I’m Tracey Todhunter. I’m a freelance writer. specialising in green / ethical living – with a “sideline” in craft!

  • Follow Baking and Making on WordPress.com
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • And so it begins - checking the text actually fits the flatplan, swatching, proofreading & wondering why I put myself through this! New book nerves!!! Really looking forward to sharing this one' progress from plans to print over the next few months
#amwriting #crochet #horgolás #haken #haaktechniekenbijbel #uncinetto #grannycoolcrochet #crochetgirlgang #crochetconcupiscence Toadstools - definitely not the edible kind! Hooking up a few of these today & remembering how satisfying quick crochet projects can be!
#crochet #amigurumi #lovecrochet #naturalfibres #grannycoolcrochet  #horgolás #crochetmakesmehappy #häkeln #crocheteveryday The perfect yarn / button combination? About to cast on a baby cardigan, an excuse to use these beautiful buttons from @textilegarden. I like to use natural fibres and this wool & mohair blend from @thefibrecompany is a firm favourite, especially as it contains a proportion of British wool. We should celebrate our British wool industry & the farmers & shepgerds who give us beautiful, sustainable fibres to work with. 
#choosewool  #britishwool #supportbritishwool #knittersofinstagram #wool #buttons #knitting #yarnlover #woolweek #woolworks #madewiththefibreco Exciting post! My review copy of @emmavarnam 's new book just arrived. Can't wait to sit down with a cuppa and enjoy this! Perfect inspiration for the ladies on my next granny squares workshop.
#grannysquares #grannysquares rock #grannycoolcrochet #grannysquarelove #amigurumi #crochetblanket Yesterday I made more elderberry jelly, but ran out of jars! Lucky my neighbour saves all hers & what was left is now in  one of my @littlewrenpottery bowls. It feels like we're approaching peak autumn here, the starlings have stripped the rowan tree of its berries, the oak leaves are turning and the forest floor is strewn with sweet chesnuts. This really is my favourite season. 
#embracingautumn #upandautumn #autumn #thisautumnlife #slowliving #homesteading Weekend window view. I spent the weekend staying with a friend in Derbyshire, every time I visit the view from my bedroom window changes a little. On Saturday morning I sat drinking tea in bed watching the river, hoping to see a kingfisher, but content just to see the ducks!
#morningslikethese #slowliving #thewayweliveinthecountry #wildweekends
  • Previously on the blog…

  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Currently Reading (not sponsored): No Serial Number

  • Products I love (not sponsored): 9 Meals from Anarchy Veg Stock

  • Engaging the Public with Climate Change (Co Author):

  • Crochet: Learn It, Love It (Author)

  • Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet (Author):

  • The Drift Collection (Contributor):

  • Whimsical Hats (Contributor):

  • Hand Made (Contributor):

  • Dorling KIndersely Guide to Crochet (Contributor)

  • The Legal Stuff:

%d bloggers like this: