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!

 

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  • I ♥ these so much! Playing and planning with pretty yarns from @pookgb & @bordertart today. 
#knittersofinstagram #knitting #transformyouryarn #handdyed #madenotmanufactured #indiedyers  #naturalfibres #yarnlove Happiness is a well stocked woodpile! Thanks @delamere_logs - no need for gyms /aerobics when you've spent the afternoon shifting logs and stocking the woodshed!!!
#slowliving #homesteading #woodisgood #delamerelogs #growninbritain #shoplocal #renewableenergy Tiny makes! Finally sewed buttons on this crochet cardi, despite having a drawer full of buttons, I ended up using a scrap of liberty print to cover some blanks. Yarn is @thefibrecompany Luma, which is so soft. The blend of natural fibres  make it perfect for baby makes. I buy mine from @tangledyarnuk . Teeny scissors were bought from @beyond_measure_uk
#igcrochet #crochetlove #babymakes #igknitters #themakersyear #transformyouryarn #naturalfibres #haken #crochetaddict #madewiththefibreco #tangledyarnuk #yarnlove #crocheting #crochetingisfun Thomas duvet! Yes, I know "everyone" on instagram sleeps under crumpled linen duvets, but after 30 years we're still using the king size Thomas the Tank Engine duvet my mother in law made as a house warming present. The other side has a more femenine print so we can take turns. Secretly, this side is my favourite!!
#myhouseinaugust #keepingitreal #useitupwearitout #thomasthetankengine #realhomes #childatheart #nevergrowup Carrots! I ♥ my garden so much when the sun shines and it offers up goodies like this.
#girlgardener #homesteading #groworganic  #ediblegarden #growyourownfood #organicgarden Little acorns. There's something about this colour palette that makes me want to get my knitting needles out - and another part of me that wants to be prepared & find my recipe for oak gall ink!!! Yes, still early August, but part of me is already embracing autumn!!
#homesteading #forestgarden #slowliving #permaculture #naturaldyes #embracingautumn #dailywalk #naturelover #keepthewildinyou
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