Nothing Doing!

Jul 23

A minute ago, I tripped on the oriental rug in my office. Bad carpet! And if I weren’t so naturally graceful (not), I could have fallen.

And if I had fallen, I might have hurt myself (Ouch!), and the rest of the afternoon and maybe the evening or even many days thereafter would have been taken up with dealing with that. I mean, I could have sprained an ankle, or broken one even. I could have sustained bruises, with blood and everything. Just cleaning that up really eats into your day.

dreamstime_6802168.jpgMaybe I would have had to go the (Gasp!) Emergency Room. At the very least, I’d have to do something with Band-Aids, which are never where I think I put them (see: I’VE LOST IT!), and that activity alone would have taken up a lot of time. Luckily, I caught myself, and have now dutifully returned to the computer, where I am writing this. You think blogs write themselves?

The thing is, because I DIDN’T fall, I saved all the time I would have spent dealing with that but-for-the-grace-of-the-gods-who-protect-the-graceless flop on the rug. So, I ask you: don’t I have some free time coming?

Can’t I just goof off for the rest of the day . . .

Hell yes.

With all this extra time, I feel that I can watch Oprah, an old movie, or Dr. Phil even. Hey! I might learn something. Or listen to music and thumb through all those magazines stacked up on the coffee table. (I never have coffee there. Does anyone? Maybe I should try it today.) I don’t even have to actually read anything all the way through, just, you know, browse.

Better yet, I could tap into my inner Italian and do absolutely nothing. Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, il dolce far niente. “The sweetness of doing nothing.” Not from an American, you haven’t. We feel that we have to be busy doing SOMETHING, anything, all the damn time. We feel guilty if we’re idle.

When people call and ask me what I’m doing, I sometimes make up things. I would never say, for example, Oh, I tripped on the rug and nearly fell and could have sustained god knows what injuries but I didn’t so I took the rest of the day off. They wouldn’t understand. Funny, but even saying that you’re watching a game on TV its more acceptable that admitting you’re just goofing off.

And unless we’re working, shopping, cooking, cleaning, building something, or discovering the cure for male pattern baldness, we feel that we’ve doing nothing.

But think about it. Even when you’re doing “nothing,” and the Italians are the absolute masters of this, you’re actually doing tons of things.

You probably got up, at some point, then you had coffee, or some god-awful protein drink, you brushed your teeth, maybe even flossed (now that’s work!), you watched Good Morning America, you did stuff at your computer, you had lunch, you made a phone call, you made the bed (or just brushed off the crumbs from the crackers you had last night), you got dressed (sweats and a t-shirt count), you washed your face, a little, you looked out the window, you stared at the refrigerator. I could go on and on.

Plus, think of the thinking that sometimes occurs while you’re doing “nothing.” Answers to questions you’ve long pondered can come out of nowhere when you’re not trying too hard to figure them out. Besides, haven’t you ever heard the expression, “First, do no harm?” Well, you can’t do any harm if you’re not doing anything. Right?

Remember when I told you that you didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn unless you actually had to get up that early? Let Them Eat Worms! Well, now I’m telling you this:
Don’t do something, just sit there!

Be lazy! Be actively inactive! Be Italian! You know you’ve always wanted to be. Although these days, most Italians seem to be as busy as we are. They drive like maniacs, so they must have something to do. Or maybe they’re just in a hurry to get where they’re going so they can do . . . nothing.

Look, something could have happened to you today that would have taken up hours and hours, maybe the whole day. But it didn’t. So use this extra time wisely: Do Nothing.

Let me know how that works out for you . . .


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