The sweetness of doing nothing

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Last Monday, I awoke with a scratchy feeling in my throat and a slight shortness of breath–one in which my poor asthmatic body is smacked with every so often.  As days went on, coughing commenced, followed by a stuffy nose, etc.  My week was spent alternating between happy hours and yoga, spin classes and running, work and rest.  Rest–something I have to remind myself of at times that it’s okay to do.

On Sunday morning as my alarm blared at me,  I initially was fooled into thinking that I was feeling better (!).  Maybe I had rested enough! Well that feeling did not last long enough and as I huddled under my blankets and comforter, I almost had to force myself to dress myself for church.  The rest of my day was literally spent on my couch, alternating between reading, browsing the internet, and most importantly, staring at the television for the glory that is March Madness.

I can honestly say that I do not remember the last time I had a lazier Sunday.  And I can honestly say that I do not remember the last time I had to tell myself, it’s okay, a gazillion times throughout the day.  It’s okay to do absolutely nothing.  It’s okay that I didn’t go on the run I had on my training plan.  It’s okay that I didn’t attend the yoga class I had added to my calendar.  It’s okay that I didn’t finish some of the work I had planned on doing.  It’s okay that I had a day to simply be.

I was reminded of my favorite Italian saying–one which I was more than happy to oblige while I lived in Florence–

il dolce far niente

the sweetness of doing nothing

When was the last time you did absolutely nothing?  Better yet, when was the last time you did absolutely nothing and you felt completely at peace with the fact that you did absolutely nothing?  We live in a fast paced culture–one in which that glorifies the results that never ending hard work gives.  Now that’s not to say that we shouldn’t give our best–but at what cost?  We have forgotten the importance of rest.  Let’s remember how glorious it feels to sit.  Let’s remember how calming it is to let go of any anxieties or to-do lists for the day.  Remember how sweet it feels to do nothing.

jn

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