The joy of doing nothing

the joy of doing nothing

How do you answer the question: What did you do today? Or over the weekend?

Most people I meet respond with the tales of dinners they went to, parties they hosted, sales they shopped at, or kilometers they jogged. In response to these stories, that are often filled with drama and anecdotes and news of the latest fashion or lack of good style options, my answer to this question is often: nothing.

Because when I’ve responded with painting, or reading, or both, people often look at me with a befuddled expression. “Surely no one can spend all weekend painting?!”, their expression seems to say.

For this reason, I often felt like an outlier…the odd one out…because what I do in my free time, in today’s day and age, is nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, we do go out too – for movies {the latest we watched was Captain Marvel – if you’re a Marvel movie fan, don’t miss it!}, dinners, to meet friends, shopping, coffee….but my happiest moments are spent at the painty table, or curled up on the sofa with the cats as I spend a couple of hours lost between the pages of a book.

The joy of doing nothing

For a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me. How many people do you come across, after all, who are content to be homebodys? I thought it was my hermit instincts that were ruling – and we all know that being too much of a hermit {or anything, really} isn’t good for you!

But over time, I came to realize that there is a certain sweetness in doing nothing.

The shift came once I stopped looking for validation for my choices, but came to understand that what for others was a boring-ass way to spend a weekend or a lack of bragging rights {or a good story to impress others with}, was the sweetest joy for me. Its not that I was spending my days disengaged from or uninterested in the things around me. I was spending them with a heart lit up with the passion and the sweetness of doing nothing.

Because “nothing” is actually all of the things that are important to my soul…the things that light me up and drive me…the things to which I want to devote my hours, my attention, and my energy. And unlike a writer who may eventually have a book to show for all the hours cooped up at home writing, I don’t know if I will ever have a show of my artwork or sell a painting – and that is absolutely fine with me. {Not that I don’t want those things, but those aren’t what’s driving me.}

These are the things that tend to get you marked as weird – or maybe it is more of a cultural thing? But is following your joy, even if it is completely different – almost alien – to the people around you, weird? Artists and creatives have, after all, almost always been the rebels and non-conformists; the ones who, through the ages, have been labelled dandies, dreamers, not normal…weird.

But is that really true?

The sweetness of doing nothing

There’s a sweetness in the nothingness. In exploring the contours of your passion. In focusing on the things that bring you joy and contentment. In not blindly conforming, but rather, on knowing what brings you alive, and then devoting your hours and days to it.

Call it crazy passion. Call me a dreamer. Or insane. Or weird. Or a non-conformist. Or….an artist.

It’s okay. I’m perfectly happy doing absolutely nothing. Because darling, what is nothing to you, is of the deepest importance to my soul.

Before you go, tell me this: how often do you do nothing?

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In this world full of noise, the joy of doing nothing is a radical act of self love. Because darling, what is nothing to you, is the very thing that is of the deepest importance to my soul. 

Posted in Soulful living.

26 Comments

  1. I can relate to the joy of doing nothing, but I am so relational I often want my nothing to be with my people. Visiting you today from the blogging good time link up. laurensparks.net

  2. Like you, I love doing nothing. I’m the type of person who enjoys spending free time at home doing what makes me happy rather than going to parties or going out all the time. #ablogginggoodtime

  3. I absolutely get you, Shinjini. Doing nothing or doing something which is not acceptable to the mass society is totally fine. What makes you happy is the question. I, too, have answered many such nothing. ❤️

  4. I’m with you on this. If I have a weekend packed with activities I feel it’s not a weekend at all. I absolutely must have one day when I do nothing – which means I have no agenda. I might read or cook or fool around with the kids or even binge watch television. That’s the kind of day that recharges me.

  5. Sometimes I dream of doing absolutely nothing but I always feel like I don’t have the time. Of course it does haves something to do with having two small children so I am pretty pre-occupied. Often I find that it is my head that I have difficulty switching off. I have to work hard to try and turn it off at times. Doing nothing sounds like bliss! #ablogginggoodtime

  6. I love the time I spend doing nothing. I feel like I’m refreshing me, giving myself a brake from everything, I wrote a blog post about this a while back. So agree with you. Thank you

  7. This question gets me at times. Mostly because when I respond saying I relaxed or slept, people tell me how lucky I am cos I don’t have babies. Like you, I love doing nothing 🙂

  8. Life is a rat race especially if you are trying to balance work and life at the same time. It is important to take time out to just unwind, breathe and actually take in what is around you. Thanks for sharing #ablogginggoodtime

  9. I think you will be among good company with many bloggers, and you are with me. I actually have written on my wall the line of the song Imagine “You may call me a dreamer”, because people do, yes I am weird and different to my family and even my friends, none of the people I am closest too other than my two daughters love art and writing as I do. In fact I spent all of today painting, I played with water colour and then finished with acrylic. So I get you, and I say we should embrace who we are. #ABloggongGoodTime

    • I have found a lot of good company online – among bloggers, in my art communities. Finding those connections offline seems to be so difficult, though, and I often wish it wasn’t! What is it about corporate life (and I am part of that corporate life too!) that makes most people just numb out? I haven’t been able to figure that out. But, thank God for all the dreamers I’ve found online! They help me realise that I’m not the weird one 😉

  10. Doing nothing makes you sane. I so felt that u wrote my heart… It isn’t about bragging and being right in the eyes of society but being right to your own soul. The soul needs to be satiated and doing nothing includes everything that makes the soul happy. So happy i came across this beautiful writeup early in the morning.

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