The Art of Doing Nothing

I have been avoiding writing for a while now. I keep telling myself that I want to, but I then the writing never materializes. I’ve been slightly avoidant; finding little things to check off my list while procrastinating on the things that take more emotional involvement, or involve more difficult decision making. You could even say I’ve been wallowing in a little bit of self pity (This thing is so hard, I should just take it easy and have a glass of wine instead. Or, I’ve been working so much, I should just relax and do nothing.). 

And then … I actually end up doing nothing. And feeling terrible about it.

Is doing nothing such a bad thing? Maybe I really don’t know how to unwind. Doing nothing gives me that uneasy feeling of regret over wasting time that I could use to be “productive.” Contrarily, doing nothing can be a good thing — time to decompress, de-stress and let go of so much unwanted tension and pressure. Planning to do nothing is a hurdle for me; actually doing nothing is an even taller one.

The anxiety that stems from doing nothing has always negated any benefit that it might offer me. I’m absolutely terrible at relaxing. Just horrible at it. Every massage I’ve ever received yielded an unprecedented amount of abhorrent comments from every practitioner of the trade: “You’re ridiculously full of knots” and “You need to relax or I won’t even be able to do this” or “How on earth are you so tense?!”  Physical therapy, massage therapy, casual massages … all the same. Apparently I’m walking around with the tension of someone who actually has a stressful life. So what’s the deal? I need to learn to chill out …

Today, in front of God and man and all the Internet, I proclaim my promise to myself: to learn to properly relax. I am going to take very seriously my newly declared dedication to the art of doing nothing. From this point forward, I am going to actively pursue the steadfast ability to release tension, cope with unwanted stress and to sleep peacefully. I will remember the importance of a quiet mind and a calm soul. I will allow myself to do nothing without anxiety. I will give myself time to let it all go.

This is gonna be so good.


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