Friday, August 20, 2010

Relaxing and doing nothing

Yeah, I wish I was relaxing and doing nothing.  Unfortunately that's not the case.  I've been busy lately.  But I always wonder to myself, am I capable of doing nothing?

I've been reading the book Eat, Pray, Love and the woman is on a journey for a year.  Part of the year she is spending in Italy for pleasure.  Just to relax and enjoy herself.  She talks about how she has a hard time just doing nothing.  She always has to have something to accomplish or do.  She also talks about how that is an American culture thing.

I am just like that.  Sometimes I measure days in 'how much I got done'.  Sometimes I think the day is worthless unless I accomplished certain things.  I know as a stay at home mom, I often hear of people saying, 'I can't wait till they go to sleep so I can get something done'.  I say it too, maybe I can get something done when Luke naps.  Or when my husband gets home maybe I can finally do something.  But I hate that.  Why am I always trying to do something.  When my son naps, why can't I just feel like napping, resting, reading or praying is 'accomplishing something'.

I even noticed this when I was working as an electrical engineer at my job.  People work lots of hours, try to do lots of things, just to show that they are good at what they do.  Its the American Way to always want to do more, get more done, be busy.  And that is how we see people, those who can do so many things and many things at once are better employees.

Of course, there are times when you have to do get something done or your house will explode with messiness.  But maybe getting things done shouldn't be the measurement of greatness of the day.  When will playing with a ball outside or laying down on a bed and staring at the wall equal millions of house chores and tasks?

I hope I can take some advice from the book and stop having the idea that life is measure upon getting things done.  Take some time today to just enjoy life.


Lisa C said...

It's hard to let go, I know. For me, I found that removing the external and internal pressures from myself helped. Because why do you think we have to accomplish so much in a day? Because we think we should, and I've found it detrimental to think in 'shoulds.'

I believe that if we stop doing things to impress or please other people, we will eventually figure out how to enjoy our days more and be productive because we really feel like it rather than trying to fulfill someone's expectations (even our own). We learn to give service from the heart, instead of giving because we know we're supposed to.

But first we have to let go...learn to enjoy things, simple things, 'non-productive' things.

Good luck. :)

Mon said...

ah, here is that post.

yes, ithink it's the american way, in the idea of more is best.
but it's also in other cultures, that working hard is necessary, laziness almost something evil. even attitudes like, 'life is hard', makes it hard for some to allow relaxation.

mine has always been loving so many things and fear of regretting my life - that i never did enough of what i wanted. but i've been learning the value of stillness.