The fine art of doing nothing

Recently I’ve been quite unwell. At the age of 56 I realise I’m truly ‘vincible’.

Covid that unanimously unwanted guest came to visit totally unannounced and with no clear leaving date. Covid made me stop all normal activities and sit with them, sleep, lie and stop. Recovering from Covid feels like being in a Maze. I know eventually I will surface but I have no idea when that will be and I am experiencing many false starts, dead ends and backwards steps on the road to recovery.

But alongside the frustration has come an acceptance and one unexpected benefit has been a slight joy in doing less, or I should be honest here, on many days doing nothing. Doing nothing, planning nothing and I have permission to be like this. After years of living in constant overdrive, feeling I was constantly up against the clock and that every waking hour/ week / day/ month and sometimes whole years were accounted for at last there seems to be some space. Don’t get me wrong I hate having it and I need my energy levels to return, but whilst I have to accept this as my current reality I have discovered the unexpected joy of doing nothing, sweet FA, nada, blank – however you choose to describe it.

My days seem to focus on how little I can do, ensuring if I have to go out I do everything in that one journey and looking forward immensely to returning to base and once more doing nothing. I’m not sure if in purest terms my ‘nothing’ qualifies for meditational or wellbeing nothingness but it is without focus and I do not care if the hand of the clock seems to jump forward without any outcome or output .. I’ve always railed at efficiency and productivity programmes but yet I’ve always achieved this is different, different in a still and empty way.

I wonder if I will allow myself protected nothingness when my body once more enables me to do the physical pursuits I so love. I hope so… you may be thinking ‘you have control – you can make this happen’ and yes I know I absolutely can, but I also know that change can be difficult to embed and the active side of me is more hard wired than the no-nothing version, but I will endeavor to remain an occasional nothingness practitioner from now on.

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