“Thems was fightin’ words” in our house when I was a kid. If mom ever heard us utter those two words, she had a list of things for us to do. We learned quickly to find things to do for ourselves, since mom’s list was definitely not a fun list (toilets, folding clothes, raking leaves, etc.).
I remember one summer, probably the one between 7th and 8th grade. Our little crew had a solid plan every day. It usually involved taking a mid-day “break” to watch Get Smart at Denis’ house. I’m pretty sure they ran two episodes, back-to-back. So, that took care of about an hour of entertainment. The rest is a blur of football games, hide-and-seek, swimming at Marty’s, riding bikes, and just about anything else that would keep us from having to say, “I’m bored.”
I suppose it’s all those years of training, followed by “advanced” training in college, and then even more in the work environment.
There’s always something to be done.
Don’t be lazy.
If you aren’t busy, you better at least look busy.
Where’s your work ethic?
Aren’t you dedicated to this cause?
Focus on the task at hand!
Don’t be boring (even worse than being bored)!
Somewhere along the way, a lack of movement, or a completed task list, started to equate with the dreaded “b” word. Somehow, a lack of movement turned into an example of laziness.
Is it even possible to do nothing and be at peace with it? Or, do we have to tell ourselves that this momentary lack of movement is just a quick break before returning to another of life’s endless tasks?
When did doing nothing go from being a peaceful state to one of guilty boredom…or worse, an example of our laziness? When did life become a task list?
The next time I’m faced with the challenge of doing absolutely nothing, I hereby promise myself that I won’t be bored (or guilty about my laziness).
I will enjoy the peace of that moment with gratitude.
What’s next? (just kidding)