Giving ourselves permission to do nothing.
In these days of self-isolation what do we do with our time?
Probably like thousands of others, I have dreamt on many occasions of having so much free time on my hands that I could do all the things I wanted to to do other than work, work, work and earn money.
Oh how I had painted the picture, waking up with zest and enthusiasm to get cracking with all the wonderful projects I’d thought of…
Reminds me of the feeling of when I was child! And if you look at children, it’s exactly what they do; Fly out of bed, greet the day with energy and excitement … full blown life!
Is that it? Is that what I am seeking that childlike love of life? Which over time responsibilities, being grown up, sensible, weighing up “is this the right thing to do, is that?”, constantly considering what others might think of what I do and say, conform, conform, conform!
Wow, no wonder we are all tired, feel half dead and robotic in all we do! Reaching for the pill. bottle or latest soap opera to dull that ever so near, yet distant feeling that life ought to be more, be different. It’s too uncomfortable to give it air time so let’s all pretend we haven’t heard it.
What has come to my attention during this time of isolation is the eery, quite disturbing dawning of realisation that being at work with SOOOOO much to do every day, was the slow dawning that HEY that was and is just an EXCUSE, an excuse used to not do all of those things on our “love to do… BUT” list.
Because I’m sat here with all the time in the world right now the days and nights of 12 weeks of self-isolation laid out before me and what am I doing? Or rather what am I NOT doing?
My vision of great success and productivity with ideas and projects (yes, the long yearned for projects….writing a book, art work, gardening, weaving and so on the list goes on), so that after a few days or weeks of this freedom I can hold something up and say “look I’ve done this I’ve created that…WOW, look at me, even in this changing time even in this freedom of having all this free time I am successful. I am able, I am creative, I am an achiever!”
Well, I’m kinda thinking right now, isn’t that just another load of work we put upon ourselves, another but different kind of work that gives us an identity, we are somebody in this world… “Look at me! I’m a writer now” or, “I’ve grown a tomato :)”
The weird thing is and wonder if you can relate to this at all…. Despite thinking yeah thats how I’m going to fill my time and have something productive to show for it…
I’m feeling… Hell no! That’s not how its been for me! Shock horror this overwhelming feeling of… “I can’t be bothered to do any of that” sweeps over me and I can’t seem to shift it!
So instead I spend my time arguing with myself justifying myself to …myself about how guilty I feel for not doing these things. Days pass in this frustration and annoyance with myself… “Come on! Get to it, achieve it, create it!” But I just cannot muster the energy nor the enthusiasm! Then my voice turns to ok just be lazy, watch rubbish tv, while away hours scrolling through Facebook, calling up friends and family on the phone talking pointlessly about things you cannot change.
“It’s okay!” I say to myself. But it’s not ok with that other side of me that looks at me with disgust! I see someone has written a book for kids about coronavirus, someone else is doing a free online counselling course around anxiety… “I should have thought of that” a voice in my head commands…”Oh please” I reply, “leave me alone.. I’m so tired!”
Ok. Ok I decide, I am experimenting with just allowing… quietening all those …you should, you ought, you need to… voices down and to be honest it is a struggle! Quietening them all down and trying to reach that place where I allow and am happy with just being, not achieving anything, not knitting that patchwork quilt blanket that will be passed down as a family heirloom as a reminder of these unchartered times we live in. Just breathe, just allow, just let myself be. No judgement, no pressure, be nothing, be nobody…. just beeee! Is where I am at right now.
My question, therefore, today is…. are you experiencing similar feelings? I question and wonder whether through that allowing, through that just being of having no expectations of myself will I discover that zest and enthusiasm of life I once had when I was a kid? Is it all just hiding through the veil?