Stuff Your Resolutions
In a sea of New Years Resolutions and Goal Setting, I am rebelling. I’ve never been much of a new years resolution person. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of starting afresh for the new year – a new haircut, a change in style, a promise to not eat as much bread and butter as the year before…that kind of thing. But setting myself huge goals like getting a big pay rise, dropping a dress size or learning a new language. Forget it! This year I’ve decided I actually want to do less. I want to relearn the art of doing nothing.
Yes, you heard me right. I want to remember what it was like to feel content to just watch a film from start to end without distractions; to loose myself in a book rather than reading social media updates, emails or other people’s blog posts. In the days before home ownership, full time work and part-time blogging I was actually rather good at being lazy and having a lot of ‘me time’. I didn’t feel the persistent need to constantly be doing something and multi-tasking like my life depended on it.
Put Down The Phone
Personally I know that part of my problem lies in my fondness (read ‘addiction’) to my smart phone. Seriously, I can just about remember life before I had Phill’s hand-me-down iPhone 3. Fast forward a few years when Willow Lane was born my phone addiction escalated and I became overly attached to social media. Notification after notification distracted me from what I was otherwise doing – watching TV, reading in bed and, dare I say it, talking to people. I am constantly ‘on’.
However, I vowed to take a little step back over Christmas. To enjoy time with family, relax with Phill and not blog too much. But I soon released that this was all easier said than done. For some I couldn’t settle myself and just enjoy a movie, I had to get up and do something – whether it was cleaning, cooking or tidying. And I was still constantly checking my phone. This all highlighted to me my inability to truly relax my brain and ‘switch off’. I am so used to juggling tasks that when Christmas comes around and I have nothing pressing to do I still make myself do stuff. I can’t let myself have a purely lazy day without feeling guilty.
Just yesterday I stayed in my pj’s most of the day, watched a romcom, ate chocolate for lunch and then read my new book in the bath (After You by JoJo Moyes, if you’re interested). I even relegated my phone to the bedroom for a good portion of the day! I made breakfast and dinner and cleaned the bathroom but those were the only household tasks I did. It felt great. And it inspired me to write this post! It just shows you, how truly switching off and taking time out to enjoy simple things at home can refresh and inspire you.
But relearning the art of doing nothing isn’t going to be easy. It’ll be a work in progress. That constant need to be making use of time, of getting stuff done, ticking things off the to-do list etc can be all-consuming. And the satisfaction you get from doing a lot is great. But I must remember that it’s not the be-all and end-all. That simply doing nothing can be just as rewarding…and re-energising.
Go Easy On Yourself
So the moral of the story? Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to constantly be doing, achieving and moving. Don’t feel guilty for not keeping on top of chores, for not exercising enough or eating too much. Go easy on yourself and learn to ‘just be’ – to enjoy the simple pleasures of reading a wonderful book, colouring in (well it is the latest adult craze), or enjoying a cream bun. For many of us, relearning the art of doing nothing might be the best thing to happen to us in 2016.
For another slant on the limpness of modern day resolutions and goal setting, read ‘The Dangers of Goals‘ by Pandora Sykes.