This Monday morning, as I ramp up for my workweek, I find myself reflecting on my weekend. Driven by FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), I tend to pack my weekends full of adventure, social interaction, and new experiences. This weekend’s adventure led me to hike up to Lake 22 with a friend. I got to climb through streams and snow banks, pass waterfalls, and witness avalanches over a gorgeous alpine lake, all while engaging in great conversation. I am full of gratitude for this experience.
But my reflection is actually on the hour and a half after I got home from that hike. As I arrived home, I noticed I was still in “go mode.” I started creating a mental list of all of the chores I should take care of around the house. I thought about tasks I had neglected that day. My inclination to maximize productivity kicked into full drive. I decided the first thing I would do is plant some tulip bulbs out in my yard.
As I planted the tulips (don’t worry, I’m aware that these bulbs are probably a lost cause), I started to notice the sun on my back, and the peace and quiet of my solitude. I decided to take a moment to enjoy that sensation. As a laid out in the sun, I let time slow down around me. I thought about all the productive things I could do: “If I’m just going to lay here I could at least use the time to write in my journal or read my book.” But I let those thoughts go because, in truth, there was nothing I absolutely had to do at that moment. By letting go and enjoying the moment, I became more aware of my body. I made shifts to increase my comfort. I deepened my breath. I used my five senses to heighten my experience. I heard the birds chirping and a child down the street laughing. I could feel vibrations in the earth as cars passed. I noticed as thoughts came in, then I let them go again, staying present in that moment instead of letting them take over.
It is important to recognize how special and rare it is to find an hour and a half that you can gift yourself to do nothing at all. But even 5-10 minutes can help recharge us. As though it appeared to reinforce my experience, I found this article on the importance of wasting time. The key to my success this weekend was recognizing that, counter intuitively, doing nothing is actually quite important from time to time. So if you can find or make the time, do your best to enjoy it.