Saturday, 2 February 2013

Permission to Do Nothing

Although being retired doesn’t mean, to me at least, sitting around doing not very much, it is OK to do pretty much exactly that, every now and then.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been racked with guilt whenever I’ve spent a day not being “productive”. But my personality traits mean that every now and then, I need to have some time out. So, I take those time outs, and then afterwards, feel incredibly guilty about it. I mean, really, I should have been cleaning the house because it is a pig-sty, but instead I sat around and read a book for the day. Or I should have been organising the next girly get-together because we haven’t seen each other for months, but instead I watched a rom-com movie.

a "non-worthy" pursuit - baking melting moments!
All the things that I did I put into one of two categories – worthy pursuits and non-worthy pursuits. Things like reading a book, or watching a movie, or doing a crossword, or making cards (ie all the things I actually enjoy doing) fell into the non-worthy category, or course! And if I did any of the non-worthy pursuits when a worthy pursuit was sitting there waiting to be done, I felt guilty about it.

But, not anymore!! Well, most of the time, anyway. It has taken me a LONG time to realise that there will NEVER be a time when there isn’t a worthy pursuit waiting to be done. And if I don’t do those non-worthy pursuits until there are no more worthy pursuits, I’ll never have any fun!

So, that whole way of thinking has to go out the window. No more “worthy” and “non-worthy”. Now there is “time-constrained” and “non-time-constrained”. By that I mean, things that have a deadline, and those that don’t. That has freed me up to be able to make more choices about how I spend my day, and not feel any guilt about what my choices are.
trashy magazines, courtesy of the doctor's surgery!
Today was one of those days where the planned things just didn’t happen. Bad weather meant my exercise class (Use It or Lose It, a wonderful class lead by Denise and Fred from Wellbeing Fitness) was called off (we do our class outside at Bicentennial Park). And the idea of heading out to visit a friend in hospital was just not going to happen. So, instead of tidying up the spare room, or mopping the floors, or doing the mending, I read a book and some trashy magazines. I pretty much only got off the lounge to make a coffee. Loved it!

The way I see it now, I only have one chance at this life of mine, so I want to enjoy it. And if that means doing pretty much nothing sometimes, then that is exactly what I’ll do. Those other, “worthy” pursuits, I’ll get to them tomorrow J.

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