It’s just a chair. But it surrounds me with warmth and comfort on a cold morning. My coffee cup warms my hands and I set it down to fire up the laptop to begin my day.
Some days I want to melt into the chair and be invisible. I don’t want to write anything or edit anything. I don’t want to Like or Love anything on Facebook or Share or Like anything on Twitter. Instagram is a non-issue. I’ve forgotten my password. I happily leave Pins hanging on Pinterest.
Some days I just want to stare at the bright red petals of the poinsettia, the blank television screen, and the patterns of light on the floor as the sun comes up. Today is one of those days.
I have to get dressed eventually, but for now my mind is blank as I count my breaths, smell the coffee, and fight off the thoughts that try to capture my attention. All too soon I’ll find my mind wandering into its normal channels.
Some of us were raised to think it was wrong to be idle. I think it must be deep in our roots. If I sit for more than ten or fifteen minutes, I feel guilty. So much to do. So little time. Get your butt in gear and get busy.
My mom was a joiner—Girl Scout Leader, president of every club she joined, excellent cook and homemaker. She even worked outside the home for a while. My dad was the same. He worked, belonged to Rotary and the Masons, served on the Planning Commission, ran for City Council (lost), and he did his duty as a Naval reservist.
It was only natural that my sister and I racked up long resumes of service in high school and continued to bog ourselves down with commitments throughout our lives. I remember a point in my life when I had three calendars: one for work, one for family activities, and one for my volunteering.
As I get older, I’ve come to realize the value of not having a blasted thing to do. It frees your mind, it’s like walking into a majestic redwood forest and being surrounded by bunnies. You smile and nod and keep walking because they aren’t going to ask you to do anything.
For all of you who have filled your lives with busy thoughts and commitments: stop. Sit in a comfy chair on a cold morning. Enjoy your coffee. Let your mind go blank. Give yourself permission to stay in your nightclothes for the entire morning and do nothing. You can be active and productive tomorrow.
Now, if only I can follow my own advice. (Sigh)