So I’m sitting here in the calm of this mild autumn evening while my other half is out catching up with the girls.
I’ve already made (warmed up is a better word) and ate my dinner, watched a few YouTube videos, checked my running sheet for Sunday’s morning service, cleaned out the utensil drawer, downloaded a few more Spotify playlists, read parts of three different books, made some salt and vinegar almonds, drank a beer, checked Facebook, Twitter and Instagram numerous times, and now I’m listening to the Tony Bennet / Lady Gaga album ‘Cheek to Cheek.’
I’ve run out of stuff to do.
Or am I bored?
No, not bored because my mum always said that if you’re bored it’s because you can’t stand your own company. I love my own company.
I love my own company better if my honey is with me.
(Wow! Lady Gaga’s got a great voice. Did you catch her Sound of Music tribute at the Oscars this year? I never knew she could actually sing like real songs, classic stuff.)
Now I’m reminding myself of that dog with the dog-to-human translator in the movie ‘Up’ who gets distracted by a squirrel in the middle of a conversation. (Vicki and I have made the word ‘squirrelling’ synonymous with getting sidetracked in the middle of a task … which is kind of what I’m doing right now. “Look! Squirrel!”)
Back to being on my own.
I was listening to the ‘Wilosophy’ podcast on the way to work, the episode where Will Anderson spends over an hour bantering with Dr Karl. They discuss everything from what is taught in High School to politics, unemployment, the economy science (of course! For those non-Aussies, he’s the Australian Bill Nye). Dr Karl spent some time explaining how the mainstream media works and how we have defaulted to allowing Big Business to dictate what we hear, see and how we live. Because of the way our ‘toys’ have been marketed to us and made more and more affordable–not to mention ‘necessary’– our attention span (and our contentment span) is getting shorter and shorter.
One day we’ll all think only in 90-second blocks and have sub-100 IQs.
At least that what’s Dr Karl thinks.
I believe he’s on to something.
He also says that we tend to feel guilty if we’re not productive. We seem to judge down-days where we just sleep, eat and relax as ‘wasted.’ He sees these times as necessary for wellbeing and won’t consider any downtime as non-productive.
But we’ve been conditioned to believe we need to ‘do’ stuff, ‘achieve’ status, and ‘earn’ accolades and respect.
That’s too much of a burden for every day.
I’m warming to the idea of Sabbath. The ancients would set aside one day when no work would be done, nothing would be cooked, and people would travel nowhere. Millennia later, we have lost this concept in our desire to feel like we accomplished something worthwhile . . . every day . . . every minute of every day.
We need Sabbath. Downtime. ‘Do nothing’ time.
Instead of doing, we simply need to be. Be present. Be with ourselves. Be at peace. Be content.
Take time. Steal it, if we must, from our ‘busy’ lives.
Just to be . . . .
Just. Simply. Only be-ing, not do-ing.
Which brings me back to tonight.
I’m not that good at be-ing.Especially be-ing alone.
I would rather be do-ing (as you can tell by my long list of ‘squirrel’ moments at the top of this page.)
But, for the rest of my alone-time tonight, I’m going to attempt quietly sitting here with a glass of something or another and entering into a place of be-ing. Listening to some chilled tunes. And just being. Resting. Relax . . . Look! Squirrel!
(This isn’t gonna be easy.)