Doing NOTHING is really important

Doing NOTHING is really important

Happiness and living your best life does NOT require being on the go ALL the time.

In fact happiness and health does require rest and recuperation.

Too many of us get too caught up in being too busy; but those who’re really happy know how to enjoy a balance…

via the NY Times by Bonnie Tsui

This summer I’m aspiring to be the grasshopper, not the ant.

Remember Aesop’s fable? The grasshopper fiddled away the summer months, while the ants toiled to ready their grain stores for winter. When autumn arrived, the ants refused to share food with the hungry grasshopper. The ostensible moral: There’s a time for work and a time for play.

But what if the grasshopper only looked like it wasn’t working? What if, as an artist, its play was critical to its work, only no one saw it? As summer begins, I’m going to argue for fallow time.

Fallow time is necessary to grow everything from actual crops to figurative ones, like books and children. To do the work, we need to rest, to read, to reconnect. It is the invisible labor that makes creative life possible.

I’m not talking about boredom, though that is part of the broader picture of maintaining creativity. I’m talking about an active refueling that can seem at odds with our fetishization of productivity. Reading a book, visiting a museum, wandering out to people-watch at the park. Though we purport to value artists and romanticize their muses, the aforementioned activities aren’t often recognized as work.

And I’m not talking about vacation or weekends. I’m talking about a more regular practice, built into our understanding of what work is. Fallow time is part of the work cycle, not outside of it. In periodic intervals around the completion of a project, I have lately given myself permission to watch “Deadwood: The Movie,” to nap over the newspaper, to take a walk and restore the white space for complex thinking and writing. It can feel indulgent. It can feel … lazy. But the difference between lazing around and laissez-faire is that I’m actually going about the business of my business.

In taking this pause in production in favor of absorption, I admit that I’m fighting my innate impatience. This is me working hard against my antlike tendencies, ingrained in me by my immigrant parents, modern-day hustle culture and our pervasive, status-quo American busyness. This is me pushing aside the overwhelming in order to think real thoughts.

In a recent post on LinkedIn that went viral, Ian Sohn, president of the digital advertising and marketing agency Wunderman Chicago, wrote in defense of his vision of a healthy and humanistic workplace: “I never need to know that you’re working from home today because you simply need the silence. I deeply resent how we’ve infantilized the workplace. How we feel we have to apologize for having lives. How constant connectivity/availability (or even the perception of it) has become a valued skill.”

…keep reading the full & original article HERE