07-Jul-2009

Doing Nothing

This was a post I had written about six months ago

"By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.” - Genesis 2:1-2

In most places, we pretty much rest on both the sixth and seventh days. Or atleast, theoretically we are supposed to. Not in the great urban milieu. Between going to the gym, attending my French classes and fitting in a social life, my weekends moved at supersonic speeds. That was till I spent a Saturday morning lolling around in the bed. I have promptly abandoned, if not the routine, atleast the guilt involved in not sticking to the routine occasionally. Life seems a little more relaxed.

It turns out it is not just me. Almost everyone in the urban landscape seems to be doing it. I spoke to an old colleague who chanted out her routine –gym, therapy, massage or parlour, family bonding time, children’s school shopping. She actually found going back to office on Mondays restful.

Another colleague spends most weekends driving down with her family to Pune to play golf, gets stuck in rush hour traffic both ways, helps her son with his homework between trips to the course and hurriedly squeezes in gym time before leaving.

There is a Calvin strip in which his dad justifies their lousy camping holidays on the grounds that their normal lives will seem so much better if they traumatized themselves on vacation. The new mantra of weekend busyness seems to be based pretty much on that. Kill yourself in the weekend trying to juggle multiple things, and the office politics, unbearable deadlines and target pressures on weekdays will look positively relaxing.

The option of course is to sit at home, with a good book or a nice movie, take a deep breath and then spend your time wondering if you are the only loser doing nothing.

Personally, I think Doing Nothing as a hobby has been grossly underestimated. When I have Doing Nothing time, I end up finishing niggling little things that tidy up life like clearing up my mailbox or filing away my papers. I end up talking to friends from out of town (the ones who are not busy rushing from point A to point B) or long lost relatives. I read the multiple magazines I subscribe to and the interesting stories on topics I would not have normally read about. I catch up on mindless TV. I gaze out at the lovely sea view my house provides.

And somewhere during the course of writing this entry and abandoning it, I seem to have given up on French, I go to the gym in the weekdays and spend weekends Doing Nothing.

Life is great.