On Doing Nothing and Having a Lazy Day

Boy with straw hat and log lying lazily on riverbank

Have you ever tried doing nothing?

Not reading, not thinking, not chatting, not rearranging this or that in your room or about the house, not trying to fill your time with anything, simply being?

It’s not necessarily easy. The mind wants to keep doing things.

There’s always something to do. And when there isn’t, we invent it.

Often, it’s on free days that we end up doing a lot because we cram our time with so many activities.

When you write for a living it can be even more difficult because your day may not have the normal structure of a 9 to 5 job.

Even when there is nothing to write, there is always something to edit, revise, improve—the urge is there.

In How to Relax, Thich Nhat Hanh writes:

“A lazy day is a chance to train ourselves not to be afraid of doing nothing. You might think that not doing anything is a waste of time. But that’s not true. Your time is first of all for you to be…”

For many of us, Sunday is the closest we have to a lazy day. It’s the day when—whether we are religious or not—we don’t work and generally take it easy.

It’s good to have a lazy day like that during the week, whether it’s Sunday or some other day.

A day when we try our best not to do anything. When we put everything on hold and breathe and walk and eat and drink and are ourselves but without our plans, without our aspirations, without our dreams, without obligations. When we are ourselves lightly.

If we don’t know how to be lazy, what’s the point of being busy?

If we can’t stop once in a while, what’s the point of going on, persisting in our endeavors?

If we can’t take our time breathing and smiling and being aware that we are breathing and smiling, what’s the point of seeking success, love, wealth, and all the other big nouns that occupy the rest of our week?

I hope you have a lazy day today, and that you will manage to do nothing at least for half an hour. Or at least not do too many things.

You got so much already, you know that, right?

5 thoughts on “On Doing Nothing and Having a Lazy Day

  1. I love the Italian phrase “la dolce far niente” the sweetness of doing nothing. We all need a lazy day from time to time 🙂

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