Friday, October 22, 2010
Down time is good
The temp job I've been doing is on hiatus while the client is out of town this week. I've been taking full advantage of the down time: painting (hence the piggy above), blogging, filing and tossing papers, taking stuff to Goodwill, etc. Chris over at Writing by Ear reminded me of the joys of reading, so I actually headed to the library yesterday and got—are you ready for this?—some grown-up books instead of children's books! I'm pretty certain the librarian looked at me askance... she was probably eying my history of check-outs and wondering where I'd hidden my child... OR she phoned the police upon my exit to report a stolen library card.
However, I am proud to say that there are now three real books on my dining room table. A classic (Twain short stories), a favorite (Anne Tyler), and an author I've yet to read who came highly recommended by a good and literate friend (Richard Russo). I am really hoping to crack open one of those beauties this weekend.
I need to make a deliberate effort to unplug and clear my mind instead of filling it with static. It's funny; I've talked to different pals, and most of us suffer from a sort of guilt when we have unscheduled moments. We want to tell people what we're doing, even people we barely know. We don't want to appear lazy, or shiftless, or unmotivated. It's a shame, really, because I am a firm believer in boredom for children; I think kids need to be permitted to achieve boredom in order for them to become self-sufficient and able to entertain themselves. If that's true for kids, wouldn't it also be true for adults? How can I ever think an original thought, or work through a tricky problem, or hear God's still small voice if I am constantly filling every minute with busy-ness and white noise?
It's a difficult state to achieve, inactivity—and even more difficult to maintain. Yet, it's worth the effort, or lack thereof in some cases. I'm going to try to make more unplanned, guilt-free time. Maybe I won't even read those books for a couple of days. Maybe I'll just sit, or stroll, or lounge with a cup of tea under a fuzzy blanket.
I'd better hurry up and do it, though... clothes need to be folded, dinner needs to be planned and made, and I'll be meeting that school bus in less than an hour. Once again, life intervenes.