I want to start a new trend.
I want to make being a total and complete sloth a celebrated event. It should be okay and desirable to be able to report that not a single thing was accomplished on the weekend.
Somewhere along the line I got brainwashed into thinking that I really should be doing something fabulous pretty much every moment of every day. It’s not happening for me, and even if it did, I don’t like doing fabulous things all of the time.
I need some down time.
Years ago on the 4th of July I went to an Indian wedding, a sailing club BBQ and fireworks, followed by a carnival. This is what my sister calls, “putting 10lbs of shit into a 5lb sack.” Not to state the obvious but clearly it all doesn’t fit in. I was having fun at the wedding and had a great outfit but had to leave to go to the BBQ. No chance to change into my cute red, white and blue outfit so I there I was in my fancy silk printed skirt and sandals dancing in the grass. Which was fine until we had to leave to supposedly watch the fireworks from a better spot, but we left too late and watched most of them through the sunroof of my car, which was being driven by someone other than myself who was watching the fireworks instead of driving and we were all screaming “Watch the road!” I was then coerced into going to the Carnival across the street but it was late and it was crazy and I was still in my fancy outfit and just couldn’t take it anymore. I went home exhausted and completely fed up.
Here is another one for you.
Picture a long weekend in the Bahamas, staying on a sailboat. The day before you leave starts out with a walk on the beach, followed by some beers and time at the pool, followed by a game of chess and cheese and crackers on the deck of the boat, followed by a reservation at the one and only nice restaurant on the island…. But wait! At the last minute, just as the romance was getting started….a crusty sailor named Uncle Bob sticks his head into your window and asks if you want to go to a really great party. You and your sweetheart put on some clothes and get on a boat with Uncle Bob and another couple and you are off to another island. The great party is super loud techno music with food that has flies buzzing all around. The party animals you are with love it and you stay for a long, long time. There is another stop at another island. You can’t beat them so at this point you are drinking just to survive. This is a true story. At multiple points in the trip I would ask myself, “I wonder if I could make it if I jump off the boat and start swimming for shore.” This is a clear example of how doing many things doesn’t add up to a meaningful experience.
I can’t blame it on others. I do it to myself.
Saturday started with a trip with my sister to a friend’s house to dig up plants- a whole bunch of hostas, tiger lilies, peonies, etc… really good stuff. It took a while and there were lots of mosquitoes. We then went to our respective homes and planted and watered all of the plants. It was 80 degrees and hot. Then we quick took showers, picked up some sandwiches for lunch, got on the boat and relaxed, read and swam for a few hours. Went back home and got ready to go out to dinner (full hair and make-up) with some friends and to listen to some live music. It was fun.
Was it enough? I didn’t go to Paris, go sailing, make the world a better place, grow or eat organic food….
Twenty years ago I would have been exhausted sleeping until noon and just doing the boating stuff. Followed by a nap, no dinner, and going out to the bars until 2am.
In college and a few years afterward we used to lay around watching television all day Sunday. We had zero guilt about doing nothing. Even if it was a beautiful sunny day. We would lie around watching PBS learning how to garden, paint, cook, etc…. but really we were just vegetating and doing nothing. Kind of like sleeping, except we were awake.
Yesterday was Sunday. My sister and I planted some more plants, took the dogs for a walk and then…..thank God it rained. A lot. That made it ok to take naps and watch old movies. Jaws was on. I watched some of it but decided to turn the channel because I am still a bit nervous swimming in the ocean. That movie ruined me.
So what has happened? Why is the need to do something, be productive, have something to show for it mentality stuck in my head? I don’t like it. I like reading books, listening to music, going to movies and taking naps. That should be allowed on days off, right?
When someone asks you, “What did you do this weekend?” a great answer would be “Nothing, absolutely nothing.” That would be an answer worth celebrating.