Friday, May 6, 2011


     Modern life is full of deadlines and responsibilities. We rush around from one obligation to the next. Even our "free time" is often planned out and carefully orchestrated. What we lack, perhaps, is unstructured time, absolute spontaneity and languid hours of nothing in particular to have to get done. Languid hours in this day and age may be unrealistic, but what about a few languid moments here and there? What about suspending activity and all plans and busyness for even the briefest stretch of time? And watching tv doesn't count.
     I wonder if we can even do it. Most of us are practically addicted to being occupied with something. We are occupied with phonecalls, continuous texting, checking emails, eating, attending to children, work. We are occupied with the rigidity of our routines. We do not make room for unanticipated happenings of any kind in our lives, and they startle us when they come unannounced... even when they bring good news... even when they come to bless us. We suspect them, and fill with fear. We have not counted them into our plans.
     I believe it's possible to become prisoners of our deadlines. We feel choiceless and burdened with all that we have to do. We burn out and our bodies ache. We get pains in our necks and our knees. We can't sleep for thinking about all the things we have to do, all the mountains of obligations, the lack of time for all of our activities. We have to maximize efficiency. We pride ourselves on multi-tasking, on squeezing one more thing in, or two...
     I am going to take five minutes today, somewhere, and stop all of my agenda driven activity. I'm just going to sit. I'm not going to meditate, or plan, or drive, or use my phone, or think about how to handle some ongoing life circumstance. I'm just going to sit and look around. It might make me antsy, or it might refresh me. I don't have to figure it out or plan it specifically. I'm just setting my intention and establishing a willingness. It could make all the difference in the quality of my day. And tomorrow, I might just do it again.

I am going to treat myself to some time today without burden or deadline, some time for doing nothing, and some time for just letting life be.