I recently received a charming little book titled The Art of Doing Nothing by Veronique Vienne. Published in 1998, it’s just as relevant today in our hurry-up-and-do-something world as it was then.In fact, the main point isn’t so much about doing nothing as it is about finding ways to rejuvenate ourselves through such activities as breathing, yawning, napping, and listening.
I was particularly intrigued by the chapter on meditating and found the following sentence to be most relevant to where I am in life’s journey. “Enlightenment is just another word for feeling comfortable with being a completely ordinary person.” How does this resonate with me?
For the first time in my adult life, I am unemployed. This is different from not working, as I fill every day with work of my choice: gardening, reading, playing piano, puttering, even cooking (of which I’ve never been a devotee). It’s almost to the point where I ask myself, “When did I ever find time to work?”
The last company I worked for closed at the end of 2013, although I had some duties to fulfill after that. Once finished with company business, I turned to house and paperwork projects that had been long ignored. Fixed wobbly toilet paper holders and renegotiated telephone contracts. Created my container garden and thought about cemetery plots. Had some furniture re-upholstered and paid bills.
About a week ago, I realized I’m relatively caught up, and I can do whatever I want on any given day. It’s a perpetual weekend, something I never dreamed I’d experienced. And it’s my version of feeling enlightened.