Skip to Content

The Joy of Doing Nothing At All

the joy of doing nothingYou can find Linda over at Unveiled Wisdom where she discusses wedding planning for the midlife bride. 

On a recent rainy late winter day, I came across a postcard I received last spring. A little bit of sunshine danced in my hand as I read its words. Ciao Italia!

The postcard was actually an advertisement/invite from the local Tommy Bahama store kicking off their Spring 2015 Collection. It was just an oversized postcard with a picture and a few words, just the way postcards are supposed to be. Compact, specific and quick.

Hey! I’m thinking of you and I’m someplace fabulous!

I like Tommy Bahama. The stores are interesting, they normally smell good and leave you dreaming of being somewhere tropical, relaxing and indulgent. They sell you on ‘the dream’ and I like that. It doesn’t mean I buy a lot from the store, but I do enjoy the overall shopping experience. I feel transported if only for a short time.

This particular spring collection was based on a trip to Italy. Beautiful linen fabrics, casual elegance, easy style. What really hit me was the phrase they used on the postcard: il dolce far niente – “the sweetness of doing nothing.”

Talk about transporting! Immediately the phrase conjured images of lounging (while wearing beautiful clothes, of course), strolling through cobblestone streets, sipping wine, watching beautiful sunsets, or chatting with friends while having no actual plans for days on end.

As a solo-entrepreneur at midlife who’s both, accomplishment driven and full of responsibility – – I can admit that I dream of doing nothing and how sweet that would feel. And then? I immediately dismiss the notion. When I was younger with less responsibility and more time (more years ahead of me than behind me) I would actually allow myself to take time to do nothing. Now I find that I even limit my naps to 20 minutes!

I know life is short, and there’s sweetness in doing nothing. It’s also extremely productive and necessary to recharge and refuel our minds and bodies by having fun and just relaxing.

The Italians have the right idea … long lunches, naps every day, and knowing summers are for a long lazy holiday.

Planning nothing into our daily or weekly schedules should be a priority. It should also be taught in school along with other real life skills – but that’s a whole other blog post.

Unlearning habits such as overworking and constant doing are important, as is learning to set boundaries. We must begin to ignore the voice of GUILT and instead embrace our Italian friend’s mantra, il dolce far niente.

After all, why should we only look relaxed and fabulous while on holiday? Why should we only enjoy the sweetness of nothing while on vacation?

Send yourself a postcard. A quick, compact reminder that now is the time to enjoy some sweet nothing time. Pull out your Tommy Bahama ‘vacation’ clothes, splash some sunshine on your attitude and say Ciao Italia!

To the sweet life!

Read previous post:
Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
Rhubarb Crunch Recipe for Spring

It still feels like winter in Iowa and nothing green will show up for a little while. Even so, I am...