Yesterday, after a trip to the big city for our weekly groceries, lunch, and other errands, we were back at home, all sitting outside watching a big rain storm. The boys had been swimming and I watered the garden (I didn’t think it was going to rain), we cut open some coconuts and were enjoying the fresh coconut water…then I was just sitting. The boys of course were coming and going from us, wanting something, asking for help, etc…but Eddie and I were just sitting, watching the rain and lightning, listening to the thunder. No phones, no tasks. And I said to him, “it really is a skill to learn to just do nothing.” Then we talked for a bit about what doing nothing means, literally just BEING, quiet or not, but just being there, in that moment.
It’s not really that easy to do nothing. But I’m starting to realize more and more how important it is. Usually either our mind is running or we are running. We check a screen, make a list, read something, look something up we’re curious about. We’re antsy, we think we’re missing something, we think we’re wasting time. But resting, sitting, doing nothing, is just as important (in balance) as doing what we “need to do.” And it really is an art.
It is a beautiful thing to just be.
When we drive through town in the evenings, usually between 4:30-6:30 pm, I’m always looking out the window, noticing people on the street or at their houses. And you know what I see so much of? People; men and women; young and old; children and adults; just sitting on their porch. Watching, talking, relaxing. Just being there. Maybe someone walking by will stop in to chat, maybe someone will call, maybe they’ll see something interesting (like a car full of white people driving by with their windows down). I want to learn to do this how they do this.
Our life is soooo different than it was just 6 weeks ago. We have no animals to tend to, no property to keep up with, no big garden, no customers, no lambs to check on, no business to run (we’re both mostly not working right now), no family to visit, no events or dinner parties to host, and the list goes on. Yes, we’re still cooking and cleaning and caring for children, shopping and finding food, going out to the beach and playing basketball and taking walks - but all this doesn’t fill our days nearly as much as life used to. WE HAVE SO MUCH FREE TIME! It is confusing to me.
I was chatting with a friend a while back and she is in a similar situation where her lifestyle has drastically changed for the time being, and we were saying how it feels like an identity crisis in a way. I did mentally prepare myself for this, because I knew how odd it would feel. I brought lots of books, fiction and non-fiction, because I figured I would fill all this free time with leisure reading and learning (and I have been doing both which is so nice.) I have been able to read my Bible & study it more, journal more. I can take morning walks alone and workout. I told myself this would be a time for my nervous system to reset, to take a chance to breathe, to enjoy some slower days and to BE OKAY WITH THAT!
Over these past 5 weeks, it has really hit me how little time we were taking to just do nothing. I thought we were living a fairly slow life, but compared to here, it was still pretty busy. So, my goals now are to continue to be content with where life is at for us, to glean and learn all that I can from this season where I have more time to take in and not as much is going out from me. And most importantly, to create a plan for when life does pick up again - to make sure we don’t over-do it and we still have plenty of “do nothing” time. Because we know that the craziness of building a house and starting a farm is coming, but I don’t want to try and do it all at once. I must learn to be better about taking things slower - doing a little bit here and a little bit there. I’m excited to build and create with all of us working together as a family, it will be so fun and so good for us as parents and for the boys. But I don’t want to be so busy that we don’t have any time to just sit and watch the rainstorms.
What about you? When was the last time you just sat there and did nothing, for longer than 60 seconds? Can you do it? Let me know in the comments.
“One thing I have asked from the Lord,
that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.”