In times past, I’ve never enjoyed idle time. Something about actively not doing anything made me feel lazy, unproductive, and well…bored. If I don’t have a to-do list that’s as tall as I am or a million things to keep my attention and drain my energy, then what am I doing with my life? Wasting away into a quiet oblivion, destined to be a failure that lives in one of those huge, rent-controlled apartments in Greenwich with a half-dozen cats, a garden, bookshelves full of steamy romance novels, all alone knitting and drinking tea? (Well, add in a lover and being the author of a few of those novels and maybe that doesn’t sound too bad…)
But lately with a lot more tim eon my hands and a new reason to explore opportunities, I’ve found myself with more idle time than what I know to do with. My first instinct, of course, is to fill it up with coffee and drink dates, classes, aerobics classes, freelancing, and cleaning sprees. But after a while of filling up my days with time slots and blocking off designated periods to do designated things, it occurred to me that really, idle time with no obligations – except to myself – is a great way to think of new things. It’s a great time to consider things I never took into consideration. It’s a good time to figure out what I want, what I need, what I desire, what’s most important, what’s happening, what could happen – and the differences between all of those.
Idle time is a great way to…imagine.
To stop doing everything just as I did it. Even if my choices have led me in different directions than I expected, maybe I could be making better decisions. Maybe I could be a better person. Maybe I could be happier or stronger or full of more spirit. Maybe I could be a more knowledgable writer who takes greater risks that reap more reward and of course, more shortcomings. Maybe I could be a better friend who slows downs and listens when her friends needs them, who is supportive and more readily available, and who actually returns phone calls, emails, and text messages (I’m sorry). Maybe this blog could be better or maybe I don’t want to blog at all. Maybe I want to live in New York – maybe I want to take a year off and move to Australia for the hell of it and to fully experience going down under.
Maybe idle time gives me freedom to dream and to imagine all of the things my life could have, if I stopped for a moment. If I stopped filling it up with all of the things I have to do because of who I am – maybe who I am is different from the person I imagined. If I stopped being dead-set on one career path and imagined all the innovative ways I could do what I love, make money doing it, and broaden my skill set.
Maybe if I stopped doing because that’s what I’ve always thought got me places and started imagining because that’s what I feel like I doing – I’d imagine myself doing and being something more than what and who I am.
Daily Gratitude: I’m thankful for unexpected opportunities. No matter how scary they may be.