Why Can’t You Do Nothing? by Navina Anand

Life has changed. Corona has changed our lives. From March 15, 2020, we have all been sequestered inside our homes. Our real-life social networks and activities have been cut off. 

Inside my house, I had a cook to cook my food and I had a maid to clean up after the cook and to keep my house. I just focused on what I wanted to do and it seemed like my days were full. I always had 24 things pending on my to-do list.  Now those luxuries are gone. The days are packed with daily chores to do and I still have 24 things pending.

Parkinson’s law says “Work expands to fill time”. Feeling bored because there is nothing to do is not the problem. Having 24 things always pending on your ‘to do’ list is the issue. Is it because we are ambitious? disorganized? mismanaging time? Or a combination of sorts. The days are speeding by fast. 

Life after the Corona onslaught has had some strange repercussions. I could not run my routine workout sessions three days a week. So I buddied up with some friends on zoom and ended up working out 5 days a week. Writing had not been a priority in the past couple of years- was busy!  Then because of the quarantine, a friend proposed an everyday writing challenge and what an awesome idea it has been. Writing every day has been beyond wonderful.

 Innovation, creativity, and excitement abound in many of our cooking endeavors. Having people at home all the time motivates one to cook to please them instead of cooking to keep them alive as they ran about their myriad classes and commitments. Usually, we are all running in multiple directions. Now we are thrown together 24/7. The kids are working out together, making music together, enrolling with me in online cooking classes, etc. 

But this leads me to a more important question on my mind. We have been seeing a lot of memes about using the extra time that we have to catch up on all the things that we always wanted to do but couldn’t because we were stuck in traffic, busy having fun with friends, at the movies, at a restaurant, etc. So NOW here is our golden opportunity to get off the couch and chase down that bucket list… But… DO WE REALLY HAVE TO?

Who said we have to do many things? Did your father have a big bucket list? He was happy? My friend was questioning the NECESSITY to have a bucket list. Why should we? What is wrong in doing nothing. No need to read any books waiting on your list..(Why did you feel the necessity to make a list in the first place is another question). No need to practice that musical instrument in your house that has been gathering dust.. why shouldn’t we all just lie on our couch and watch Netflix in all our free time. Why NOT? Do these activities determine our index of happiness? Is one activity ranked higher than the other in the hierarchy of human activities? why? Why is reading a storybook considered superior to watching the same story in a movie format? Why is taking a nap inferior to playing tennis?

Extending that argument on one side, if one has the money, why shouldn’t one be a total bum? If asked by somebody what do you do, why can’t we happily say, I DO NOTHING. ZIP. NADA. I am a bum. I have enough money in the bank for what I need. I am happy. Extending it on the other side, how many activities are too many?  People are always happy to be introduced by their activities, their jobs, and  their hobbies -” S/he is a banker, a musician and an avid trekker, let me introduce you to Mr/Ms……” Why do we crave these labels? vis-a-vis, ” This is Navina. She does nothing “. Why not? 

3 comments

  1. I’m Charu and I love doing nothing. There’s not enough time to do all the nothing you want to!
    I have nothing on my to-do list and that makes me happy! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Exactly Why not??? I feel earlier we had the luxury of doing nothing and not being questioned. I was always busy doing the little nothings and like u said, still had an exhaustive pending list. However with Covid and the lockdown our doing nothing is being questioned. This lockdown for me turned out to be a race with some of my friends on proving that I could cook as well as they could. Why did it have to be a competition, noone knows. But it ended up being one and it completely drained me. That was when I realised I could drop out and it didnt really matter. So yes, I could totally relate to this article. Love the blog babe. Keep writing . (Long comment, but I guess I had to vent someplace 🤣)

    Liked by 2 people

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