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The Terror of Just BEing

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The Terror of Just BEing

By Joy Mazzola, Owning Pink

I knew this would happen. Or, actually, it’s been happening, in little peek-a-boo bursts since I entered the nothing. The other day I felt overwhelmed by it.

This feels awesome

I’m loving doing nothing, more than I ever thought I could. For example, today I woke up after nine. I meditated. I drank coffee, caught up on e-mails, cooked (actually cooked) breakfast, and then headed out on an hour-long walk. I walked the dog for another 15 minutes after that, talked to my mom on the phone, took a nice shower, made a big lunch, and ate it at the dining room table reading a Tom Robbins novel. Before I sat back down at my computer I made big mug of licorice tea and had enjoyed three giant, farmer’s-market strawberries smeared with Nutella – the dessert served to the friends we had over for dinner last night.

These are how most days go. And I love it. Did I mention I love it? I LOVE it. I’m not bored. It feels right and healthy, if indulgent. I’m hoping it’s fertilizing the ground for something but honestly, if it never did, I think I’d be okay living this way into the foreseeable future. I’ve tossed around ideas of officially becoming a “homemaker.” I’ve wondered how I’d do as a monk. I’m trying to find a box for whatever this is. A defined role — something I can put in the “occupation” space on my tax forms or could at least explain to people (since the nuance of my speech from a month ago, “I’m giving myself some room to figure things out blah blah blah,” has become stagnant and doesn’t interest even me anymore). Something that contributes to the spinning of the planet. Right now I feel like the Hugh Grant character in the movie About A Boy. “What do you do?” people ask him. “Nothing,” he replies. “I do nothing.” Confused, bewildered, they turn and talk to someone else nearby. He doesn’t care. And neither do I. But…

It just seems wrong

I mean, I know people do this all the time – take extended hiatuses without knowing what the next move is. But that’s generally because they’re utterly burnt out from working 80 hours a week at soul-sucking jobs (which, in my mind, not only justifies their time off, but also provides financial padding enough to subsist for a few months sans income). Or some crisis has befallen them and the thought of participating in life in any conventional way is out of the question – and makes them immune to questioning. Neither of these is true for me. And yet I was called to stop anyway. Called to take this time. I guess I just thought that the time would … lead somewhere. That I’d know something by now. That I’d be on the track or the path or that the North Star would have appeared. I didn’t think the woods would continue to get darker.

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91 comments

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1:45PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

well..... you said you did nothing but you actually did!
cooked breakfast, went for a long walk, walked the dog etc etc and that's
AWESOME!

Before going to work I walk my dog for 15 mins and when he is doing his things, I
do meditate, I do some stretches, breath in and out, admire nature, smell the air etc,
I live with my family in the suburbs so, no city stress until I have to go to work.
I do all of this everyday to keep me going

1:00PM PST on Nov 15, 2011

Thank you

9:42AM PDT on Sep 20, 2010

no matter what you do, people are going to say stuff. since we are conditioned from the time we are born to feel like our worth comes from whatever job or career we have, which is not only futile but turns out to be unfulfilling. i was forced by sickness out of that mindset, and i really admire you for doing what you believe is right for you right now. that takes a lot of courage and personal strength. keep doing what your doing...

1:40PM PDT on Sep 18, 2010

great, great article...truly enjoyed it, especially the honesty...so many of us feel these things, even if it's only a day of doing this... and can't get rid of the "guilt", "should be doing this..." feelings...enjoy...this is truly "just being"...

2:22PM PDT on Sep 17, 2010

yes, just enjoy it!

3:17PM PDT on Sep 16, 2010

Enjoy this time. Savor it. It will not last forever; nothing does. Eventually you will be forced back into the job market or some other "necessity" of life. As Buddha said, "Impermanent are all created things, strive on with awareness"

10:37AM PDT on Sep 15, 2010

That's what I call enjoying life! Good for you (:

10:47AM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

I am in your shoes Joy. But at this point I feel like I am waiting for something to happen. I have enjoyed the long days of summer but I feel like I need to DO something besides just BE.....

9:26AM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

I love aimless days with no set schedules or plans. But then the next day when I'm back in the chaos of my job all of that relaxation goes right out the window and I'm twice as stressed.

7:56AM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

Often I hear what I suspect is BS from people about how much they "love" their job (especially if it is in the past tense, from retirees). The comments posted by others here prove otherwise...Frankly, I always hated the daily work treadmill. It's nice to know that some of us have been able to appreciate and embrace other options.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thanks Shubhra for sharing the wonderful info.

All very good advice! Anyone with pets would do well to follow these suggestions.

great tips

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