Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Art of Doing Nothing by Zelda Benjamin

"Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."

A.A. Milne

This past weekend I spent four days in the Florida Keys where people have truly discovered the art of Doing Nothing - friends who live in the Keys like it so much just for that reason. A banner on the official tourism website flashes “Be low keyed in the Keys.”

My first step was deciding to leave my laptop at home. Could I do this? No checking emails, reading distressing news or surfing the web. Messages alerting me to sales and cute photos of everyone’s kids and pets would be waiting for me when I got home.

Learning how to relax is a mental preparation. For me it goes beyond a half hour of deep breathing and meditating. Taking a half hour out of my day is not difficult, but hours spent on the beach or waiting for the sun to set in Key West required patience and perseverance on my part. I was determined to get that Keys attitude at whatever cost.

There is something about being surrounded by water that lets you relax. As soon as we hit Key Largo I felt like I was going to do it. By the end of the first day I had already developed a Keys attitude. I didn’t miss my laptop or that nagging need to check my emails or search for a good airfare.

My husband and I did so well that when we got home Sunday evening we decided not to turn on the computers until Monday afternoon. Okay, so it’s Wednesday now and my fingers have been glued to the keyboard. Sixty-four emails – most of which I deleted and catch up with my critique group (more important than the B&N’s coupons) hadn’t gone anyplace.

Can you give up your computer for a few days?

Relax. Eat chocolate everyday and visit my website for some interesting chocolate facts.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Giving up my computer for a few days is easy, but I hate getting back & looking at my many emails. It's so easy to delete something important. Returning to reality is never much fun, I wish I were in the Florida Keys right now!