One of the great things about following blogs is that a good one can get your mental wheels spinning. A recent post by Lipgloss Mama provoked a little Mumabulous navel gazing but in a good way. In the piece titled “What Do You Crave?” ( http://lipglossmumma.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/what-do-you-crave.html) Jodi Gibson eschews talk of chocolate, coffee and even hunks to ask readers about their inner most emotional cravings. She speaks of the things we really want but are too embarrassed to admit. For many these “things” are love and self acceptance but that’s not really the head space I’m currently in.
Sure I have a relentless craving for Michael Fassbender but there’s no shame there. (Unless you count the movie Shame where Fassie plays a sex addict. Thank you God. I may have a chance!). My repressed yearnings are far more shocking. What I really want is the freedom to do absolutely nothing – nada, zip, zero, SFA. Its not like I want to sit like a potato for the rest of my days but I sure could take a week of vegetation right now. Umm – make that a month.
This unsatisfied longing hasn’t come about due to motherhood. Back in the Jurassic era when I had a semblance of a career, I would sit plugging financial data into my spreadsheets (my monumentally huuuuuge spreadsheets) wishing I could park my butt on a beach somewhere and practice my pumpkin impersonation. Motherhood has only inflamed a pre-existing condition. The thought of having a whole day to sit and stare at the wall without kids or husband making a single demand is my blue heaven. In fact I was knocked down with the flu over the weekend and secretly enjoyed it. My husband was forced to take over as I lay prostrate in bed for the entire day. Yippee!
Its something that I’m loathe to talk about. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken about it up to this point. It seems strange that something so innocuous should be such as source of guilt. Inactivity is frowned upon in our society(economy). Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins. Increasingly we live in a world where our worth is measured by our achievements and achievements don’t just materialize out of thin air. The harder we work the better we are. Every idle moment has an opportunity cost. Its time frittered away when we could have been building our own personal portfolio.
This attitude is particularly pronounced in the finance industry. In some of the larger investment houses 14 hour days are de rigueur and you’ve sprouted a set of balls once you’ve pulled an all nighter in the office. Ultimately all this work ethic gave us was the GFC. Perhaps if the product development people in the big banks did nothing instead of conjuring increasingly complex derivatives the world economy would be in much better shape.
The Buddhist approach appears positively leisurely compared with the uptight west. They place value on quietening the mind and finding the still spaces between one’s thoughts. Perhaps I should go on a lengthy meditation retreat. Not only would I have the best time just sitting, I could think of myself as a high achiever rather than a lazy bones. (Although ironically thinking of yourself is not the point of such shindigs.) Sadly the spartan lodgings, orange robes and vegetarian diet puts me off the idea*. It looks like I’ll just have to continue to do nothing at home in secret until I can learn to be idle responsibly.
Are you similarly afflicted by feelings of guilt about nothing.
* I apologize for reducing the Buddhist philosophy to its most basic cliches and mean no offense to vegetarians.