Sunday 24 May 2015

How to enjoy doing absolutely nothing

Do you ever have those days when you just want to escape? Get out of your own way and try something different? Well that's exactly what I ended up doing recently, and I absolutely loved it. It's not like I took a trip to anywhere exciting, or even got out of London, so don't go thinking this is some far fetched love affair where I hopped about the Eurostar just because. In truth, I only got as far as Covent Garden, but in reality, I could have been anywhere in the world that day, I was so content. 

Let me set the scene, it's a hot spring afternoon, I'm rocking some matching underwear for once and I'm feeling good as a result - you know, 'just for me'. I'm in town because I have some errands to run, but I finish up by 3pmish and it's such a nice day that I just decide not to go home. I message my friends to see if anyone can come play with me, Kiran can, but not for a couple of hours, so I set about deciding how to fill my time. 

I walked back into the main Piazza of Covent Garden and it was literally alive with people, performers, musicians and magicians; it was a buzz of laughter and good vibes and I just smiled. I totally enjoyed being swallowed up in the foray of people and goings on. Until a guy stopped me; 'Excuse me miss, can you spare 10 seconds?'. I scanned him up and down, checking for the clipboard but there wasn't one, so I said OK. 'Can I just tell you that you look great today, have a nice day!' he said, and with that he just turned round and sauntered off. I couldn't believe it, this guy was probably 20 at the oldest, a cute looking kid in all regards but the fact that he'd come up to me and said that, put a massive smile on my face. 

I love that about London! The brazen behaviour of men sometimes is enough to make any girl feel happy, it's just nice. Anyway, I carried on walking about and there was a group of people promoting their religious beliefs. One asked me if he could talk to me for a minute, I was in no hurry so thought sod it, and I'm so glad I did. Not because we debated beliefs or disbeliefs, but because sometimes it's just really nice to talk to a stranger. To engage and question things and to actually have an enjoyable few minutes chatting with someone totally random. 

After that I went and found a spot in the sun and sat on the curb along with a group of other people listening to a local guy play the guitar. I must have sat in that spot for about an hour and a half as different acts came on and played away, the crowds clapping and cheering them on, some drinking, some dancing. Me, I just sat there and listened, until I got out the diary I had bought earlier in the day and just started writing. I wrote down all my thoughts from the day, my observations and the main things I didn't want to forget. 

It's bizarre but the whole time on my own felt so empowering. Just being a speck amongst all these people, not a single one who knew me, nor I them, I was lost in my own world with nobody to bother me. 

I made a mental note to remember the feeling and to take stock of the day. I think the Italians call it Dolce far Niente - the art of doing nothing - believing that doing nothing just gives you chance to refocus, find balance and to take stock I guess. The truth is, I did nothing of note the whole afternoon by myself, yet it gave me a sense of perspective which I haven't had in a long time!

I know this was quite a rambling post but I really think that if a few more people learnt to get lost in something other than their strict routines or habits for a while, the change you'd feel would be just as effective. Perhaps short lived, but it would definitely make you stop and think. 


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