I love this time of year and this month should be a lot of fun. I have the conference in Sedona on the 13th and decided to take a few extra days to enjoy the scenery and take in the ambience. I have always wanted to go to Monument Valley (google it, I'm sure you will recognize it) so I am taking another day to enjoy that area before the long drive home. My friends know that I love to drive so between playing music and listening to books on Audible I will be able to keep myself entertained the whole way home. I'm planning on taking some great photos on the trip as well. If I get any that are outstanding I will share.
Claiming the Empty Spaces---The Importance of Idle Time in a Fast-Forward World
Take time to make your soul happy.
You’re just about to leave for your dentist appointment when you receive a phone call saying the dentist has been called out on an emergency and will have to reschedule your appointment.
Congratulations! You are the winner of one unexpected free hour!
What will you do with your winnings?
Answer your email? Return to the project you were working on before you had to leave? Pay bills? Return phone calls?
Let me ask you have you ever considered doing nothing?
If you’re like many of us today in the United States, the thought of doing absolutely nothing for an entire hour seems as wasteful as throwing a week’s worth of groceries out with the garbage. Indeed, free time with nothing to do can generate near panic among some of us who are overloaded and time-starved.
“We seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture,” says Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul. “Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation, but we convince ourselves that we don’t.”
And yet, the harder we push, the more we need to replenish ourselves. As Stephan Rechtschaffen, author of Timeshifting, says, “Each of us needs some time that is strictly and entirely our own, and we should experience it daily.”
The importance of this downtime cannot be overstated. We see more clearly, we hear more keenly, we’re more inspired, we discover what makes us feel alive.
On some level, we know this already. But claiming time to ourselves—time that is often labeled “unproductive”—and sticking to it can be difficult. We need to establish formal boundaries around our idle time to ensure that others—and we, ourselves—honor this time.
Some ways to do this are:
- Make a date with yourself. Get to know someone who deserves your attention—you.
- Stand firm. Learn how to say “no” to co-workers, children, a spouse, or a friend. In just a short while, you can say “yes,” but now is your time.
- Be clear about your needs. It’s not, “I need more time to myself.” It’s more like, “I’d like to spend 20 minutes by myself in the morning before everyone gets up.”
- Be on the lookout for stolen moments. Use the canceled dental appointment to sit on a park bench watching the squirrels climb the trees or the birds in the sky.
- Practice doing nothing. “Doing nothing” is an art, and like all art, you need to practice it to reach your highest potential.
How we define idle time varies by individual. For example, for one person, gardening may be meditative downtime, whereas, for another, it is one more item on the to-do list (to be done as quickly as possible). The park is a great place to stroll through for one person, an opportunity to be in and with nature; for another, it’s a great place for a power walk while dictating letters into your smartphone.
Our idle time should be like a beautiful flower: it has no purpose. It’s just there. And yet, it refreshes us and reminds us of nature’s glory.
Do something that has no purpose other than joy. Take a half-hour a day to surprise and delight yourself. Keep it simple and keep it consistent. If your idle time becomes a “program,” or becomes progress toward some productive goal, start all over again. Remember the purpose is joy and nurturing yourself..
It’s stunning, how simple it really is.
If you would like some gentle music to play in the background you might like this. I am attaching a link to a YouTube of music to reduce your stress that plays for about 3 1/2 hours https://tinyurl.com/dwxpvnte.
November 13th I will be the Keynote speaker for the Arizona State Escrow Association Annual Conference being held in Sedona, AZ.
November 18th I'm doing another Stress Tips session for the San Gabriel Valley Escrow Association.
While planning for 2022 should your association be needing a speaker feel free to have them reach out to me to discuss scheduling.
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Stay safe, healthy and happy!