Friday, November 11, 2011

The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

Il dolce far niente - the sweetness of doing nothing

Just a week ago, I got back from a 19 day Italy vacation and more than once along the way I said this phrase this myself. Now don't get me wrong, there was plenty of running about from one tourist sight to the next and hopping on and off of trains. But there was also the sweetness of doing nothing.

There was watching the sunset over the Mediterranean in the Cinque Terre.

Lingering over pasta-filled lunches.

Napping at the beach in Levanto.

Drinking a bottle of wine on the Spanish Steps.

People watching from a balcony overlooking Il Campo in Siena.

Indulging in gelato.

Wine tasting before noon.

Meandering through medieval streets.

Getting lost in the romance of the Venice canals.

Ah yes, the sweetness of doing nothing. I think the Italians are on to something here. Generally, as Americans, our culture is predominately about doing and achieving. And far too often I've bought into this mentality hook, line, and sinker. Allowing myself to get caught up in the repetitiveness of daily life, checking tasks off lists, and then rushing onto the next thing. But this trip to Italy just reinforced to me my theme for the year, which is all about being in the moment and celebrating life in all its glorious, imperfect messiness. So as a reminder to myself and the other Type-A overachievers out there, sometimes it's okay to do nothing. In fact, it's more than okay, because what is life without joy and amazement, pleasure and curiosity, beauty and laughter? Slow down and savor the sweetness.