One of the things I struggle with most is relaxing. I find it hard to sit and do nothing. Nothing. I can sit and read. I can sit and eat. I can sit and watch TV. But to sit and do absolutely nothing is something that’s beyond me. And yet despite well-documented failures, I keep trying.
Arguably, one is always doing something even if sitting doing nothing. But what kills my intent even before I can append the -ion is that while the very thought of doing nothing is appealing, that feeling of wasting time is like the proverbial damp squid at a fireworks party.
I never made it to Palatinus last summer, the outdoor pool complex down on Margaret Island. I may have gone once the year before and perhaps twice the year before that. And this despite the best of intentions to spend each and every Friday afternoon there, if I’m in the city. Or at least one day in the week.
Today, I went. I was organised. I got there about 12.30. I met some friends who were just a tad too far a walk from the water for my liking, so I headed to my usual spot (if one can have a usual spot after four trips in as many years). I got my chair, plonked my stuff, and spent an hour nattering in the thermal pool, my sense of well-being nicely complemented by the smell of rotten eggs. Then I sat, read, looked around, wandered to all sorts of places in my mind, looked around some more (nothing beats people watching when it comes to value for money), ate, read, dozed, swam, and repeated this for about four hours.
I don’t think that I had one thought related to work, bills, or my to-do list. I didn’t think about tomorrow. I never once checked the time or my phone. Surprisingly, despite the crowds, it was amazingly quiet. It seemed like everyone was in the zone – or perhaps it was too hot to bother with much of anything.
My mates came down about 5 for a last dip and then we had a drink or two before heading home. Nearly a full eight hours – nearly a full work-day – spent doing sod all of any consequence. And man did it feel good.
This week, as the world begins its World-Cup detox, I’m grateful that I might well be getting the hang of just hanging out.