Dolce Far Niente!
It’s italian that translate to “The sweetness of doing nothing”.
I think that we often live our lives in time blocks and schedules, and I have been doing that a lot for the past year and I must say, even now. Advance planning is necessary in most situation but I feel that a lot of us who live in fast pace cities forget how to take the time and liberty to do nothing.
To bake for the enjoyment of baking in a kitchen that smells wonderful and not because you have to rush out a batch for your family or a party. To lie in the middle of the garden to read with a glass of cool water,not caring what time it is. To do gardening or to watch the clouds changing into a million possible images. Just living the moment and feeling alive. That is Dolce Far Niente, the sweetness of doing nothing.
Time is a precious commodity and yet we spend a lot of time doing things that doesn’t necessarily bring us happiness. Yes, of course we need to work and earn a living. But more often than not, work and our responsibilities & commitment consumes us. We forget ourselves and forget why we are working so hard for. Is it for another promotion, or a new handbag or a new car? Does the sacrifies we make for a better lifestyle give us a better lifestyle? Meanwhile, life passes by us each minute we don’t realize that we need to take time to do nothing, center our souls and just be happy.
One of the places that is most conducive for me to practice the art of doing nothing, is in Kuala Lumpur. Not in the city but a secluded home by a golf course filled with a familiar warmth of love. It’s somewhat of a holiday home for me, a home away from home and I go there with no plans, just ready to do whatever I feel like at that point of time.
As I was telling some friends, it’s hard to wind down and do nothing. Everyday I’m busy, running errands, doing god-knows-what. The only time I can really do nothing is when I get away from Singapore and away from my overactive phone and email.
I love reading books, printed on paper, old school style. Sometime a thriller, sometimes fantasy or even children books that forces your mind to veer as far away from reality as possible. Where pink hippos fly and mermaids swim in lavender fields. Okay I know I sound a little like I’m drugs but for the longest time, books had the ability to emerse me in worlds of possibility that even movies can’t rival.
I also love to bake. The smells of fresh bread or cookies makes me happy and so does sharing the end products with family and friends and just sitting down to good, preservative-free baked goods.
I love photos and cameras. I love taking photos and also being in photos. It’s a narcissistic indulgence and helps me appreciate the beauty that surrounds me. I’m in love with the beauty of nature especially. Photos reminds me of how happy I am and how blessed I am for the moment, captured in time, even if it’s just on a digital copy. Some day when I’m too old to recall my moments and memories starts slipping away from me, I’ll have my whole life in photos and I’d know I lived my days out beautifully. I only take photos when I’m happy so the more photos I have, the more happy I have been.
And I also write notes to myself, notes that I don’t put on my blog, notes just for my eyes only so that when I look back I remember life as I saw it then. I’ll remember my foolishness, my hopes, dreams, my fears, my pains and laugh at it all. It’s not exactly a diary cause it’s so random and sometimes it can be as short as one sentence. Or it can be written on impulse on my current thoughts just like this post is written. All a little fragmented.
What else do I do in my time away from the world? I paint, play card/board games, take a hike, sunbathe, play word games on the ipad. It may all sound really unproductive but it’s good for the soul to do this and take pleasure wasting the day away. Stress levels drop, perspectives on life changes and you sleep a lot better. No active mind syndrom while trying to fall asleep because you really have nothing to worry about.
But mainly, I read a lot. Time disappears. And when I get back to Singapore again, I feel recharged. My soul and inner peace is ready to conquer another day. I get a lot more focus and a lot more productive.
Work-life balance. That’s my goal for 2013 and I’m going to work towards that and base my choices on that. Might have to hold back on any new Hermes purchases or on shopping sprees for new clothes but I’m still happy cause I know I’m still surrounded by lots of love. I’ll just spend my days in a simple tee and shorts, like my photos.
People make you feel guilty for enjoying, for doing nothing, for wasting your life away while they work hard. And I can understand where they are coming from. If they only knew the happiness they can get from where I am coming from as well. So if you can, I challenge you to take time away from your usual routine. Maybe a weekend off (or if you can afford it, even longer) and do all the things that you normally feel guilty of doing cause they are such time wasters. Stop time for the weekend, leave your responsibilities, commitments, diets, restrictions and societal conformity aside for just awhile then embrace living and find where your soul can feel free to run with the wind.
I may be harder doing than it sounds because we are trained to respond to responsibilities, check our phones, watch our waistlines and stay connected. Just remember that while you are connected to a whole village on Facebook, you have neglect connecting your mind, your soul and your believe system which should be your strongest moral compass through life.
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
Outfit of the day
Tee: Disney World Florida
Shorts: ClubCouture White Denim Shorts
Hair clips: Alannah Hill