Doing nothing is an art,
and in my opinion it’s a skill we all should hone. I’m not advocating laziness – on the contrary.
Think about it: how many times have you stood up from your desk, or walked to the kitchen, or opened the fridge and found yourself unable to remember what you wanted to do? Information overload is to blame – it’s the bane of our existence!
As you set out to do whatever it was at that moment, there was probably a deluge of other thoughts flashing through your brain: things you need to remember, decisions you’re agonising over... All the ‘noise’ that causes your thoughts to get lost in the highway of your mind.
And it’s little wonder. Thanks to technology, there is now more information out there for us to absorb than ever before. Admit it, gone are the days of lying on the sofa at home, just watching TV. Nowadays, you’re multitasking, cellphone in hand: keeping an eye on social media, maybe reading a news article on your favourite app, or checking a text message that’s just come through.
And so your mind ricochets between different chunks of information. Very soon it all becomes, well... just one loud and distracting noise.
Which is probably why ‘mindfulness’ continues to be a buzzword; the idea that we should all live in the moment and experience it in its fullest, satisfying simplicity. Eat without watching TV, chew food slowly and taste it before you swallow. Sit somewhere outdoors with the sun on your back and really feel its warmth...
You probably know this joke: what is South Africa’s national sport? Braaiing. Well, if there were a national ‘hang-out spot’, it would definitely be the stoep. And that’s what we’re celebrating in this issue. (See page 64.)
They come in all shapes and sizes. Braai rooms, patios, balconies, verandas. Call them what you will, they all have one thing in common: this is where we unwind. And, of course, eat, entertain, enjoy our hobbies and read – you name it! But above all, they provide us with somewhere to relax, somewhere to just sit.
I’ve recently had the pleasure of travelling and ‘switching off’ did not come easily. Stress is actually a form of addiction; it takes a bit of effort to shake it off. But once you get it right – oh, the bliss!
At this hectic time of year, with Christmas just around the corner (can you believe it?), my advice is this: sit on your stoep, even if the paving needs to be repaired, the table could do with some sanding and painting, and your roses need trimming. Just go and sit there for a while. And do nothing.
You deserve it.