the glorious ritual of doing nothing

Today is the start of a week off.  The routine of work doesn’t get a look in for nine days.

To kick start proceedings I sat down with a trusted friend – my weekend papers along with a cup of earl grey tea (oh and a chocolate croissant. damn you incredible Argentinian family bakery for only being 2 minutes from my house).  Any who.  After the Monday to Friday routine of doing and being and talking and seeing, where time is your own but not, I love nothing more than to read the papers and stretch out like a fat cat in the sun with unguided, unrestricted time and reading material.  To me the act of carving out expansive time where nothing is required from you, where you do exactly as you want is the gentrified older statesmen of rebellion.  Some would see it as lazy and self indulgent, I see it as an essential medicinal pause in an otherwise action orientated, noise filled do do machine of a world.   Rebelliously pulling out of the slip stream of our constructed lives to just ‘be’.

It is a ritual which I have performed countlessly over the years and which brings much pleasure.  I enjoy and require a fair amount of cave time, time out from doing, talking, being and seeing.  Clocking off allows me to recharge and gives me the beans for another round of playing nicely with others.

The Italians have a saying “dolce far niente” – “the sweetness of doing nothing”.  And this is a personal religion to which I am a slavish devotee.  I have no aversion to action, to doing, to turning up to the world, but not 24/7.

We are surrounded by rituals, in religion, sports, societal rights of passage (ie: turning 21), business…..the list goes on.  I love the rituals we create for ourselves the ones we grow into which help us navigate the world and celebrate whats important.  The ones we share (or shared) with love ones that bind us together and give us a sense of belonging.

Im curious to hear about other peoples rituals……..created or inherited from family or friends that bring you joy and a deep connection.  That help you navigate your world.  Do share…..


About maree

I'm creative and curious and love writing about the fine and messy art of creating an authentic joy laden life.


  1. Mel-O

    Don’t know. Don’t have the time to think about them. But if you want to take the kids next weekend so I can rediscover ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’ I promise I’ll give it some thought!

    Love ya Muzz x

    • Hey Mellow

      yeah Im sure ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’ doesn’t resonate with parents…….the two are just oil and water, or so I am told and have observed from my friends with babes.

      Currently not being in a relationship or a parent means my time is my own. So I get to enjoy the benefits that brings, though on the flip side not the joys of parenthood and partnership (at this stage). So I suppose whatever we’ve chosen and are currently in has its pluses and minuses. And Im enjoying the pluses :-).

      And you know your more than welcome to come over to mine for some reconnection with doing nothing, anytime.


  2. Helen

    hmmm joy and a deep connection! well my joy is getting home from work and having a bath and putting jammies on, having a chat with husband over a glass of wine then dinner and a night on the couch with favourite program. That sounds pathetic and weak but believe me when you have lived in Christchurch earthquake war zone for the past 12 months simple things like a hot shower and power is joy! add to that a conversation with a loved one and a lazy time on the couch – that is joy, (ps. John is on the chair not the couch with me!) then into bed early which I love to do. Have not been able to complete the joy picture totally cos we are usually not able to sleep the whole night but one day that will happen again.
    Oh yes and one more joy thing, a good book to look forward to in bed, early! XX

    • thanks for sharing Helen. Cant imagine what its like to live with constant aftershocks and earthquakes on a daily basis. Warming to hear that it is the simple things that bring a droplet of joy and a sense of connection. And wine, chat, dinner and a flick are right up my alley to.

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