Or is it?
It was a Monday, and I was awoken by the buzzing of my alarm. Groaning, I stumbled to my table near my bed, grabbed my alarm and stopped it. I remember seeing that it was 7:30am. Nevertheless, I groggily climbed back onto bed and slept for the next four hours.
By 11 AM, I woke up with music playing from the flat above, but I didn’t complain. They were playing some of my favourite commercial songs. I checked the time and realised I wasted half of the day by sleeping. Not wanting to waste any more time, I got up, washed my face, and got changed as I was planning to do my groceries that day. While I was getting ready, I contemplated on whether I should stay out and read a book in a park, just to get fresh air and some natural light. When I was done, I grabbed a recent book I was reading, Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi. It was gifted to me at Christmas.
Once I had everything – keys, wallet and my Airpods – I switched off all the electricity and headed out. The weather was particularly pretty that day, it wasn’t too cold, and it wasn’t too warm either. It was the perfect weather to be reading outside. Unfortunately, though, all my favourite reading spots were occupied. So, I decided to hit the shops and do my groceries instead. I didn’t feel too guilty about it as I was glad to be able to have that walk.
After the groceries, I headed back home and I made brunch: bacon and eggs on rice, with tea as a drink. I ate as I watched a couple of YouTube videos to entertain myself. After eating, I cleaned after myself and treated myself with a bottle of kefir. My parents usually have it at night, but eh… Oh well…
Then I changed into more comfortable clothes and lowered my blinds slightly, as the sun was a little harsh on the eyes and it was literally direct to my window. I put on Glenn Miller on my player and read Avni’s book since I didn’t get to do any of my morning readings at all. After a while, I dozed off into a thirty-minute nap. Then I woke up at around 4:30pm. The sun was less harsh now, and the player had stopped playing. I stood up and went over to change it to Connie Francis.
As the vinyl spun in circles, I sat back on my bed and stared at the book next to me. Then I glanced over to my laptop, then to my phone which was right next to it. Then I looked over at my record player, and I stared it for a while. The boredom was slowly kicking in, and I was in denial. So, I thought of something to do. I thought of going to the movies, but then I realised that my friends and I were planning to see Batman next week. So, I thought of going to the library, but then I also realised that I have too many books piling up waiting to be read. I certainly don’t need new books to read now. I thought of hitting the gym, but I’d just washed my hair. So, I thought of browsing on Netflix, but I know I wouldn’t find anything interesting and would probably end up watching Burlesque for the nth time now. I glanced at my school bag and thought of doing work, but I scheduled to do schoolwork starting on Tuesdays.
I mean sure, I could compromise, but my brain is built different.
“I am so bored,” I finally said.
Here’s the thing though… Was I really bored? Or was my brain conditioned to think that way just because I couldn’t think of anything productive to do?
Recently, I was scrolling through TikTok, and I paused on one video. It was a fairly simple video that showed picturesque streets and city landscapes, random people walking on the street as they go about their day. On the sound, it narrates: “We call it the dolce far niente,” the narrator pauses for a beat, and then continues, “it means the sweetness of doing nothing.”
It’s an Italian concept of the essence of doing nothing and enjoying it. Dolce meaning sweet, far(e) meaning do, and niente meaning nothing. Then I realised that I was in this mindset of having ‘to do’ something every day, that I must be productive every single day or else I’m just being lazy. Yes, I admit that sometimes I do wake up later in the day, but I have been taught to ‘save it,’ meaning I still have enough time to be productive despite starting so late.
But after coming across that 15-second video, I have come to the conclusion that sometimes, it’s alright to take a break and enjoy the peaceful idleness. That it’s all right to not do anything and just unwind for the rest of the day.