The Joy of Doing Nothing

The dragonflies are out, which means that fall is around the corner. In Japan (or at least in Hokkaido, where I live) when the dragonflies are flitting back and forth in the air, that means that the weather has cooled and it’s time to put away the swimsuits and the beach sandals.

For me, though, that means I’d done with summer break and need to go back to work. After a long break, I usually have to shift from my relaxed schedule into efficient work mode. To do that, I need to get my notes and reports done, finish my prep work, gather all my materials, wash and press my uniform, and finally, pack and organize my bag.

Of course, I haven’t done any of that. I am procrastinating by blogging instead.

Yeah, it’s been that kind of summer. Before I started vacation, I made a list of the things I needed to do during my break, but with all that time on my hands, I didn’t even cross anything off. As a result, I am stressed and frazzled at the moment because I’ve left everything too late. I have to scramble to finish everything in time before I go back to work.

However, my break itself was relaxing. I mostly read books and watched television. I also stayed home to avoid the crowds. Yes, we’re still in a pandemic—the seventh wave since this whole thing started. I chose to be a homebody because the Japanese government didn’t put any restrictions on the public when everybody went on their Obon vacations. And since everybody wanted to be out, I knew that it was going to be especially crowded everywhere we went.

I did venture out of the house to go shopping for new running shoes. And that’s pretty much what I did while I didn’t go to work. I took advantage of the sunny weather to go for early morning runs. I think this is the only thing that I did consistently and productively during my time off from work.

The first pair I’ve ever owned that’s pink. Excuse the already dirty condition it’s in.

And you know what? I’m okay with that.

Even though I have nothing to show for all that running and relaxing, I still feel really accomplished for some reason. Half of me thinks I wasted my time doing nothing, but at the same time, that’s the whole point of trying to unwind from the grind of work and also from the stress of daily life. I didn’t want to pack too much into this precious break, so I deliberately didn’t make any definite plans.

My husband’s break coincided with mine, too, and on the first day of vacation, we talked about going camping. We also thought of traveling to a destination a couple hours away for a day trip somewhere. There was also a discussion about going back to his hometown for a few days.

Again, we did none of that.

I hope you’re sensing a theme here.

I take full responsibility for completely dropping the ball and not coming through with the execution of said above plans. The weather was crappy. It rained most of the time and then there was the heat that just completely deflated me. I just didn’t want to go out and lost all motivation to do anything but stay home and be a happy couch potato.

But the most important part was: I was completely stress-free. I did the things I enjoyed and didn’t worry about somebody yelling at me for being inefficient and being unproductive.

Yes, it might have looked like I was being a lazy slob, but I loved it.

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