As a rule, I have no problem with doing nothing and with lock down i have no choice, but if an opportunity presents itself, I embrace it with vigour. I’ve noticed this makes me different to a lot of women I know. It’s one of the more cliched socially constructed female traits I’m apparently missing. Along with not being that bothered about handbags and didn’t really relish the idea of organising my wedding. I don’t feel guilty when I’m not doing something useful or purposeful or impressive. I can while away half a weekend catching up on scandal and chalk up ‘showering’ as a day’s biggest achievement.
I like to think that this isn’t some sort of innate laziness, but near necessity. When you have a family and work you find that in the week it is spent dropping the kids to school, go to work, leave work, pick kids up, drop the kids to clubs, pick them up from clubs, they go to two different clubs at opposite ends of town, go home, prepare dinner, eat dinner, stack the dish washer, ask kids several times who is getting in the shower first, keep going till one of them caves, hassle the next one till they are in the shower, quick snack before they go to bed, put them in bed, cup of tea and relax, sleep, wake, repeat.
Does this sound familiar? If I didn’t have glorious times to total nothingness, something would implode. I’m left in total wonder and admiration for the women who don’t need that. They fill their time with even more activities. I think all of that is great if that’s naturally who they are but wonder how many of them are driven by the most toxic of motivation: guilt. Because in this always on virtually documented life ‘downtime’ seems to have become a dirty word. I do feel a tinge of it when I am scrolling through my Instagram feed to a flip book of lives seemingly richer and definitely more organised than mine. Yet when it comes to work I struggle to justify a lunch break because obviously the world would fall apart if I don’t.
I have been a personal trainer for many years and I think that people’s opinion of personal trainers is a mix bag, so to come clean my worse vice is crisps, sweets and chocolate can easily avoid but give me a bag of walkers I can’t refuse, and I don’t exercise every day, I eat healthy but there are always days when I think sod it I’m going to have a take away.
Don’t feel bad when you do nothing.
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