Do Nothing

For the first time in a long time, I deliberately did nothing this weekend. No work, no plans. After several stressful weeks with my head down working on a number of things, I decided to rest. Leading up to the weekend, the results I was getting were—at best—subpar. Following the guise of Ajahn Brahm, a Buddhist monk whose lectures I stumbled upon this week: I stopped.

Many have mentioned or made note that my lifestyle can be sad at times. I work, a lot, for varying reasons. The problem—or blessing, depending on how you look at it—is that I really enjoy what I do. There’s something about working on my business that’s exciting. Not just the business, either, but what I work with as well: code. I’ve always had a thing for trying out new tools, working through a tough problem, or otherwise dabbling with software stuff. While I do maintain other hobbies, code has always been the stickiest; why I’m not entirely sure.

Listening to Ajahn Brahm talk about anxiety, he kept coming back to the idea of letting go and just stopping. To not worry about the future. To not panic about money. To quite literally stop what you’re doing and just experience the moment. For someone with my always-on pedigree, it was a laughable albeit thought-provoking proposition. What if I did just…stop?

When Saturday arrived, I had zero intention of stopping. I woke up, grabbed a shower, and went and read—surprise, surprise—a business book at the coffee shop. I was enjoying what I was reading, but couldn’t help but hear those words pinging in my head. “Stop. Just enjoy the moment.” As I picked my head up and looked around, I realized that although I enjoyed what I was reading, I needed to hit pause.

Closing up my book, I went home and did something I couldn’t have predicted: I took a nap! I toppled over, eyes fixed on an equally exhausted Tabby, and dozed off. I woke up an hour later, but feeling refreshed, decided to keeping doing not much the rest of the day. That continued in to today, culminating in a long, much-needed walk around the neighborhood and evening spent with no plans (save for whipping up this post).

Nothing really came out of this weekend. No results. No steps forward. Just a calm, clear(ish) mind. Although the week ahead is still firing the anxiety bells, it doesn’t feel as damning as usual. There’s a peace in the air I haven’t felt in a long time. I’ll be damned, the monk was right, sometimes the best thing you can do is stop.