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Doing Nothing is Hard Work

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A person sitting on a bench looking out onto the beach with a bridge in the background
Photo by Sid Leigh on Unsplash

My knee has been acting up lately. It forced me to rest, to not do stuff all the time. Sure, I read and listen to podcasts, but, at growing intervals, I also have to just be. It had brought up, again, the usual tension between taking care of myself and being productive. I tend to feel useless if I’m not doing anything. It’s one of the gifts my grandmother gave me but also, let’s be honest, a result of living in a capitalist society.

I feel like every time I stop it’s with the sole purpose of resting so I can be more productive when I get back. I know it sounds privileged, and it is: there are people out there who can’t afford to do nothing, not to mention people whose lives are in danger. But I do think that the mentality of productivity takes over our lives. We tie our worth to our productivity. Sure, I can put all kinds of slants on it. I can even have self-care items on my to-do list. And still, what I’m essentially doing is relentlessly grading myself against how much I got done today.

So, I’m trying to take it easy. I’m also rather itching to write, and that’s something I can definitely do with my feet up, as I am right now, so it’s a great excuse to be shut up in my lovely office all day and write.


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