?

Log in

[personal] The fine art of doing nothing - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2012-06-18 05:45
Subject: [personal] The fine art of doing nothing
Security: Public
Tags:child, friends, personal, washington, writing
I'm really, really bad at doing nothing.

Most of my vacations are working vacations in some important sense. Well, okay, pretty much all of them. Days off at home turn into writing days or projects or things needing to be done with [info]the_child. Days off on the road turn into writing days or writing days or writing days. I always have to be somewhere, do something. If I'm not engaged at that level, I feel an emotion somewhere between guilt and worry.

Saturday at the Locus Awards, during the lengthy break between the banquet and the Clarion West party, I shot pool with John Pitts, Ty Franck and Peter Orullian. We played slop eight ball, the way kids play pool. Mostly John and I lost. I muffed a lot of shots. We were in the bar almost three hours, just knocking around the balls and yakking about whatever. Writing was a big thread, obviously, but plenty of other things as well. Music. Kids. Other people. No agenda, just four people spending time together over nachos and pool.

In the middle of all this, I realized I simply never do anything like that. I don't ever go just hang out with friends and screw around. I'm so freaking goal oriented that if I'm going somewhere with friends, it's to hike, or take photos at a certain site, or a destination-oriented trip.

Likewise, yesterday I was visiting a friend up north of Seattle. We went to the coast, Deception Pass in the San Juans. We walked around and looked a tide pools. We stared at the ocean. We checked out a cool bridge. We had a mediocre lunch at an oddball restaurant in Anacortes. All in all, we had a great time, basically doing nothing but passing the day in an interesting place. (And, yes, I took a few photos, because that's what I do.)

I'm working on doing more of less. Not slowing down, not that. I think I'm like a shark. Swim or die. But finding more (and better) opportunities during my speed run through life to not be speeding or running either one. Maybe even be still and at peace some of the time. (Another lesson I'm working on learning.)

Damn, it's hard.

Post A Comment | 10 Comments | Share | Link






threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2012-06-18 13:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Funny how hard we have to work at learning how to do nothing, innit? I think I'm a few grades ahead of you in that school. I'm getting pretty good at it. LOL Need any tips?

Edited at 2012-06-18 01:50 pm (UTC)
Reply | Thread | Link



scarlettina
User: scarlettina
Date: 2012-06-18 14:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's hard, but it's also necessary and--dare I say it?--good for you. I'm glad you plain-vanilla enjoyed yourself. :-)
Reply | Thread | Link



Lisa Costello
User: radiantlisa
Date: 2012-06-18 14:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Nothing wrong with just plain taking a break once in a while.
Reply | Thread | Link



joycemocha
User: joycemocha
Date: 2012-06-18 14:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's a tough thing to learn. I struggle with this one as well.
Reply | Thread | Link



barbhendee2: Kitten and Chick
User: barbhendee2
Date: 2012-06-18 14:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Kitten and Chick
Oh, gosh, Jay, JC has trouble with this too. He exhausts me on vacations--wanting to fill up every minute (smiles). I'd love to just go lay on a beach somewhere and stare at the sky.
Reply | Thread | Link



mlerules: canoodle
User: mlerules
Date: 2012-06-18 14:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:canoodle
I'm working on doing more of less. Not slowing down, not that. I think I'm like a shark. Swim or die. But finding more (and better) opportunities during my speed run through life to not be speeding or running either one. Maybe even be still and at peace some of the time. (Another lesson I'm working on learning.)

Taking photos may well be a good segue into this, as photographing provides some sense of purpose/direction/goal.

Really though, I do this (BAPAMAP) pretty darned well, and'm quite willing to take you along on such Quiet Adventures if/when you like 'n' schedules permit.
Reply | Thread | Link



daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2012-06-18 16:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And here I've been envying your productivity. Because I'm really good at being still.
Reply | Thread | Link



anghara
User: anghara
Date: 2012-06-18 19:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Deception pass? Anacortes? Damn, why didh't you come JUST A LITTLE BIT further north and drop in on me?!
Reply | Thread | Link



Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2012-06-18 21:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I can do this, but I have to make an effort. The default with me is that I *should* be doing something useful. Which is seldom the same as fun (though it can be).
Plus I am terrible at pool.
It sounds like a good plan, however.
Kari xx
Reply | Thread | Link



Elizabeth Coleman
User: criada
Date: 2012-06-19 02:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I played pool with Peter at World Fantasy. I'll bet you lost a lot!
Reply | Thread | Link



browse
my journal
links
January 2014
2012 appearances