the art of doing nothingChristine Kang
“You never stop moving,” my mother said last week, watching me bustle around her kitchen before I had to dash off to a meeting. “You’re just like your father.”
On one hand, she’s right, of course — I’m one of those people who manages to stay busy all of the time. I work long hours, even on weekends, even if I don’t have to. If I’m home, I’m usually working in some capacity. I don’t remember the last time I took a nap.
But on the other hand?
When I’m on vacation, I am all about doing nothing! My husband and daughter might be up for golfing, or doing things like this:
Or even this:
But me? My idea of exerting myself on a vacation is putting myself in a reclining position, and staring up at this …
… for hours and hours on end.
To me, this is what a vacation is all about — doing absolutely nothing. If I return from a vacation feeling like I need a vacation, I consider myself to have totally failed. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about exploration and discovery (I wouldn’t be a photographer if I wasn’t, and photography is one of the most calming, meditative things I do for myself), but even if I travel to the most exotic places on the planet, if I’m traveling for pleasure, at least half of each day needs to include some serious Doing Nothing. Interrupted only by Napping. And the occasional Good Reading. And with the reading part, I even have rules for that:
a) It must be an actual book, not an electronic reader. I find that only books made of paper can really become infused with the salty air, or the sunscreeny smell, or any other aspects of the particular vacation ambiance in a way that an e-reader just can’t do. Besides, sandy or sweaty books from vacations have a charming nostalgia about them. Sandy or sweaty technology just becomes frustrating.
b) The book has to have a great storyline, and can’t be too literature-y. I mean, I love books that are educational or that raise my cultural awareness, but not on vacation. In other words, a bit of trashiness in a vacation book is welcome. I find Actual Learning competes far too much with my Mission of Do Nothingness. And finally,
c) Item (b) notwithstanding, the book can’t even have a hint of a vampire or a werewolf. Yeah, I said it.
For our most recent trip to the Westin Stonebriar, this book fit the bill nicely:
And to make my little mini-vacation complete, not only did I have that wonderful Westin sangria at my disposal, they also served these lovely, refreshing, sweet frozen grapes poolside:
Yup. Mission accomplished.
How about you — are you a person who loves to go, go, go on vacation? Or are you, like me, on a mission to do as little as possible?
And either way, happy holidaying, friends.
Don’t miss the latest from Babble Voices Like Us on Facebook!