“Where are you going today?” I remember shrieking whenever my dad asked me this while I was growing up. This would often happen when I would spend a bit more time at home. He wanted to make sure I was living my life to the fullest, that I was getting out of the house and having impactful experiences. I had more time, healthy and energy than I will probably have again so it made sense to use that time of my life to go and devour the world, savouring all of its treasures.
However, I often just really needed to slow down, process things, and rest. I wanted to do nothing. This question would make me feel pressured to leave the house or guilty and irritated if I didn’t.
It is funny that even the language corrector on my computer is trying to correct “do nothing” with “do anything” or, “do everything”. No, really, I wanted to plainly sit on the couch and waste the day away. I needed that. I still do.
No time to waste
Now, though, there is no time to waste the days. If you are reading this and can and want to waste your days, please do. Feel guilty if that makes it even more enjoyable, or trust yourself that it is not wasted, it is a gift that lets you deal with whatever you need to deal and recharge for what’s coming.
Back then, I remember thinking that I would one day be older and look back on these days with regret. Now, one and two decades later I can honestly say: those days were precious, and I am glad for every single one. I wish I could still waste days like that: sitting on the couch, watching a bad film or reading a book on and off while gazing outside the window. There was nothing wasted about those days.
I would imagine that when I was old and my last day arrived, I would wish I could gather those wasted days and put them in front of me, to relive them once again. This time I would live all those exciting experiences my dad was hoping I would have. But, most likely, I won’t have the energy or health to have those experiences.
Hopefully, those golden wasted days will return somehow and I’ll be able to gaze out the window again. Perhaps the grandchildren will be playing outside; perhaps, just a bit of wind making the leaves flitter. And that will also be a precious moment.