The 'gift' of 'doing' nothing, and my ever-busy mind.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When I was a child, my father seized every opportunity he could find to emphasise the importance of keeping one's self gainfully busy. His favourite phrase seemed to be 'an idle mind is the devil's workshop'.  

As the child I was, my belief was that all Daddy really wanted to do was rain on my parade, especially as these snippets of wisdom were dished out when it appeared I was having the time of my life lazing around the house. Growing up however has taught me the significance of his advice. I have come to appreciate the despicable love affair which can blossom between the devil and the mind, when the mind is left untethered. 

I metamorphosed into somewhat of a workaholic in my latter years. My profession (and extra-curricular interests) ensured that my mind was constantly engaged, and I always prided myself on my dexterity at multi-tasking. Work for me in itself was my personal opium. 

Quite suddenly, within the recent past, I found myself without the rush, the hustle and bustle of having to meet deadlines.  I was finally free to laze and engage myself in all the mindless frivolities that I had fantasised about! And so, I put my mind to rest, and set about enjoying the gift of doing absolutely nothing.

I gorged myself on daytime tv, and stayed up late watching night shows. I soaked myself daily in the sunlight which the summer had ushered in, while enjoying the soothing breeze from the Atlantic Ocean. I engaged in shopping endlessly. (Well...if window-shopping falls within your definition of 'shopping').

With time however, I became bored of doing nothing, and had exhausted all mindless activities. I was tired of 'resting' my brain. And that was when I discovered how dangerous the mind can become when not busy. Or worst still, when it is allowed to become busy with the wrong things. 

My mind seemed to have adopted a life of its own. Humour began to take shape a dark, twisted shape.

And then, I remembered Daddy's words: 'an idle mind is the devil's workshop'. Therein lay the source of my problems. Therein lay the key to freedom. I had allowed my mind to become idle, even while engaging in physical activities. Hence, the devil, and her compatriots were making merry with my mind and were contemplating taking the party to the roof. It was high time I regained my freedom. 

I began to remember favourite pastimes which keep my mind engaged, but which I had pushed aside due to work. I dusted my books; not my work books or books for some academic research, but inspirational books. I also dug out my James Patterson thriller novels, and began exciting myself once more with Alex Cross and his other protagonists. The internet became my closest companion; I began reading lots of random stuff I had not had the time to explore, and embarked on deepening my knowledge on a wide range of subjects. 

More importantly, I re-discovered writing. 

Not writing some hurried brief to argue a doomed motion, but writing for the sheer joy of writing. I found my way to blogging. Something others had been doing for about ten years, I was just finding the time to do it. In summary, I found ways to keep my mind positively busy, even in the absence of work.

I now keep my mind constantly busy, not because Daddy is looking over my shoulders. But because it is healthy, and because I enjoy it. And because I am constantly exploring various aspects of life, the outcome of which I muse upon. I draw inspiration from the simplest things, and see a miracle in every living thing.  

Blogging is not necessarily a means to gain recognition. Rather, blogging is my personal journey of expressing the musings of my ever-busy mind. 

I invite you to share your thoughts via comments, as I have shared (and will continue to share) mine.  


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  1. All the best on your journey. Looking forward to more great posts from you. Cheers!

  2. Welcome on board dear..enjoy the blogging experience.

    1. Thank you sis. Just following your footsteps.

  3. Awesome. Me likey!

  4. Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog. Your comments are highly welcome.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Nne this is good,keep it up ok