The art of doing nothing


Like most of us, I have been informed of cold stunning among the Floridian iguanas and Texan sea turtles. I am carefully pronouncing "bombogenesis" over and over as a mantra while shoveling its wintery results. But this knowledge is nothing compared to the learning I have been trying to commit to memory: the art of doing nothing.


The days between final exams and Christmas. The days between Christmas and New Years. The days the office closes in response to impending snow. And the days of intersession leading up to the start of the "Spring 2018 Semester Academic Calendar". They all motivate me to the most basic response: I want to do nothing.


Sure there is laundry, meal preparation, ten episodes of "This is Us" on DVR and prime time football. I need to complete my 2018 Shutterfly calendar, reconcile the monthly checking account and list our 2017 tax deductions on a yellow-lined pad. I have to call my doctors for annual checkups that can't occur before the date I went last year and I must email our TV's manufacturer to find out why it keeps going to black even when the cable is working.  But for the first time in a long time, I do that daily "to do list" in my head and not one chore is priority— in fact everything will wait— while I celebrate the act of nothing.  


I am committed to a corner of the couch with a bed pillow and blanket to assist in my hibernation. I work hard to not feel guilty while I binge watch "Storage Wars”— bidding along with the characters while eating three kinds of pastry in one sitting. I am not moving fast in any direction, no longer distracted by the phone, the kitchen timer or the doorbell. It is a selfish, self-centered and decadent gift for a limited time only. And I savor the hours as they quickly melt away, unlike the massive snowdrifts outside my front window.


A contributing writer to the Herald since 2012, Lauren Lev is an East Meadow resident and a direct marketing/advertising executive who teaches advertising and marketing communications courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY, LIU Post and SUNY Old Westbury.