Tuesday, January 3, 2012

On Doing Nothing

I'm not very good at just "doing nothing," especially when it comes to a project like living sustainably.  Boy, that sounds like a lifestyle to me!  I want to do something!  I am never so happy as when I am hanging out the laundry or canning veggies or weeding the garden.  It just feels so good to be working toward a goal.

What I need to work on is my contentment with doing nothing, which is also a part of sustainable living.  Proper use of resources (time and money included) often means not using the resource when you don't need to.  Therefore, the best course in some cases is doing nothing.

January and February are the prime months for this.  They are typically two of my highest earning months, and, of course, they are pretty light on gardening and other truly fun stuff.  However, this often means refraining from doing things more than it does taking action.  For example, this week so far:

  1. I refrained from doing a load of laundry just because I wanted one item in that load clean.  I will wait until the load is full.
  2. I refrained from ordering a really cute dress on an after Christmas sale.  No guarantees that I will never order it, but I find that if I delay ordering things by a week or two, I often lose the urge to have them.  Those that I really want I enjoy even more because of anticipation.
  3. At the same time, I refrained from buying new books (a weakness -- yes, I know about libraries) until the ones on my night table are finished.
  4. Although it did take a phone call (an action!), I confirmed that our Blockbuster unlimited rental pass had been cancelled since our local store was closing.  We will do nothing for a while, then decide if we want a mail order service.
  5. I thought about picking up dinner for myself when Mr. FC&G was out of town yesterday, since I hate to cook for one.  But I came home and ate the leftovers.
All of these things feel like inaction to me.  But what they really add up to is a savings of time and of resources.  We will want the money saved for later.  And the time is better spent earning, because it is true that one should "make hay while the sun shines."  I'll want to have my time free this summer to hang my laundry and weed my garden and (God willing) can my tomatoes in pretty jars.  To do that, I need to hunker down now, do my paying work, save my money, and just concentrate on doing "nothing."
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