Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


Do Nothing


The rain keeps falling this morning and the splashing of cars going by competes with the wind blowing drops against the window. That it is raining in October isn’t surprising, when showers are as expected as the sun rising in the morning. What is surprising is people not expecting the same rain in August when it is all we know, though we wish otherwise. The great thing about a rainy October Sunday, over one in June, is that it goes nicely with doing nothing and being in from the cold on a wet day is a readymade excuse to just pass some hours taking it easy.

We spend so much of our time trying to do something with that time, that we so often miss the beauty of just letting a day develop. Of course it is great to get the kids off to football or whatever activity they do at weekends, but taking stock of ourselves is an important skill to learn, one that it is never too early to absorb. In reality there is no such thing as doing nothing but sitting still for a while can help you to take stock of your life, maybe even put a few things into perspective. So much of modern life, from an early age, is concerned with doing, being always on the move, that we have almost demonized simple relaxation such as sitting and looking out the window at the rain falling.

On a recent walk with Finbarr a topic came up, or at least we stumbled onto it while discussing something else quite profound and that is the quality of life issue. I don’t know much about any of this, not having read the books or gone to any meetings, but surely a good walk in the park or leaving the car at home when you go for a coffee must be a good start. What you can learn from a book might just as easily be assimilated by being ‘amuigh faoin speir’. You can pay big money for life coaching or invest in the self-books and programs, all of which aim to fix your work life balance but to what avail?  Yes, we both agreed, there was the possibility of making more money if we worked all the hours or got different jobs when younger but what would we gain by it? Would rushing here there and everywhere suit us? No it probably wouldn’t but having the hour to talk nonsense to each other three or four nights a week did us both good. Getting out and seeing others, seeing the change in the seasons, talking about sport, politics and whatever else, was worth more than having that money to spend, not that either of us couldn’t do with it.

of course it is good for the mind to work and to take part in activities, but what is also vitally important is to get away from it all. Whether this is time spent reading, baking, watching TV or walking the dog is up to the individual but exercising the mind is not to be forgotten. It should be a daily activity if possible, which of course it isn’t for most people and this is where the quality of life question comes in again. Whatever way we look at it, an hour a day of not thinking about work, money problems and all the other weights we carry around with us, can only help with keeping perspective. I for one know how difficult this is to do.

Now the clouds are clearing and the sun is breaking through, it is time for Daisy and me to clear our heads. It may not be the best day ever, though the family may have lunch out later and just let the afternoon fade into twilight, but any day you can get out under an early winter sky has to be a good one.




Posted by John Verling

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