In defence of pootling…

I’m not going to be the first person to say I am somewhat lazily inclined. That’s not to say come Saturday you’ll find me sprawled out on the sofa, manning the telly remote and exposing everyone to the tyranny of me. I have a dog to walk. He needs lots of walks. I tell him that, anyway; he’s just as lazy, if not lazier!

I do think our society as a whole – well, I can’t really speak for anyone outside of my little bubble – has created a mindset of haste and hurry. A few years ago, I remember reading in Grazia, of all things, about ‘Fear of Missing Out’ (FOMO?), which apparently was a genuine thing. I don’t dispute that: there’s nothing like sitting at home with a glass of wine, being struck dumb with the realisation that somewhere, out there, something is happening that you should really be part of. Be that a mad party, or a wicked night out, or the person you really fancy copping off with someone who really isn’t you… I imagine, you understand.

Anyway, I often jump on the bandwagon of mad crazy rushing around for a bit… after all, I do drive the flying banana that will lose its temper, all of its own accord, and overtake everything in front of it because they just will not get on. My dream holiday is a week at the Nurburgring. But at the same time, I love pootling around in my greenhouse, doing odd jobs, and simply enjoying being outside.

Which brings me to this article in question:

I read this wondrous article on Friday, and while I agree with it in principle, I wouldn’t say I ever am in the state of ‘doing nothing’. I’m always thinking, thinking, thinking; whether it’s daydreaming, wondering, pondering, or planning out that book I always say I’m writing, yet have precious little to show for it, except the words in my head, thought up in moments where physically I’m engaged in one thing (potting out seedlings, etc.) but my mind is freed up to wander.

There is a guilt attached to sitting and doing nothing. We seem to have turned into a society of second-counters. It’s like doing nothing is suddenly a waste of time. As someone who spends much of her time driving from A to B, a serious block of ‘dead time’, I say value that time! From personal experience (and I don’t mean to cast dispersions, but… well, I am doing) I find that the people who view half an hour sat watching something mind-numbing on the TV, reading a book you’ve already read before, or spending, shock horror, a Saturday night in, are the people to whom ten days laid on a beach doing absolutely eff all is their ideal holiday.

Erm. Come to the Nurburgring. Beach ain’t got nothing on that.

Pootle on to your heart’s content! I am of the persuasion that the greatest ideas – the greatest creative ideas – come from pootling.