Monday, May 31, 2010

doing stuff is overrated

I like doing nothing. It’s often frowned upon and I’m not sure why. Doing nothing is relaxing, fun and easy.

Doing stuff, on the other hand, is overrated. Here’s why:
  • It’s tiring.
  • It’s expensive.
  • It doesn’t usually amount to much.
  • It can lead having to do other things.
  • We’re all going to die so why bother?
Back in the day, people sat around in rocking chairs on their sleepy little porches and drank lemonade all afternoon. They took Sunday drives and napped throughout afternoons that drifted on forever. Time passed more slowly. Days lasted about six times as long. It’s a fact.

Even further back, people sat around naked in the forest, doing nothing. Sure they hunted for food and foraged and well, all sorts of prehistoric things. But they only did that stuff so they could get back to sitting in a circle, doing nothing, naked, just hanging out.

Cavemen, keeping it simple.

There was a time I thought doing things mattered. I did things for like, decades. For people, money, praise. Then one day the utter futility of it all hit me. And bam! I just stopped. And I’ve been happier ever since…well, not completely happy but it’s better being unhappy doing nothing than doing a lot of something and still being unhappy.

I prefer doing nothing alone but sometimes I do nothing with other people. If we have to do something (like get beer or food) we may rally and do it. But only so we can get back to doing nothing again, together.

When walking is just too much.

Doing stuff opens you up to all sorts of dangers too. Once I rode my bike around my neighborhood when a big, black Kujo-like dog ran out of nowhere and leapt on me. His slobbery jaws were inches away from my face. See? Crazy shit happens all of the time when you do things.

Goodbye nose.

And stuff just randomly falls from the sky. A substantial number of people have died from pianos falling on top of them. It’s not just in the movies. You’re better off inside, safe, resting and prepping for sleep (where the real action begins).

Holy happened again.

That’s right, sleep. Sleep is a great example of doing nothing and at the same time, doing so much. You never know what wild and weird wonders might go down, who you might have sex with or what magical powers you could possess. I like to think of my waking hours as a 16-hour preparation for going back to sleep.

Historically speaking, busy people have been nothing but trouble: Hitler, Mussolini, Vlad the Impaler—all busy. Same with serial killers. It's not idle hands that are the devil's play things but the busy ones causing the problems. Slackers are all like, whatever, I'll stay home instead. 

Vlad, too busy for his own good.

Now, I’m not advocating doing nothing all of the time.

Six years ago, I stripped an old wooden dresser. Every day I look at it and say, “I did that.” Some may consider that a small accomplishment but it remains one of my life’s crowning achievements. When my car starts in the morning, that’s the sweet sound of success. Keep it dummy, simple.

So relax, man. Considering the crap condition of our human race, congratulate yourself for simply being alive and making it through another day. Oh my god, I’m eating the best apple right now.

Group shot of us 100 years from now


I don't understand people who like to work and talk about it like it was some sort of goddamn duty. Doing nothing feels like floating on warm water to me. Delightful, perfect. ~ Ava Gardner

Ava Gardner, getting her wish

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