I went to a yoga class on Saturday.. because I had so much free time and I was bored – the only thing that seemed perfect to do was to go to a yoga class. At the end of the practice during Shavasana (click for non-yogis out there), the instructor said:
“My teacher said this to me the other day and it stuck with me. We should learn to appreciate the opportunity to do nothing.”
That was exactly what I needed to hear that day.
I’ve always been a ‘busy’ person. More often than not, I’ll sign up for too many things and actually go to all of it even if it means I have to teleport from one place to another. I believe in the saying “My commitment, my responsibility” so I commit and I do.When I was growing up in Cambodia, it wasn’t as bad.. having to do nothing meant chilling by the pool with friends or just hanging out at home watching TV or taking a nap.
However, moving to Boston on my own, I found that ‘having nothing to do’ meant ‘being lonely.’ It was either.. surround myself with lots of people or keep myself really busy. I chose the latter. After a dreadful year of wanting to go back to Cambodia every day, I started volunteering, interning, working a part time job, taking dance and yoga classes, committing to be on the eboard for many organizations and going to classes… all at the same time. And I was definitely not lonely – I was barely surviving on 4 hours of sleep every day.
This all changed last year when I started this blog and went off to Southeast Asia. I started appreciating the quiet moments.. the moments where I did not feel like I had to look for someone to hang out with. I loved walking around alone, taking pictures and just watching what’s going on around me. I loved going to a cafe with a book and just reading for hours and hours. I loved going to the pool and just floating on the water. I started appreciating ‘me’ time.
Then I realized that a year later, today, I had lost that again. This weekend, for the first time in months, I was commitment-free and without a sister who I saw all the time. If I didn’t have to go to an event, I had my sister come with me exploring different parts of the city. She’s now back home in Cambodia for the summer. This weekend was graduation weekend (which I did not participate). All my friends had their family members and were busy having their own celebrations – hence why this weekend was so quiet for me. I did not sign up for any events and I really had nothing to do – and instead of relaxing, I felt anxious… like I should be doing something and should be with people. That is until I went to that yoga class and realized all of this.
So, I enjoyed ‘me’ time. I walked to Trader Joe’s and bought myself a pot of Gerbera (which I now call my baby). I went to yoga. I cooked myself a nice dinner, poured myself a nice glass of wine and caught up on some TV shows.
I’m learning to appreciate the opportunity to do nothing – but I’m also learning to appreciate spending time with me and only me.