The Art of Doing Nothing

You may think I'm silly, but today was one of the happiest days of my life. Really. And nothing happened. At all. Nettl and I spent the day reading, I in my chair and she lying on the bed.

Nettl is currently reading The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama and I'm reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. When we read together it's almost like reading two books simultaneously because every 10 minutes or so one of us will say, "You have to hear this!" and then read something aloud to the other.

The weather was in the 70s today, which added to the contentment, and we read, listening to Baroque music while the cat bathed herself in a patch of sunlight on the floor. It was the perfect evening to make tacos, so I did. Nettl enjoyed a Margarita and I had some iced green tea. Sounds like small stuff, but it's the small stuff that really counts sometimes.
"Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks to wars, but that's not exactly the same thing as enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today. But as Luca pointed out, we seem to like it. Alarming statistics back this observation up, showing that many Americans feel more happy and fulfilled in their offices than they do in their own homes. Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure). Americans don't really know how to do nothing. This is the cause of that sad American stereotype--the overstressed executive who goes on vacation, but who cannot relax." (Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love)