The Day is Done

When given the time to do nothing, often we do nothing. If you’re doing nothing it can often mean you’re thinking. For whatever reason the unpleasant thoughts often overshadow the joyful ones. We’re constantly thinking about how to improve our lives and we worry about how our lives might get worse in some way or another. The good thoughts are like hitchhikers…they pop up here and there but they don’t get picked up for the long ride. Then again, this could just be how my brain operates but most people don’t pick up hitchhikers.

On paper and in our heads, anything that saves us time and energy is what we want. I was without a car today because I brought it to the auto mechanics. I woke up earlier because I had to walk to work and I had to walk home too in blazing hot weather. On my way home I stopped off at Walmart with all the other low class citizens and then at Wendy’s after for a burger(ice water, no fries). By the time I got home it was 7pm. I took a shower, cooled off, changed into some dry underwear and walked to the mechanics to pick up my car. $609..yay.  Home again and it’s 9:30pm. The day is basically done now.

If my days were like this every day, I don’t know if I’d have much time to dwell on my thoughts. Always being on the go and then being exhausted at the end of the day makes you want to leave your brain on standby mode. It wasn’t a hard day just a busy one.  Another positive is that it kept me from drinking wine. Of course, I can find ways to keep myself busy and have my days always be like this one but I would feel like a fool to do so. My thoughts would gravitate to the thought of, I could be doing nothing right now.

Maybe too much time is poison for one’s life. It’s funny that what we think we want is often what ends up hurting us. I’m sure there’s a Buddhist proverb that supports this.


5 comments on “The Day is Done

  1. Yep. There’s book called Flow (by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) about this issue. The happiest people spend most of their time on focused, structured activities. Too much unfocused thinking time lead to unhappiness. I believe it’s because if you are not focused on something it’s almost inevitable you’ll start thinking about shitty stuff since there is so much shitty stuff in the world.

    In the end, it’s better to be focused on even the most meaningless task and allow it to completely absorb your attention than to allow your thoughts to wonder too much.

    And yet, the idea that all of the above is true, depresses me.


  2. cctyker says:

    In the US in the early days of the Industrial Revolution (was that during the late 1800s and early 1900s?), very few women worked in the factories, and most men worked 12-14 hours a day. Also, many boys worked those long hours also. The cause was the vast numbers of immigrants. So many flooded the labor market, employers had no incentive to pay wages higher than the market would bear.

    Anyway, it was sleep, eat, work, and sometimes have sexual intercourse. Leisure was a luxury. More important, it was dangerous – no work, no money, no food, no rent paid, no survival..

    There was no such thing as time to do nothing – not even thinking. I regard the fact that we have leisure time now to be the greatest benefit of human life.

    (Of course, laws were passed that prohibited child labor. That only lower the income of the families and created more starvation and hardship for the whole family — all for the sake of protecting the child from accidents and causing starvation and stress on the whole family. But that’s government for you.)

    Mr. Johnson, you don’t have to feel it necessary to comment on my mini-rant. Your article just brought all that to my mind. Toodle do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MrJohnson says:

      I almost always feel obligated to respond to comments. I need to in order to clear my conscience. When you go back 100 years ago, I think it was just a more technologically advanced caveman life…you lived to exist for your family. Many developing countries are still living that type of life. My mother in Canada is still working 60-70 hour weeks. Too much free time could lead to melancholy but I think the current values that our society sees as important could be the main culprit.

      Liked by 1 person

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