Free from restrains
Who’s found it, the sweet idleness that we long so much for? A life free of purposes and constraints was considered in ancient times as ideal. The Greeks called it scholé, the Romans otium. We call it “Simple country life away from civilization”. For many, it remains a lifelong longing goal. Some make it a real luxury. No longer subjecting yourself to the dictates of the clock or striving for a career, wealth and success, but remembering the things that you really need is not as simple as it sounds, although quite feasible. At least temporarily.
What is leisure exactly?
However, you need strength of character and courage to get involved in leisure. “You must be enough to yourself” says Karlheinz Geißler, a time management expert. You must swim against the tide, instead of getting carried away faster and faster in the race for status, reputation, success and prosperity. To escape the “acceleration society”. Leisure doesn’t mean time for wellness and fitness, but “distance from business or entertainment”, as Grimms’ Dictionary defines it. Idleness is self-sufficient, a life-value itself. Nevertheless, leisure is more than doing nothing! For idleness is the beginning of all ideas, a state of maximum human concentration outside everyday reality. Fulfilling your own needs, for example: by sitting in the grass and stacking stones to form a tower, painting a picture, inventing a song, or simply picking your own home-grown tomatoes.
And above all: where can you find it?
Where could this be better than surrounded by blooming green landscapes, surrounded by romantic stone walls on the terrace of a medieval masía in the hinterland of the Costa Brava? Or in the garden of a simple country house on the edge of a small village, off the beaten track, in the shade of old trees? Nothing can bother you! The song of the birds, the chirping of the crickets, the croaking of the frogs, a babbling brook, the wings of the gray heron, the rustle of the leaves in the wind; all this is music and not noise.
Following the tumbling of the butterfly, the majestic circles of the white-tailed eagle high up in the sky, looking at swaying grasses in the wind, discovering enchanted clouds and breathing infinity instead of tracking the flood of images on Instagram. The whole world celebrates personal experience maximization, degrading idleness and putting us under the pressure of constant social expectations. Social networks like Facebook and Instagram are increasingly blocking the way towards enjoying free time. But whoever succeeds in preserving their self-determination will find the inner peace that we all long for and will take care of their idleness while being relaxed.
In paradise: Sweet idleness
The Austrian scientist Helga Nowotny puts it in a nutshell: “leisure is the correspondence between me and what matters in my life.” That’s why, sometimes you must allow yourself to live the luck of not being reachable. More than 280 billion e-mails are sent worldwide every day; by 2022 it will be over 333 billion. In the future, it will be a luxury to have a place where you can just be who you are, without posting, emailing or documenting any successes or actions. Just enjoying your free time and idleness in your own personal paradise with your family or your best friend, that is more valuable than all commerce in the world. So, let’s start looking for our personal favorite place, favorite people or a favorite hobby without writing a status.