I'll admit it: when it comes to doing nothing, I'm a C- student. I'm not the only one: in 2014, the University of Virginia found that 67% of men and 25% of women decided to give themselves an electric shock instead of doing nothing during a fifteen-minute "thinking period."
While I'm not sure my "busy" addiction is that extreme, I've needed constant stimulation - whether TV, multiple computer tabs or just swaying in place - since childhood. Thanks to my recent move to Colorado Springs, though, my days have looked a little different.
If these past two weeks of road trip driving and Colorado exploring have taught me anything, it's that sometimes doing nothing is everything you need.
As I've shared before, July was an insane month for me. I was finishing up my internship (for the moment - more details to come!), taking the GRE (a grad school exam), attending my dad's retirement ceremony, helping pack out the house and, of course, actually moving across the country.
So, when we first rolled into Colorado Springs, the shock of having nothing on my to-do list hit me hard. For the first three days, I got another dose of the benefits of unplugging. I read more books than I have in months, re-discovered my love for podcasts (thank you iTunes) and held plenty solo dance parties in my near-empty bedroom.
Even after we got Internet (insert a blogger's hallelujah here), the feeling of nothing hung over me like Colorado's insanely fluffy clouds. No articles to write or edit for my internship. No books to study. Not even one big event to attend or prepare for.
So, what else to do but walk?
Through grassy fields only a few minutes from my house that, apparently, overflow with sunflowers and grasshoppers during the summer.
Only feet away from mama and baby deer who stare at us with the same fascination that we do them.
Along the lake at the regal Broadmoor Hotel that looks like the set to The Great Gatsby. I definitely felt like I should be wearing a slinky dress and pearls!
Next to rivers that shine with pink algae and rocks rubbed smooth and bright from years of natural sculpting.
And the more I do nothing but move my legs and smile at the sights, the more I realize that, right now, I don't need to do any more than that.
I am accomplished without kicking butt at 101 tasks everyday.
I am worthy of taking time to breathe, smell the roses (or sunflowers in this case) and focus only on the footprints I'm leaving behind.
I am capable of being happy without constant access to friends, technology or a busy schedule.
I am enough - however much I am or am not doing.
Because, yes, I am looking forward to jumping back into a crazy school schedule packed with classes, a job as a teaching assistant, friends, grad school applications and even an internship. But I am also savoring today and the few weeks I have left before flying back to San Diego.
By the end of last month, I knew I was doing everything yet still doubted my own accomplishments and abilities. Little did I know that I needed some time of doing nothing to remind me that, with enough hard work and dedication, everything really is within reach.
What's your favorite way to decompress? Have you ever struggled with the balance of everything and nothing? Comment below!