I have become obsessed with Eat, Pray, Love, both the book by author Elizabeth Gilbert and the movie based on said book. It doesn't help that the movie plays on our Satellite movie channels every other second, so I've seen it so many times I've memorized it. It's great to watch while doing monotonous tasks such as folding laundry. And I seem to always be folding laundry.
What is it that draws me? I think it's the idea of radically changing the direction of your life by taking a leap of faith that appeals to me. I suppose it could be argued that in some ways I've already done this in my life. But taking a year to travel and live in different cultures sounds like an adventure that is not just too good, but too amazing to be true. It's the complete moxie of her quest that pulls me in, time and time again.
Since I don't foresee this kind of opportunity happening in my own life anytime soon, I will continue to live vicariously through Gilbert's memoir. And I will learn what I can. One concept I hope to master in this New Year is the focus of the above clip. Dolce Far Niente. The "sweetness of doing nothing."
I had my gall bladder removed six days ago. There's nothing (no pun inteneded) like having a surgical procedure, minor or otherwise, for forcing you into a state of doing nothing. Since the surgery I have sat in our recliner, slept in our recliner, watched endless television, Netflix, and dvd's in our recliner and sucked on a lot of popsicles in our recliner. Whether I've liked it or not, I could do nothing (again, no pun intended) more than next to nothing.
I won't make the claim that this kind of doing nothing has been sweet. Far from it. Even though my surgery was outpatient and done laprascopically, it's still been a relatively painful and definitely uncomfortable recovery. Incisions hurt, even small ones. You don't realize how much you take your abs for granted, even when they're flabby, until you have some holes poked in them. Not to put too graphic a point on it. I can't help but move slower, walking with a slight hunch because standing up straight is a painful exercise. And even though I hate it, the only contribution I've really been able to make to the upkeep of the house is fretting. I did remake the bed last night and had to sit down afterward, as exhausted as I might be after running a half marathon. (Some of you might wonder why I didn't write marathon here. I mean after all, why not metaphorically go for it? But please, me? A marathon? Not even in the best of shape.)
As I said, this kind of doing nothing has not been particularly sweet. I have not been living dolce far niente. But I want to experience that sweetness. I don't want a surgery to be the one thing that makes me slow down. I don't just walk, I hustle. I don't eat, I gulp. I don't sleep, I crash. But in this newly begun year, I want to learn what it means to savor, to enjoy, to experience real pleasure. I want to enjoy the moments I have with people I love. I want to taste the food I eat, delighting in each bite. I don't want to always worry about what chore I'm leaving undone, what task I'm forgetting.
I may not master dolce far niente in 2012, but why not give it a shot? So here's to savoring, tasting, enjoying, loving and doing absolutely nothing oh so sweetly.
P.S. A friend told me he expected to see a blog about the gall of the gall bladder. I know this piece doesn't exactly fit that description, but perhaps this is an acceptable replacement.