In Pico Iyer’s “The Joy of Quiet” published in the New York Times, he states:
The urgency of slowing down — to find the time and space to think — is nothing new, of course, and wiser souls have always reminded us that the more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context….the French philosopher Blaise Pascal famously remarked that all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
Over the holidays, I had time off and chose not to schedule much. Unstructured time…what a luxury. Or is it? My natural tendency is not to indulge too long. After all, work, goals, plans, lists, these are the things of a productive and worthy person. And yet, as I slept according to my body’s clock not the alarm clock I felt rested and restored. I exercised at different times of the day and captured the best weather and opportunities to join friends. I lounged on the couch without time boundaries which provided space to reflect on the past, consider the future, share time with my husband, and gain insights that may shape a better 2012.
Today we picked out a movie at Blockbuster and because of a plan we’re on the movie has no return date. The clerk was cheerful and after ringing us up said, “There you go, return it when you’re happy.” I paused. Return it when you’re happy. The power of not living by deadlines. Return when you’re happy. I go back to work tomorrow. And after my slow vacation…that’s exactly what I’ll do.