Monday, April 13, 2015

Sacred Idleness






"Work is not always required. 

There is such a thing as sacred idleness, 

the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected."

George MacDonald  



Must idleness always be thought of as unproductive or lazy? Or can it be sacred, as Mr. MacDonald suggests? 
 
Years ago, one of my writing instructors at the Institute for Children's Literature stressed the importance of being idle. It gives the brain and body time to rest, for one thing, and can also produce fresh ideas and a new perspective.

In this age of 24/7 activity, I think there is a great need for cultivating idleness. In the long run, the fruit of inactive times can be great.

Do you agree with Mr. MacDonald? Is there idleness in your schedule?

My Dad is coming to visit later this week, so I'm taking a break to spend time with him. I'll be back on April 27. See you then!

Happy writing,

Karen 


Photo credit: Free Images

29 comments :

  1. Have fun with your dad. It's hard not to always be productive, but down time is important.

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  2. Have always been a workaholic, would be wonderful to have that break. Have a wonderful time with your dad.

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  3. Natalie,
    Thank you. Looking forward to his visit. I agree, down time is important! :)

    Carole,
    I hope you find a break soon! Burnout is no fun. Thanks so much for coming by. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  4. Yes, I do agree idleness/down time is important but my mind doesn't always cooperate. I often have to silence the to-do list that keeps nagging at me! Have a wonderful time with your Dad--I'm sure that will be a special break for both of you...

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  5. Enjoy time with your father!
    Both the body and mind need moments to recharge. I say a little idleness is good.

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  6. Enjoy your dad time! I try to plan times for nothing time when I can. I really need it and it lets my brain recharge.

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  7. I hope you have a wonderful visit with your father!
    I think that idleness is definitely sacred, and I try to have at least a half day a week for idleness.

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  8. Have a fun time with your dad! I'm glad you're taking a break. Hope you can get some rest. I think it's so important to do, but achieving balance is a struggle.

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  9. Hi Karen - I quite agree we need space in our brains .. and I love the quote ...

    Fabulous to know your father is coming to visit - enjoy your time with him .. it'll be precious as you know - cheers Hilary

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  10. Kenda,
    My mind doesn't either, but I have been practicing getting quiet to meditate and pray, especially. Takes a bit of work in this busy world. Thanks a bunch! :)

    Alex,
    Thank you! We have some fun things planned. :) Haven't seen him in two years.

    Terri,
    Thank you! I think that is wise - planning a little "nothing" time.I think much depends on what personality type you are too. :)

    Tyrean,
    We hope to have a great time with him, thanks! :) Yes, you definitely need some time to unwind. :)

    Susie,
    Thanks so much! Hoping to pace ourselves to get the most out of our time together. :)

    Hilary,
    "Space in our brains" - I like that! I need some this week for sure. Have had some major goings on (wedding and a funeral) this week so it will be nice to change things up while Dad is here. Glad you made it over to see me. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  11. Karen:Enjoy your time with your dad. We all need time to recharge, refresh and rebuild our minds and our bodies. Jesus had to find ways to reconnect with His Father, why shouldn't we.

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  12. I need my idle time between periods of nonstop work. My brain and body need to relax, plus I find inspiration in big and small things.

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  13. Have fun with your Daddy!

    I do believe we need idleness sometimes. It is easy to forget about that kind of rest, but we require it for balance, I think. Of course, knowing that and putting it into practice are two different things!

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  14. I love that quote for many reasons.
    Your question: "Is there idleness in your schedule?" Answer - not nearly enough!

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  15. I need some downtime, but rarely get much. The analogy of getting the big rocks in the jar comes to mind. By the time I get those done, there's room for a few grains of sand!

    Enjoy your Dad's visit!

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  16. Cecelia,
    Thank you. Yes, I agree, we do. That is an excellent point about Jesus. :) He needed to recharge too.

    Medeia,
    Things can get crazy, can't they? Like you said, we need to find a break in between. Helps us keep things together. :)

    Lisa,
    Thanks so much. I agree - this time is so important. But yeah, applying the principle is easier said than done! :)

    Dixie,
    Thanks for stopping by and following. It's good to meet you! Hoping you get some of that refreshing idleness soon. :)

    Susan,
    That is a good analogy. I am thinking you need a vacation soon. It has been a tough road for you in the last few years. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  17. Hi! I'm visiting via Tyrean Martinson. I've learned the hard way that some idle time is a necessity. Being burned out is no fun at all. Have a wonderful time with your dad!

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  18. "Institute for Children's Literature"


    I took a cours from them long, long ago! I really enjoyed it.

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    1. I was really blessed by your post, by the way. Idleness can be a Godsend!

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  19. Lori,
    Thanks for coming over from Tyrean's blog! It was such a nice surprise to have her mention me. :) Nice to meet you! Appreciate you taking time to stop by. Thanks a bunch!

    Sandi,
    They have great courses don't they? I was skeptical at first, but they cover everything from start to finish and I learned a lot. So glad to hear you were blessed by the post. :) Needing some idleness myself so it was timely in many ways!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  20. Enjoy your time with your dad. It is truly sacred.

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  21. We spent the winter in Bucerias and I spent a lot of time watching the Monarch butterflies. They are spectacular. I think idleness is a vital part of living. I'm glad you get time to spend with your dad. That is also a special time.

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  22. Idle time for me would include a walk through the conservatory or even an airline flight where I have to sit still while the world goes on below me. Both feed my creativity as my brain cannot be still even when idling!

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  23. Linda,
    Thanks so much! Yes, it is. :)

    Joylene,
    I agree, these butterflies are beautiful! I am glad we get to see him too.:)

    Lynn,
    My brain has trouble settling down as well. I have found that being quiet and making an effort to be still has helped a lot in that area. It is still a battle sometimes, though.

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  24. I have a hard time just doing nothing. But I do find time to exercise and walking for a few hours a day is "my time"... This is about as idle as I get.

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  25. Hi Michael,
    I have a hard time doing nothing too. Even if it looks like I am idle, my mind is still going, so it can take a while to quiet things down. I think a productive "idleness" can take various forms for different individuals. Your walking is probably just the right thing for you! :)
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  26. Enjoy your time with your dad, Karen. I do believe in productive "idleness" although stillness might be a better word. Actually the whole month of April has kind of been that way for me. Back to work soon, though. Love the quote. =0)

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  27. Thanks, Susan! I agree, stillness is a good term for it. I need more of that in my life. :) Best wishes on the work.
    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  28. Good for you, Karen. I hope you are enjoying your father's visit. I had classes at the Institute of Children's Literature, too. I believe it gave me the confidence to attempt YA short stories. Alas, I need more idleness in my life. For sure. I believe it can be wonderfully productive to walk through nature to refresh my mind, especially in spring.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!