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How to feel better about doing nothing right now.

Corinne Segal

May 7, 2020, 12:52pm

It’s official: We have now reached the “dyeing our clothes with beets” stage of quarantine.

But there is another way. Take a deep breath. Leave your beets alone. Read these stories about doing nothing, and then, maybe, if it’s an option for you, do nothing for a bit.

No one can sleep or think right now; we’re facing global instability, an uncertain economy, and an endless stream of internet discourse on acceptable or non-acceptable ways to spend our time. In the face of all that, I’m enjoying returning to these pieces. Here are a few words from some of them:

I don’t always need a purpose for everything.”

“In a brightly lit and busy world, maintaining the composure necessary for thoughtful observation is a glaring challenge.”

“Putting aside the capitalist imperative leaves space for staring into space, an act which stands in for the kind of elusive freedom we have been taught that money can buy.”

“These days I’ve come to believe that it’s natural for many of us to go through periods when we put words to the page and times when we can’t. These aren’t separate, distinct states; rather than agonizing over ‘writer’s block,’ maybe we can accept that we aren’t blocked at all, and that resting might just be part of our process.”

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