Down time | Day 84 of 100

3min read

In my few posts on De Brevitate Vitae, Seneca talked about (and I sympathised with) spending time more frugally, in particular when it came to people. Seneca wrote about us being unaware of people that essentially put a drain on our lives for little return to what we hold dear. Where I have failed to make a distinguishment is with regards to 'down time'.

I guess strictly speaking there is no 'down time' to living a virtuous life. I do find though that it is impossible to live robotically and abide by these rules every waking hour. In fact, there are people and things that I let 'encroach' on my life that I enjoy. I justify this by calling it 'down time'. In a previous conversation with a serial type A, I explained down time to them as “allowing yourself time to ensure you are running most efficiently”. This explanation appeals to the hyper-efficient and disciplined mindset of a type A. Again this sounds robotic, but I think it is far from it. It is very human. Allowing yourself time and space to not focus on the things that occupy your mind most can give you the change in perspective you need to tackle your most difficult problems.

A bit like the Kingfisher on its new perch, the rest and engagement from a different perspective can give you a new view or thought path. Sometimes if I recognise I need to shift my perspective I sleep the wrong way round in the bed, this means when I wake up, I wake up with a different view. I get out of bed differently, I may do my morning routine in a different order. All this changes perspective, and I have found it helps me solve problems, both professionally and personally. Spending time with different people though does this to a similar extent, therefore I think it should be welcomed. So long as it does not become procrastination. But that's another topic.