This was originally posted on an Asperger’s advocacy page on Facebook, but it’s relevant here, because so many people maintain that “not doing anything” is “negative behaviour” – and yet it can sometimes be the most positive thing you can do, in the long term.
Think of a church on Monday morning, when all the worshippers have gone, when there’s just the silence of old stones – which has a soft and subtle noise all of its own, if you listen hard enough – and the scent of flowers and furniture polish, the tracks in the carpet where the battalion of elderly ladies have hoovered and gleamed. Old wood, old stone, and memories.
You sit there, in silence, and absorb so much more of whatever your concept of “god” is than you would in the raucous din of worship, the embarrassing, cloying closeness of other people and their expectations that you won’t do anything “inappropriate” – like cry because it’s so beautiful, or rage at the invisible, improbable Being who, apparently, is responsible for the hell that is your life. Or laugh, at how ridiculous everyone seems, with their childish Daddy fixations.
We need to stop. We are not machines, meant to run forever with just a bit of oiling now and again.
Academics regularly take sabbaticals – whole years out to do something completely different, something that’s theirs
We all need that. Six months, say, of doing nothing – literally “whatever we want”, and six months of doing something “productive” (ie, that we acquire either knowledge or money from) but that we haven’t done before, don’t necessarily want to do forever, but that interests us.
It’s not “negative” to “do nothing” – you’re not “doing nothing” – you’re resting.
And, sometimes, that’s the most positive thing you can do.
That, and visiting Monday-morning churches.