Idle mind – the devil’s workshop?

Yesterday was a bonus holiday here in the UK, and with the weather in late winter mode I ended up doing nothing at all for the best part of the day. Too cold, wet and soggy to move plants around in the garden or even take the dog out, let alone go visit something. All the usual chores completed by Sunday night out of sheer habit. And you know what? I don’t feel the slightest bit of guilt. Ok, maybe I do a  little since the concept of guilt infiltrated my mind in the first place.

As I was driving to work today all refreshed, having this guilt / no guilt conversation with myself, I remembered my colleague recently using the phrase “idle minds are the devil’s workshop”. She was referring to the fact that people at work are so busy right now that they don’t find time to stir up a fuss; they just get on with their work. When we were struggling to find projects for everyone a couple of years ago there was no end to the petty issues. I had to admit she had a point. But I resent that she has. I have always found it a repulsively paternalistic notion: that you have to keep your minions busy = distracted in order to stay in control.

In any case, the devil and his workshop haven’t got their claws in me: I have blithely done nothing for a day without causing havoc. On the contrary, I am a nicer person to be around today, my fuse is longer. Even if I say so myself. I cannot recommend allowing yourself some space to come to rest highly enough. I reckon if everyone did this from time to time, especially when under high pressure, the devil’s workshop would be all out of tools. I’ll drink a good Belgian tripel to idleness!

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